Living Green at College

posted 8/17/2016

There’s no atmosphere in the world quite like that of a college campus. Between the dorms, the classrooms, the dining halls, the athletic fields and more, it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement and forget to think about your everyday environmental impact. But the good news is that universities around the world have made great strides recently to ensure students have plenty of ways to go green! Every school has their own initiatives, but here are some tips that every student can use. College days behind you? Please share these tips with collegians in your life!

Turn off Electronics

Although you may feel like you’re always on your laptop, it’s good to give electronics (and yourself) a break. When not in use, put electronics in sleep mode, or better yet, turn them off completely. Laptops, TVs, game consoles and phones all drain unnecessary electricity when left on and some even draw small amounts of power in sleep mode. The lights in your dorm/apartment/house have a big impact too… always remember to turn them off when you leave the room.

Reuse, reuse, reuse!

Being on the go all the time can make it feel like quick disposables are the best option, but using sustainable items that can be reused will save you money in the long run. If you can’t live without your morning coffee, opt to bring your own travel mug to your closest coffee café (many offer discounts for this). Do you get a new backpack for every school year? See if you can get one more year out of the one you’re already using. Also, why not try second-hand clothing stores for your back-to-school shopping?  Save some coin and donate any of your out-of-season clothes at the same time.

Travel Green

Are you used to driving to campus or around the city every day? Check out local bus systems. Many universities have their own bus lines (Cy-Ride at ISU and CAMBUS at UI) that are free for students, so you can save a TON of $$ on gas and a TON of CO2 from polluting the air. Feeling even more adventurous? Walking or biking to your destination instead of driving equals a good workout that involves no pollution en route.

Our favorite…RECYCLE!

Not all college dwellings offer recycling, but with campuses going the extra mile toward sustainability, you can likely find a way to recycle. Find out if your dorm has recycling, and if not, help start the effort! Can’t recycle directly from your apartment or house? Save your bottles, cans and other recyclable materials and take them to a recycling drop-off free of charge! Going green on campus might just be easier than you thought.

Learn how your university is doing its part to encourage more green efforts: