We think college is the perfect time to begin living a greener life. Living independently, making your own purchasing decisions–now is the time to establish what kind of footprint you want to leave on the world.
Here are some tips on how to get started.
- Leave the car at home and tool around campus on two wheels. Biking is a great way to alleviate stress, minimize your carbon footprint and stay in shape.
- Read the labels on bath, beauty and household products. Look for biodegradable soaps and always avoid items made with harsh chemicals or excessive packaging.
- Choose food and beverages stamped with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval–it’s your guarantee that crops are grown in harmony with people, wildlife and the environment.
- Select furniture made with wood that has earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification from the Rainforest Alliance, as well as bed linens made with bamboo or organic cotton.
- Avoid shopping in trendy fashion chains and buying clothes you don’t absolutely love. And when it’s time to update your wardrobe, try vintage clothing stores or look for clothing made with bamboo, hemp, soy, organic cotton and other eco-friendly fabrics.
- Shut off and unplug your electronics whenever they’re not in use, and bring outdated laptops, cell phones and iPads to electronics recycling centers.
- Resist the temptation to pile your plate high with food in the dining hall. Take only what you know you’ll eat; you can always get up for seconds later.
- Purchase used textbooks–it will save you lots of money. Choose notebooks and paper made with FSC/Rainforest Alliance Certified fiber.
- Reduce plastic waste by bringing your own containers and utensils when you pick up takeout. Always carry a reusable water bottle.
- Take classes on the history of environmentalism, sustainable business or conservation strategies.
- Join a club (or start your own!) to advance green initiatives on your college campus, such as this one. If you do your research and gather support among your fellow students, administrators will listen.
- Volunteer for a local environmental organization.
What are you doing to create conscientiousness on your campus? Tell us in the comments!