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tips and tricks

Student Life

Your Dorm Can Be Eco-Friendly Too With These 10 Simple Tips

August 7, 2021

Dorm life is a great transitional step between living at home and living on your own. It’s also an excellent time to cultivate eco-friendly habits that reduce waste and encourage sustainable living.

Why should college students be eco-friendly?

Taking a look at a few statistics shows how dire the environmental crisis really is:

–    A college student will, on average, produce 640 pounds of solid waste per year.

–    Students will produce, on average, 500 disposable cups per year.

–    Each American produces around 90 000 pounds of rubbish in their lifetime.

Fortunately, there are actions you can take to combat this crisis, and your dorm is the best place to start.

  1. Avoid plastic utensils

Single use plastics like disposable knives and forks contribute to global warming. Their manufacture uses fossil fuels and releases massive amounts of greenhouse gas. When plastic is discarded in landfills it increases the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. Always use reusable cutlery, as well as cups and mugs.

  1. Save water

Cutting down on water waste is one of the most eco-friendly actions to take. Why?

–    Droughts are on the increase.

–    Many people already have little or no access to clean water.

–    The Earth’s water supply is finite–97.5% of the water on Earth is saltwater.

Take shorter showers and close the tap while you’re brushing your teeth. Both will save a lot of water.

  1. Choose environmentally friendly cleaning products

The chemicals in many cleaning products are extremely harmful to the environment. Try to buy plant-based products, or even make your own to clean your dorm.

  1. Buddy up to do laundry

Doing little bits of laundry every few days wastes a lot of water. That doesn’t mean you should wear dirty clothes all the time. Try buddying up with a friend or roommate to avoid wasting water every laundry day.

  1. Use reusable bags for shopping

Many shops are getting better at cutting down on plastic bags, but there’s still a long way to go. If you carry a light tote bag, it’s easy to cut down on your personal plastic use.

  1. Reuse glass jars instead of plastic containers

Rather than buying plastic containers to store food, use recycled glass jars. This cuts down on plastic waste. Every bit of plastic you buy contributes to the tons of non-biodegradable rubbish polluting the planet.

  1. Minimize use of heaters and air conditioners

It’s very convenient to turn on the heater or air con to make your dorm more comfortable, but both appliances use a lot of electricity. Every bit of power saved is a help in the fight against climate change.

  1. Unplug devices when not using them

It’s easy to forget to unplug chargers or to leave your phone or laptop plugged in unnecessarily. Even if you’re one of the large percentage of people who use their phones before they go to sleep, make sure you don’t leave it plugged in the whole night. 

  1. Use LED lights or CFLs (compact fluorescent lights)

Using the right bulbs can save a lot of electricity. Avoid halogen lights, which are less energy efficient. Instead, opt for LED lights or CFLs, which last longer.

  1. Natural air freshener

Just like eco-friendly cleaning products, home-made or natural air freshener is the environmentally friendly alternative. Use candles or keep little bags of lavender in your room to keep it smelling fresh.

Every little bit helps when it comes to combating climate change. Don’t discount the effects of your good dorm habits, no matter how small they seem.

Health

Tips for Staying Active in the Winter

March 19, 2021

With gym closures and concerns for health during the pandemic, many students have been unable to exercise at their student fitness center or local gym. This has caused a lot of students to take up running and other outdoor activities. Cold weather can make it difficult to run outside and can decrease motivation for staying active.

Here are a few tips for staying active in the winter:

Turn to YouTube

There are many free exercise resources available on YouTube, from yoga to HIIT, you have many options to explore. Channels such as ​Yoga with Adriene​ and N​atacha Océane​ provide quality exercise videos. You can also check out apps like Peloton, Nike Training Club, and ClassPass that offer free training programs, or at least a free trial for one.

Invest in some equipment

It can be worthwhile to invest in some equipment such as resistance bands, a jump rope, and dumbbells. It can be expensive to buy certain items new, but you can always find second-hand equipment on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay. If you don’t want to buy online, check out discount stores or look for sales at major retailers.

