How to Live Green As a College Student

During college there's already too much to think about. There's the myriad of assignments and projects, classes, professors that you can't seem to get hold of and the flurry of social drama that comes with a full college life. It's easy to forget about the green initiative and even if you're thinking about it, it's difficult to implement it during conventional college life. Here's how to stay green, while in College.


  1. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 1
    Use Store Bags to Line Trash Cans: Went out for groceries? Save the bags and use them to line the inside of any trash cans you have about your room. Usually when disposing of garbage in College, you have to bag it before chucking it down the shoot. Instead of buying packs of Garbage bags just for this purpose, take advantage of the giant bags you have leftover from shopping.
  2. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 2
    Switch from Plastic to Glass: When out buying groceries, go for the glass packaging. Usually brands carry multiple sizes and package options for their product, and you can often find glass supplements to plastic. If you find glass jars, bottles etc...go for it. It's much easier to recycle glass compared to plastics. Yes, glass is easier to break, but let's call it a lesson in being less klutzy of a college student. This rule applies for cutlery and utensils too. Yes, plastic cups and spoons require no cleaning...only discarding, but you'll do the world a favor if you could take a few minutes after each meal to wash metal or glass dishes.
  3. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 3
    Keep Your Papers around. Your term papers, quizzes, last year's formula sheet, whatever it is keep it. Buy a cardboard box and keep dropping papers you have no further use for inside. With the box covered, you can use it as an extra table top or counter to house your things in a way more respectable than the floor could pull off. Exam and test papers are especially handy to keep around, not only because they could be useful to someone you know taking that class later, but they are usually not printed on both sides so they are useful when you're out of printing paper or need a blank surface to jot down notes. Once your box is full, drop it off at a Recycling Center.
  4. 4
    Clean Old School. Instead of buying a new product to deal with each and every kind of stain or cleaning issue you have, try using household items instead. The article How to Clean Your Home Without Using Chemicals provides some pretty good ideas.
  5. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 5
    Give up Aerosol Sprays: For the average college student, Air fresheners are a godsend. It's a pretty good feeling to finally get around to cleaning your room and making it smell pretty or just hiding the layers of muck under clouds of fragrance. There's a better way to do it: Bring in the smell you're trying to imitate. Trying to make the room smell floral? Bring in fresh flowers. Going for a more musky smell? Bring in scented candles (Note: Candles are a fire hazard and are usually not allowed in a dorm room. If you're a commuting student this might work, but otherwise, say no to the candle idea) or go for potpourri which is the safer and organic alternative.
  6. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 6
    Save Perfume strips. If you go to a mall or department store and chance across the Perfume section, you'll get a chance to take samples of rather expensive perfume. Take the strips and put them in clothes drawers, bathrooms or even in coat pockets.
  7. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 7
    Go Paperless when it comes to Bills: College students get to deal with a decent amount of mail. Bills especially are a mark of collegiate independence. Most companies have an initiative called Paperless Billing in which they give you secure access to your bills online. Call your bank, phone service provider, health insurance company etc. and find out if they have paperless billing. Enroll in it if they do, there usually is no fee and it can save a lot of excess paper circulation.
  8. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 8
    Unplug your computer: It is a rare thing for a college students computer to turn off. If you're living in a dorm especially and don't have to worry about electricity, it is all too tempting to leave the computer on and just get to it whenever you have to. Appliances on standby mode take up a lot of energy. If you're not using your computer or TV, turn it off and take the plug out of the socket. It doesn't take too much time to put it back in when you need to. If your computer is slow at startup, turn it on about 10 minutes before you actually need to sit at it and finish up what you're doing or do something else in the meantime. Even with the ten extra minutes of energy, you'll conserve a greater bulk.
  9. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 9
    Check for Eco Laundry balls as a supplement to Detergent: Some stores sell eco-friendly laundry balls that you can put in a washing machine instead of conventional detergent. See if you can find some in a store nearby, they are a reduced chemical solution to laundry.
  10. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 10
    Check the temperature: Higher temperatures = Higher energy consumption. Unless its summer and you're turning the air conditioning on, in which case the lower the temperature the higher the energy consumption. Keep the temperature as high or low as you need to, but once the room is as hot or cold as you want it to be, adjust the temperature by a few degrees closer to the zero point. You can always adjust it again if the temperature doesn't work for you, but even adjusting it for an hour can save plenty of energy. This rule applies to washing machines too, if you're washing clothes, try going for a medium temperature instead of a high one.
  11. Image titled Live Green As a College Student Step 11
    Check to Find the nearest Recycling center: Often colleges and universities have their own Recycling Initiative. If you can't seem to find one on campus and are bored one afternoon, look up private recycling centers in the area. Set a date when you would be able to take the time to drop off your recyclable materials there.

Article Info

Categories: Campus Life