Some of us learn about the importance of environmental stewardship from a young age. Others have a kind of ecological awakening later in life, perhaps when we get to college and start making tough decisions about the products we buy or the types of transportation we use. Certainly, there is much that college students can do to advocate for sustainability, even while living in a dorm setting.
Consider just a few examples:
● Bring reusable containers to the cafeteria. Minimize food waste and single-use plastics by bringing a reusable container to the cafeteria, allowing you to bring any leftovers (or seconds) home with you.
● Invest in other reusables. From flatware to coffee mugs, there are plenty of everyday items you can bring to campus with you, allowing you to minimize your single-use plastic and paper consumption. A reusable water bottle is especially helpful!
● Make the most of your school supplies. A simple suggestion: Make sure your notebooks are completely out of paper, and your pens completely out of ink, before you discard them.
● Get a compost bin. Why not invite your entire hall or building to join you in composting their leftovers? Compost bins are usually pretty affordable, and easy to install.
● Conserve electricity by turning off the lights. Another easy win: Be that person who turns off lights in the room or the hall any time the space isn’t in use.
● Consider eco-friendly laundry routines. Something as simple as using wool balls instead of dryer sheets can considerably reduce your waste generation.
● Go paperless. If possible, use your computer, tablet, or even your phone to take notes, in lieu of buying up a bunch of paper notebooks.
● Ride your bike. Why start up the car when biking is better for the environment (and better for your physical fitness)?
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate environmental responsibility, such as starting a recycling program or getting involved with environmental activist groups on your campus. But even making these few simple lifestyle changes can be a highly effective way to minimize your impact on the natural world.
One more thing: Be ready to talk about your commitment to sustainability whenever it comes up, especially if somebody asks you why you’re toting around that reusable flatware set. Education is a critical component in environmental activism.
Questions? We’re always happy to talk about recycling and waste management. Contact the WasteXperts team at your convenience.