Bundle up and embrace the outdoors

If conditions are safe, you can still run outside. Make sure to bundle up and be aware of ice. Here are some​ tips ​for running in the cold such as keeping yourself well lit with limited sunlight. Layers are crucial!

Be mindful of your movement

If you are busy with school work and feel that you don’t have enough time to dedicate to workouts, try to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. This can mean a few jumping jacks between virtual classes or a bit of stretching before going to bed. Try to remain aware of how long you have been sedentary and stand frequently. If you’re running errands, park farther away or opt for the stairs over the elevator or escalator as much as possible.

Repurpose household items

If you don’t have access to workout equipment be creative and repurpose items around your house. This can mean using some textbooks, water jugs, wine bottles or cans of food as weights. Try running up and down your stairs, or using a chair to do some step-ups or tricep dips.

Don’t let gym closures and a loss of your former routine keep you from sticking to your fitness goals. There’s a lot of creative ways to stay active. For more tips on college life make sure to follow us on social media @gradguard.

Career Student Life

7 Online Business Ideas for College Students

February 18, 2021

As a college student, schoolwork can be frustrating. It is not just because college life can be challenging, but also due to the lack of financial independence.

Luckily, college students these days can earn money from the comforts of their home. That is, if you know time management skills and how to meet your deadlines.

If this is something you can handle, here are seven online business ideas that you can start today.

Online Tutoring

If you know that you excel at a particular subject, consider getting into online tutoring. You don’t even need to go to your students’ house to teach them because you can do it through a video call.

When you tutor a student face-to-face, you can charge higher for it, but if you can’t do it face-to-face, especially nowadays, you can do online tutoring.

What’s great about that is that you can teach anyone from anywhere. You also have the advantage of offering cheaper rates because you don’t have to be face-to-face to teach your students.

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is such an approachable way to make money online, even as a college student. It’s another gig that you can do no matter where you are, even when you’re in your college dorm. Since you probably have to write papers as a college student anyway, freelance writing is just like that, but you get money from it.

Ecommerce Store

If you have a hobby where you make things from scratch, you might want to sell them online by starting an ecommerce store.

Anybody can do it, and you can sell almost anything online. If you make stickers, knit, or even create digital products, you can start an ecommerce store.

The options are endless, but your biggest struggle might be your ability to stand out. Think about what makes your brand or product unique and how to best get the word out about it!

Website Development

If you have programming or web development experience, consider working as a freelance web developer. There are plenty of small or even large companies who want someone to make websites for them. Your expertise will surely come in handy, especially in this digital age.

Virtual Assistant

Running a business is a tough job that requires you to juggle a lot of tasks and roles. That’s why many entrepreneurs hire assistants nowadays to help them manage their workload.

In this modern world, we now have something called a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is like an executive assistant, although you do things online.

This allows you to work with someone from another country. And your tasks can include organizing your boss’ schedule, scheduling and confirming meetings, and more.

This can be an excellent way for college students to earn some money, and gain some experience you can put on your resume. And you might even learn a thing or two about running a business from your employer.

Dropshipping Business

These days, there is a growing number of people who buy their daily needs online. Whether it’s for groceries, clothes, or anything under the sun, there’s an online shop there for you.

However, inventory management can be overwhelming, especially if you are staying in a dorm. This is where dropshipping could come in handy.

That’s because it allows you to run an online store without having to worry about where to store your products. That’s because your manufacturer and supplier can handle it for you. This also includes packing and shipping products, as well as handling returns.

Luckily, there are a plethora of dropshipping guides online. Hence, you’ll never run out of ideas on how you can maximize your dropshipping business.

Blogging and Vlogging

Social media has allowed people from all walks of life to become celebrities of their own.

If you’ve always been interested in being known for your character, you might want to start blogging or vlogging your daily life. It’s like having a passion project that can make you money, but it can take a while before you start seeing money rolling in through ads or merchandise. Think of a niche and see how far it takes you!

The online business ideas listed above can help college students to earn money while pursuing their degree. The best part is that you not only make money, you are also setting up your career path.