The College Student Sustainability Pack

11.04.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

As a college student it can be difficult to be sustainable while living on campus, but here are some things that can make up a college student’s sustainable survival pack!

First let’s start with the food. Instead of bringing pastic food storage bags and plastic cups and silverware, make your own little “mini kit” complete with tupperware storage, reusable mugs, bowls, cups, and plates that you can wash, and some real silverware. Also it wouldn’t hurt to try and find an eco-friendly dishwashing liquid for when you have to wash your dishes!

Also in terms of containers and storage, you can buy some cool reusable bags that you can use to hold your new purchases when you go out shopping instead of taking a plastic bag to hold what you bought and you can use the plastic bags you may have leftover from previous shopping excursions to line your dormroom trashcan or you can use them to hold empty cans and cardboard for the recycling bin so you can make one trip every few weeks instead of a trip every day!

Now we’ll tackle college essentials, coffee and water! Instead of buying bottled water and/or buying a coffee cup with your favorite beverage in it every day, you can invest in a reusable water bottle and a reusable to-go coffee mug for a small one-time fee. Not only are these containers getting cuter and more stylish every day, but they can also save you some money on coffee at some locations. Also the reusable water bottles are great for storing juice and other cold beverages as well! You could also personalize your mugs and water bottles with stickers or puffy paint to make it truly yours. Can you imagine how much we could reduce the amount of trash produced on Campus if everyone used either a reusable water bottle or a reusable to-go mug instead of throwing away a plastic bottle or a mug from the Commons everyday? Also, a brita water filter is great if you don’t want to refill your water bottle straight from the tap!

 

The next thing every student should have is a Zipcard. If you are the kind of student that only needs to use a car once in a while when you’re on campus then don’t waste your money on a parking decal and insurance! Instead, spend a fraction of the money on a zipcard and only pay for using a car when you actually have to use it. Not only will a zipcard save you money, but it will also save the environment, with less CO2 emissions being released into the air everyday!

The last items to round out the college student’s sustanability pack have to do with laundry. Every college student has laundry to do whether we like or not. Did you know that doing laundry with chemical detergents reduces the freshwater supply we have and that drying your clothes is a huge energy-eater? One way to reduce our environmental impacts when we do laundry is to use detergents that are free of harmful chemicals. An up and coming new detergent that is chemical-free is the soap nut. These nuts are from the Chinese Soap Berry Tree and they are an all-natural way to clean your clothes and leave them smelling fresh! Also, instead of using the dryer all the time, try investing in a drying rack for your room and use the drying rack to reduce the number of laundry loads you transfer to the dryer. By taking these simple steps you can help to greatly reduce the harmful effects that doing your laundry has on the environment.

There are many other ways you can choose to be more sustainable while living at school so get creative and have fun with it!

-Aimee Morrison

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