Environmental concerns might not be at the forefront of students’ attention. They are more likely to be busy with essays, research papers, and exams. But everyone needs to make their contribution to a greener living. Colleges have huge waste potentials and may produce a high carbon footprint. So even the smallest efforts to reduce that matter. Some of the actions can be taken by the university, others are up to every student’s personal choice. Of course, students might argue that they simply do not have time for that. They are overloaded with written assignments, college tasks, and part-time jobs. It is perfectly understandable that when you are pulling the third all-nighter in one week, it is hard to care about anything else.
But it all comes down to prioritization. After all, there is help out there when it comes to all types of college papers – a professional write my paper platform. Professional writers can provide expert advice, prepare samples, proofread, or even take care of everything at once. This way any student can get a bit of rest while learning from the best at the same time. And not using electricity all night is environmentally friendly, so it is a win-win situation.
As for other ways to make campus greener, it is not as hard as one might think. Here are some things that can be done in this regard.
This section covers the efforts that can be taken by colleges whether it is their initiative or a lobby coming from students.
Almost any college has some type of recycling opportunities available at this point. But there is always room for improvement. Recycling is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to reduce waste and help the environment. If the recycling program is not open yet, one can contact local recyclers to ask for advice on how to launch such a program at college.
Recycling bins have to be placed in crowded places with high traffic. This way, students can see and use them more.
A great way to endorse recycling is to weigh the materials given and illustrate the impact it makes. Or a college can offer some type of reward system.
One of the huge problems of any campus is food waste. To eliminate that, a college can start a composting project on their premises. There should be a couple of bins for that. And food compost can be used in a local garden, for example.
The next step is to make electricity use sustainable. The first thing to do is to switch to LED or CFL bulbs that save more energy and last longer. Another option is to set an automatic on/off system so the light is not used when there is no one around. Optionally, a school might go for solar power and produce their own electricity, however, such a shift might take time and big upfront investment.
Even something as simple as putting reminders to turn the lights off when not used can be a great addition.
Endorse Bikes and Public Transport
To reduce carbon emissions, it is better to opt for bikes. Alternatively, use public transport instead of personal cars. College can host a bike rental or share program for students. Or they can simply endorse it and put parking spots for bikes near premises.
Create a Garden
Having a garden on campus is good for several reasons:
- It can be used as a learning opportunity and part of the curriculum;
- It produces fresh vegetables and fruit;
- Working in the garden is known to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression;
- It promotes greener living.
There is no reason not to. According to Business Insider, 25 Google offices grow their own food in their gardens. That’s an impressive initiative to follow.
Sustainability Classes and Events
Advocating for more sustainable living is also important. Most of the time, people are not aware of the easy ways they can do better. There can be a sustainability class that students can take. A great idea would be to host regular events on the matter as well.
This section lists the steps each student can take to reduce their footprint and be more environmentally friendly.
Reduce Paper Use
Some things have to be submitted on paper. But taking notes, for example, is even easier with a laptop or tablet. Get rid of paper agendas as there are plenty of useful apps that are even better in terms of keeping reminders up.
Even when not used, plugged-in devices use standby power. Unplug them when you do not need them. Opt for LED lights in your dorm. Do not use excessive lighting as well.
One of the contributing factors to global pollution is consumerism. It is hard to resist the temptation to get a great deal sometimes. But one can be more sustainable about their shopping habits. Here are some tips:
- Thrift and buy second hand in terms of textbooks, clothes, or devices;
- Buy local to reduce the carbon footprint from deliveries/shipping;
- Eliminate plastic bags – use paper ones, or, even better, cloth bags;
- Look for energy-saving appliances when shopping;
- If possible, choose things in recyclable or recycled packaging;
- Avoid single-use items, especially plastic kitchenware.
Here is another outstanding idea – re-sell what you do not need. Optionally, you can donate it as well. But if you need money, you can always sell things to people that need them instead of just throwing stuff away.
You do not have to go full minimalist mode, but applying several principles might help. For example, there are lots of student deals and offers available. But choose only those you actually need.
When planning your expenses, consider what supplies you need and what is not necessary.
Choose durable items that you won’t have to replace every couple of months.
Join a Sustainability Club
There is probably some kind of green organization or club on your campus. You can join it. First of all, it is helpful to have like-minded people around. You can learn from each other, help with resources, and useful links. And it is a great way to meet new friends and keep the motivation to do better.
Secondly, it is useful for lobbying green initiatives in college. For instance, if you have a plan or proposal on how to make the campus more sustainable, you can collect signatures and make a proposal. Colleges are happy to listen and maybe you’ll make a great change as a result.
And such things usually look good in the future resume as they show a proactive approach, leadership, goal-setting, and resourcefulness.
Even if a recycling program is not available on campus, you can still do it on your own. Search for initiatives and platforms online. Where can you take your plastic or paper waste? Is there a sustainable way to get rid of old appliances if they are broken?
Living a greener life doesn’t have to be extremely complicated. Even the smallest things matter – for example, avoiding water waste or buying second-hand. The simple rule is to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything. And, in the long run, all of that will save one money as well.