The average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, including 500 disposable cups and 320 pounds of paper, according to Dump and Run Inc. So how can we rock sustainable practices in between lectures and try to produce less waste? I mean all the cool kids are doing it, here’s how you can, too.
Rent, share or buy a bike if you can. Not only is cruising on a bike just a plain old good time, but riding a bike as your main mode of transportation is a real game-changer. It is predicted by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy that if bikes and e-bikes make up 14 percent of travel in cities by 2050, there would be an overall 11 percent decrease in carbon emissions. Start cycling, and feel the wind breeze through your hair!
Buy secondhand books. Your professor just told you that all the reading materials are required. We know what that means: more money coming out of your wallet. Buy smart, and buy secondhand books. It’s the same content, plus there might be some helpful notes in them from the past or hints for a treasure hunt.
Use reusable water bottles, mugs, or cups. Whether it’s a party (yeah, when those used to happen), or in the dining hall of your campus, there are so many times where one could indulge in using a single-use bottle or cup. Instead of contributing to the plastic packaging problem, invest in getting a reusable cup. Then you can decorate it, and bring it everywhere with you. It's an accessory that never goes away.
Using your half-used notebook from last semester is more than okay. Don’t throw away a notebook just because a few papers have been scribbled on. The rest of your notebook wants to be used and loved.
Check out potential campus programs that can enact campus-wide change. If you’re extra stoked on sustainability, join programs that align most with the issues you care about, and if none exist, pave the way yourself and start your own.