A Greener Campus Life
By Jakob Barry
Believe it or not fall semester is next week. Consider the following challenge: how to make this coming school year a more eco-friendly one. Yes, more eco-friendly.
Why now? Because once school starts and it’s time to hit the books getting into a routine isn’t always easy. It’s not that leading a greener lifestyle or improving on an already green practice is so difficult but getting into the frame of mind before hand helps.
That said here are a few suggestions on making the upcoming semester a deeper shade of green:
The first place to implement more eco-friendliness is prepping for move-in day because that’s when everything kicks off.
1. Downsize: Think about the items you plan on bringing to school and question if each is necessary. For freshman this may be more difficult because it’s a new process and they aren’t sure yet what to expect but returning students who already have an idea of what the school year holds may find the exercise exhilarating. In the end, the less belongings being hauled to school the less need there will be for a large vehicle which burns a lot of fuel. Also, with less stuff students from similar areas may even be able to car pool cutting down on emissions.
2. Green packing: Sometimes there’s no getting away from lightening the load because some classes may require extra books and supplies that are being brought from home. If that’s the case and it’s not just clothing being lugged from door to door try reusing boxes and other packing materials instead of purchasing new ones. In place of bubble wrap repurpose newspapers and magazines or use clothing to secure breakables.
There’s always a lot of activities and things to do on and off campus but isn’t the whole purpose of being in school to study? If so that needs to be greened too!
1. Textbooks: Let’s face it; text books are expensive and the funny thing is we spend so much money for them yet in many cases they’re only useful until after final exams. Once in a while we come across one worth keeping for life but usually after the semester they just take up space on shelves until we realize it’s time to recycle them. That’s why unless it’s something that truly interests you or will be a good resource for years to come buy them used and after the semester sell them.
2. Go paperless: Once you’ve hit the books you’ll be taking notes and writing reports but it doesn’t have to be with the old pen and paper. After all, how many times in the past have you bought a notebook only to use half of it during the semester? With most students having a laptop and/or some digital device that records try going paperless this year. It would mean having to back things up often but you can’t get greener than that. You could even ask professors for handouts ahead of time so they can be scanned or emailed before class
Finally, food is one of those things at colleges and universities that produces a lot of waste and is an area we can all be a little greener with this school year. The best way to do this is by having a few small items always on hand:
1. Cutlery: Students are always carrying a backpack or some kind of bag with books and other school oriented items. As part of the mix add a small container with a fork, knife, and spoon so wherever you go you never have to use disposables.
2. Water bottle: Having a water bottle on hand will help control plastic usage, which can be quite high on campus. Even if water isn’t the drink of choice it can be used for all kinds of things instead of having to trash a cup given over the counter.