Protecting the Environment: Eco-Friendly Changes Every College Student Can Make

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Living in a fast-paced world in which we are often in a rush, striving to be eco-friendly appears to require extra effort when in reality it does not! Here are small (and smart) changes you can make in your regular routine that can help protect the environment while also helping to lower your bills – something any college student loves! 

Turn off the tap

Conserve water and don’t leave the water faucet running! It is not a rare sight to see a water faucet left running at a public restroom, or while people are shaving or brushing their teeth. Saving water and being conscious of your water usage in general can mean lowering water bills as well as helping conserve clean water, an invaluable resource we all depend on to live.

Rely on reusables

Switch from plastic to reusable containers and bottles. Whether it be to pack your lunch or other things you are carrying with you on campus, you can limit waste by using reusable containers. This change can also apply to disposable plastic water bottles and coffee cups in favor of reusable ones. Some coffee shops even offer discounts to customers who use reusable coffee cups!

It takes more than 450 years for most types of plastic to degrade, some even 1000 years. By switching to reusables you can do your part to help reduce this form of pollution and also save by not having to purchase disposable plastic bags or bottles. If you happen to find yourself using disposable plastics like water bottles, at least deposit them in your nearest recycling bin to be recycled.

Pull back on purchases

Make the most of the things you have. You might desire the newest gadgets and new trendy clothes, but do you really need all of it? There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but try to be conscious of your shopping habits. Make sure that you aren’t buying things that you don’t need or things that can be easily shared with your roommates. Get the best use of the things you already have. Don’t throw it away when it still has potential. Use it as much as you can and get creative!

Think global, act local

Stay informed. Join an environmental club at your campus or start one! Look into local organizations or follow national and international environmental organizations. It’s important to be informed about current issues and ways that you can help with conservation.

It’s cool to carpool

Drive less! Carpool, walk, and use bicycles more. Opting to carpool with your classmates, ride your bicycle or walk to college are great ways to reduce your carbon footprint, plus have fun in the process!

Reduce paper waste

Try buying digital textbooks and consider printing double-sided when you do use paper. Use digital calendars on your electronic devices to keep your assignments and schedule easily organized. These changes will not only save you money, but also lower your paper needs and conserve more paper.

Switch off, unplug, save

Unplug chargers and turn off lights that aren’t being used. Many electronic appliances continually consume electricity simply by being plugged in. Make sure to turn off the lights, air conditioner and television when you aren’t in the room.  Take advantage of natural light when you can. These actions will lower your electrical consumption, which will lower your bill!

In the words of astronomer Carl Sagan, as inhabitants of Earth it is our responsibility “to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.” By striving to make small but efficient changes in your routine, you can lower your environmental impact, lower your bills, and incorporate more eco-friendly practices in your life! Earth is our home, so it’s important to protect it, respect it, and celebrate it with our everyday actions and thoughts.

Pearson Students: How do you support sustainability on your college campus? Share by commenting below!

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