If while you’re at home you try to live an eco- friendly life but feel like it’s impossible for you to do here at school, look no further! There are lots of ways to live on campus and still be kind to the earth. Though sometimes it requires taking the extra time, the planet will thank you in the long run.
One of the easiest ways to live green on campus is to recycle. Recycling is so easy, with bins often located right next to garbage cans. Though most students recycle their water and soda bottles, there are many unexpected things that can be recycled. The cereal cups found in the Anchor and the Cove, applesauce containers, plastic cups from the smoothie bar, plastic salad bowls found in the Galley, yogurt cups, plastic fruit cups, plastic parfait containers and plastic Chinese food containers can all be recycled with plastic cap-less bottles. Make sure to remove the caps!
As well as recycling, there are many ways to up-cycle as well. Most residence halls have TerraCycling boxes, collecting different categories of items. TerraCycling allows you to recycle things that are not normally recyclable. The money from Millersville’s TerraCycling goes to the charity Smile Train.
Apart from recycling and up-cycling, there are other ways to be kind to the earth while living at school. Wasted water is a big issue, and there are simple ways to remedy the problem. Be aware of the amount of time it takes you to shower, because cutting your shower time by five minutes can save upwards of 25 gallons of water. Besides being aware of the amount of water you use when showering, watch how much water you are using from the sink. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and putting face wash on. By using water sparingly, you can save hundreds of gallons per week.
Aside from using water sparingly, be aware of the amount of electricity you use in your dorm room. Because the cost of electricity is already paid for in housing costs, students often think it’s no big deal to leave the lights on all the time. But by investing in a smaller lamp, rather than the energy sucking overhead light, you can still have light in the room and be kinder to the planet. Always remember to turn off the lights when leaving the room and unplug chargers from outlets that are not in current use.
Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint on campus is to walk to class rather than drive. Cars release exhaust that is extremely harmful to the atmosphere, while walking is healthy for your body and for the air. To avoid being late for class if it takes you longer to walk, make sure you leave enough travel time for yourself!
While it may seem like a daunting task, living green at college is actually much easier than it looks. By taking that extra second to turn off a light or a faucet, and recycling that container you’re using, you can do your part to help the earth.