Going green: Steps a college
student can take to save resouces
By Megan Wiseman
November 13, 2008 | Face paint, school colors and
university apparel may be everywhere in a college student's
life. But whether you bleed red, blue, orange or purple,
here are some simple ways to bring more green into your
life living away from home.
For a college student time and money are two of the
most valuable resources available. Because of these
two major constraints, living a "greener" life can be
a bit of a challenge. By putting into place a few new
habits, college students can drastically reduce their
One of the easiest ways students can reduce their
environmental footprint is to take advantage of
their proximity to the school campus and also the campus's
public transportation system. Most student housing is
conveniently placed within a couple of blocks of walking
distance to the main campus. Students can reduce their
car use by simply walking to classes, finding on campus
jobs or by taking the free Cache Valley Transit District
bus system to the grocery store or the movie theater.
Another way to reduce impact from cars is to switch
over to alternative forms of transportation such as
biking, motorcycles, mopeds, or even scooters.
One of the best ways to feel at home while living
away from home is to decorate your dorm room. By doing
simple things while decorating, you can help reduce
the impact you have on the environment. Instead of buy
bedspreads made of synthetic fibers, opt for cotton
bedspreads and sheets which cause less energy to
produce and are more biodegradable. When you are buying
furniture for your dorm or apartment, check local thrift
stores first to see if you can buy something used. Also
check with family members or friends to see if anyone
is getting rid of a couch or a dresser that you could
possibly refurbish to match your new décor. By reusing,
you help reduce the amount of new merchandise that needs
to be manufactured, which in turn helps reduce waste.
Replace light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent
lights that will actually last longer than normal incandesant
bulbs. Instead of using lots of paper to print out hundreds
of pictures to hang throughout your room, choose five
or six pictures to make into bigger prints and put in
frames that you can take with you when you move instead
of taking down your pictures and throwing them away.
Two of the easiest ways to reduce your energy use are
by using the natural light of your windows instead of
always having your light on and also by shutting down
your laptop or computer each night instead of leaving
it on sleep mode all the time.
If food is involved, a college student will be there.
With low money, and big appetites, it is easy to lose
track of the food you buy and the food you eat. An easy
way to reduce extra waste from food is to keep a budget
and a list for every food item that you buy and every
food item that you run out of and need to buy more.
By knowing what you have in your fridge or cupboard
and what you can make out of the food that you already
have, you will drastically reduce the amount of expired
food you throw away. Another great advantage of college
life is to go to club meetings, school activities, service
projects, and other places where there are free meals
being given away for small amounts of work. Take advantage
of the free food that is given on college campuses,
it will help reduce the amount of food you have to buy
yourself and it will also cut back on the amount of
food wasted at these events if you aren't there to eat
Paper is one of the biggest waste products and a lot
of it is used by college students. If you have a laptop,
take it to class to write notes on instead of using
binders or notebooks and hundreds of sheets of paper
that you will just throw away at the end of the semester.
Most schools also have a big push toward recycling.
If your school does have the resources to recycle, keep
a box in your dorm or apartment to put old homework
assignments, messed up printed pages, or anything else
cardboard or paper in and then once a month take it
up to school to put in the recycling dumpster. Another
option is to purchase
recycled school supplies such as notebooks, post
it notes, and even desks.
By doing these simple things, you can greatly reduce
your impact on the earth without completely dedicating
your life to being green. School can be a stressful
time and by changing your lifestyle you can take away
one stress of causing more harm to the environment.