How to Live Sustainably On Campus

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Heading back to school? Check out these 5 tips for living sustainably on campus.

Millions of college students will be heading off to school this month, and it’s an exciting time of year for parents and students alike.

Whether you’re starting college for the first time, or looking forward to seeing all of your college friends after the summer break, don’t forget to make a plan for how you will make a difference for the planet this semester! Building sustainable habits early in life can help you create a healthier and more sustainable future for us all.

Luckily, it’s easy enough to live sustainably on campus; all you need to do is keep these 5 simple tips in mind throughout the school year.

1. Love your stuff

The best way to be sustainable is to reduce your consumption, which means to love the stuff you already have! Loving your stuff means to really take care of those items, so you don’t have to buy more. To avoid unnecessary purchases or overuse of resources, ask yourself, “What do I really need?” If you do need something, you can buy it secondhand or organic, nontoxic, and with minimal packaging. Also, you can make sure the product is of high-quality and durable (and not quickly disposable), so it will last you a long time.

2. Join the share economy

Rather than each individual having duplicates of the same appliance, for example, why not borrow and share with one another? This saves money, coveted room space and the precious time it takes to leave campus to shop for it, and later at the end of the school year, figure out how to give it to a friend.

Many campuses offer sharing services for all sorts of things…. These share economy programs build community, save the school money and reduce the overall campus carbon footprint.


3. Build up your re-usables toolkit

Another way to model a sustainable lifestyle on-campus is to tote around a reusables toolkit. For starters, a reusable water bottle is a necessity for college life. Invest in a durable, stainless steel bottle…. A bamboo utensil pack, or a simple spork (spoon and fork combo) should also be in your reuse toolkit, so you can be ready when you drop by an event with free food. One more super handy item would be some kind of reusable food container, perfect for the spontaneous picnic with friends or leftover event food….

4. If you have to make some trash, recycle

First and foremost, there is no “throwing away.” Trash doesn’t disappear; it ends up somewhere….

This act is a great basic habit to show you care about our water, land, air, and communities. Many institutions are able recycle a variety of stuff, like paper, plastic (including thin-film plastic like bags!), aluminum, cardboard, e-waste (anything with an electric cord or battery), ink cartridges and batteries….

5. Reimagine, then go do it

What would the world look like if it had a unanimous culture of sustainability? What initiatives can be done on your campus? For students living on campus, there are many projects to be piloted and implemented….

Check out the full article at USAToday.com


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