The following article was contributed (via Socialmonsters.org) by Maria Delgado, a film student and a freelance writer living in New Mexico.
As a college student, you’re aware of the harsh environmental impact of the typical American lifestyle. Maybe you wish that you could live in a way that was more eco-friendly. Fortunately, there are many ways to do just that even on a limited budget. Here are a few ideas for living greener:
To make it easier to reach the plugs, connect your computer and other equipment to a power strip. Then, put the strip in an easily accessible location. You’ll be able to cut the power to everything that’s plugged into it by simply flipping one switch.
Buy a Fuel-efficient Car
According to the EPA, all-electric cars are the most fuel efficient of all. The Scion iQ EV comes in at the top of the efficiency ratings with fuel usage equivalent to 121 MPG. The most efficient plug-in hybrid vehicle is the Chevrolet Volt, which gets 62 MPG. Such fuel efficient cars are not only good for the environment; they are great for your wallet as well. You’ll have fun driving past all the gas stations without having to stop.
You can go far beyond the normal curbside recycling offered by most municipalities. If you have old furniture to get rid of, give it to the local Goodwill. Old clothes can be donated to charities, or if they’re too worn for reuse as garments, they can be cut up and used as rags. Dead computers and other old electronics can be taken to municipal drop-off points if available, or they can be sold or given to a variety of recycling companies.
Walk or Bike Wherever You Can
Either form of human-powered transportation is free of toxic emissions. You’ll also be able to avoid traffic jams, and as a bonus, you’ll get to experience the environment right up close. Be sure to bring an umbrella if rain is in the forecast.
Shop at the Local Farmers’ Market
When you buy local produce, you help reduce air pollution since trucks won’t have to take your food all the way across the country. Better yet, you can ask the sellers about their growing techniques and pinpoint the ones that use organic methods or non-GMO plants.
Use Reusable Water Bottles
The convenience of being able to take a bottle of water with you cannot be denied, but typical plastic ones produce a lot of waste. Keep the convenience and avoid the waste by using bottles made of stainless steel. These aren’t only good for the environment – insulated versions help keep your drinks at the proper temperature as well.
These are just a few ways you can lower your environmental footprint while sticking to a college budget. Whether you start with something big or make small steps, you can make an immediate difference in the environment by your choices in daily living. Start today, and there will be less waste in the environment by tomorrow.