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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

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 environmental impact.

Transportation:

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.

Dorm Room/Apartment:

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.

Food

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 it.

School Supplies

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.

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