10 Tips on Staying Green as a College Student

A great time to build environmentally friendly habits is when you’re away at college. When you’re living on your own for the first time, you have greater control over your environmental impact.


Whether you’re moving to a new city as a student or staying in your hometown, these 9 easy tips can help make your life at college greener.


1. Opt for Public Transport

If you have the choice to get to campus using public transportation, take it.


Traveling in a city is much easier with public transportation. But, even some rural colleges offer bus services to take you on campus.


If you can’t take public transportation, consider opting for car-sharing instead. You can significantly reduce your car’s emissions by sharing a ride with your friends.


2. Buy Eco-Friendly Cleaners

The things that regular cleaners do to the environment are frightening. The sheer level of horror that water life goes through thanks to household cleaners is abominable. 


Nevertheless, these days you can buy a variety of eco-friendly cleaners that break down long before they enter any sort of natural water area. However, these products are typically expensive. 


Instead of buying pricy cleaning supplies on a student budget, you can opt for homemade cleaning supplies at a fraction of the price. Things like vinegar and baking soda can clean most surfaces in your house.


3. Be Mindful of What You Eat

Beef is notorious for being damaging to the environment since most of it comes from Brazil, where trees are cut down or burned in order to create grazing land for greenhouse gas-producing cows.


Even if you don’t go vegetarian (which is a relatively healthy and cheap diet), any reduction in your meat consumption can help the environment. You can still get the nutrients you need even if you don’t eat meat with every meal.


4. Use Recyclable Boxes When Moving

Moving into dorms or your own apartment is very exciting. But, it can also be damaging to the environment.


You should add recyclable boxes to your moving checklist


Did you know that you can compost cardboard? So, even if your reused and recycled boxes get damaged or wet, you can still use them to help the environment. Just make sure you take off all the plastic, tape, and staples.


5. Initiate Debates

As a student, you have the unique advantage of being surrounded by future leaders. Spread the word about the impact of environmentally conscious living to your friends and coursemates.


Join societies that focus on green initiatives. Talk to professors about paper-free projects. And encourage your student union to adopt environmentally-conscious practices.


6. Keep Entertainment a Little Greener

As a student, there are lots of things you can do in your spare time that don’t damage the environment. Littering with red plastic cups at parties? No thank you!


Going out to local landmarks, museums, art galleries can be culturally enriching without using resources. In many cases, you can find discounts for things of that nature, especially by showing your student ID. 


Don’t forget that nature offers free entertainment in the form of walks in the woods, hikes, bike riding, picnics, swimming, and much more.


7. Turn Off LIghts and Electronics

There seems to be a sort-of casual regard for electricity and gas when they are being paid for by the dormitories, or when their bills are being split by several people. 


But, leaving TVs on standby, keeping appliances plugged in, and having your laptop or PC on all day can waste a lot of electricity. Leaving lights, water, or heating on when you’re not using them is just as bad for the environment.


If you adopt this habit in college, it will be easier to continue when you’re living on your own. And then you can effectively save on your utility bills.


Make sure you turn these off and unplug unused appliances.


8. Be Careful When Lighting Up

Yes, badly disposed of cigarettes can easily create wildfires, so if you smoke, be mindful of that.


But, no, we’re talking about choosing the right lightbulbs in your lights. Many campuses use halogen lights or even CFL bulbs. 


Instead of these you should use LED lights because they’re the most efficient, they last far longer, and they don’t contribute to the creation of toxic chemicals both in their production and disposal.


9. Opt for DIY Decorations

When you’re decorating your dorm room, you get to bring a little bit of personality into your space. 


So, a great trick to have a green dorm room is to decorate with DIY materials. Think pictures with cardboard frames. Thrift store decorations. And plenty of plants of course.


10. Carry a Water Bottle to Lectures

Staying hydrated is very important, and when you spend the whole day on campus, it’s crucial to have a bottle of water with you on the go. 


Instead of buying bottled water from the cafeteria, carry a reusable water bottle with you that you can refill. This may seem like a small change, but you can save the Earth one water bottle at a time.


You can even go one step further, and carry your own reusable straw, cutlery, or tumbler. Eating and drinking on campus will be a lot more environmentally friendly.



Being green isn’t always easy, but if you look at the bigger picture, a mild inconvenience is going to keep the world running another day. 


As a student you’re learning about your major, but you’re also learning about what it’s like to live on your own and be independent. If you adopt green habits now, you set yourself up for success. And the environment will thank you.


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