Your Green College Life

You’ve got some serious pride for your alma mater. You’re decked out in your collegiate gear and brimming with excitement!  So is green one of your school colors? We hope so – a green attitude, at least!

Moving out of your parents’ home and into a college or university setting is a huge change. It can be tempting to forget all those energy-saving or eco-friendly behaviors your parents drilled into you. Before throwing caution to the wind, keep our simple tips in mind for a more eco-friendly college life!

For Class:

  • If permitted, bring a laptop or notebook tablet to class for note taking instead of purchasing paper notebooks. Worried about the temptation of the Internet? Check to see if your computer or tablet has an “airplane mode” setting, so you can avoid surfing Facebook during particularly long-winded lectures. If paper notebooks are a class requirement, look for those with PVC-free plastic and recycled paper.
  • Parking is a common problem on many college campuses. Consider carpooling with roommates or friends who have similar class schedules. This will save on gas and reduce carbon emissions.

Dorm Life:

  • It may be tempting to crank the air conditioning/heat and take hour-long showers when the utility bills are on the school or university’s dime, but consider the environmental impact if every student were to adopt this mentality… yikes. Use the same moderation and eco-friendly behaviors you would in your parents’ home or in your own place.
  • That party dress doesn’t need its own load of laundry! Be sure to run the washing machine and dryer only if it’s a full load.
  • There are a number of brands on the market that offer organic furniture, bedding, home décor, etc. Think about investing in some quality pieces for your dorm room that you can take with you to your first post-grad apartment or home.

The College Experience:

  • Boxed pizza, sodas and other canned beverages are a staple of college life. Many campuses place recycling bins around campus or in the dorms – use them!
  • Chances are, your school offers a variety of clubs, organizations and activities. Check to see if there are any sustainability or eco-clubs on campus and if not, consider starting one yourself!

College is a time of self-discovery, education, and just plain fun. It’s also a time to begin experimenting with the lifestyle you’ll lead as an independent adult! Adding green/eco-friendly behaviors into your daily routine today will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but also shape your conservation habits for years to come.

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