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How To Be A Green College Student

That time is here again, for all the college students across the nation to start packing their stuff to move back to dorm life! College is the best time to get involved in going green, because it is probably the best place to find truly concerned, active, smart, capable people who are informed and ready to make meaningful change and have the means to do so. Now more than ever, college students are concerned with the environment, because they know that the future of their nation, personal safety, and job security rests in finding alternative energy and transforming the American lifestyle into one that is less wasteful. Here, we have posted just a few of the hundreds of ways that you (or your kid) can be green at school. Get started and run with it!

  • Plug all appliances, chargers, and light sources into power strips, which will save electricity and can be easily unplugged to save energy when you leave the room
  • Invest in a bicycle, either for yourself or for your group of friends, to use to get to class instead of driving. If not, hope on your school’s campus shuttle to get around.
  • Instead of buying books from your college bookstore, check the library first. Checking out books for a semester (you can renew them), will save you hundreds of dollars and will force your school to cut back on new book- buying and focus on selling used textbooks instead.
  • Eat locally as much as possible, and take advantage of local farm stands and sales if your school features them.
  • Get involved and boost your resume! Join or start an environmental group on campus that devotes itself to “greening” your school and encouraging others to do the same. If you are involved in a fraternity or sorority, encourage your philanthropy chair to focus on planning fundraising events devoted to the environment and donating cash to green groups.
  • Print all reading materials and papers on both sides of the page, or electronically submit all essays, papers, and projects if your professors let you. Save tons of paper!
  • CAR POOL to and from school on breaks with other students who live in your area. And please, don’t make your parents come and get you! They have enough to do, and its double the gas use to make them drive up and back.
  • Recycle your beer cans. They add up.
  • Instead of throwing books away at the end of the semester, try to sell them back to your college bookstore or to an independent buying company (no matter how beat up they are). If you have abused them too much and no one will buy them, donate them to a Salvation Army or a local library.
  • If your school doesn’t already do this, start a program in which students can donate lightly used but unwanted things from their dorms when they move out in the spring. Put a large cardboard box in each hallway, and watch them fill up! Then, have your school sell or donate the stuff.
  • Have inter-dorm competitions to see which hall can conserve the most energy in a weekend, week, or month. Davidson College sports a “Do It In the Dark” Month every year, and it is a very popular event on campus!
  • Go on a green spring break trip, either by finding a resort or program that is a planned green excursion, or by staying in a green hotel. If these options are too expensive, try going on a service trip.
  • If you are a biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, geology, political science, economics, sociology or geography major, encourage your professors to investigate how they can use their expertise to make your campus (and their classrooms) more green. Suggest they design a class about global warming, climate change legislation, decreasing biodiversity, or green technology and its uses.

How do you plan to go green at school this year, or what is your school doing to go green? ENN wants to know!

by M. Molendyke

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 14:00
  • kat
    Jan 7th, 2012 at 23:07 | #1

    I’m planning on making my own clothes instead of buying clothes made in a factory! That way it has minimal harm, and I can pick exactly what I want, instead of wasting time wandering in a mall :)

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