For most Alberta post-secondary students, tomorrow marks the first day of a new year, either your first year or maybe even your last year. As you head back to school, you may be looking for simple and inexpensive ways to live green this school year. Even if this is your first year in college, or this is your last year, it is never too early or too late to learn some great tips for living green! We have compiled some of the best tips for you to live green on campus this school year.
1. Unplug any electronics devices when not in use (for example, computers, TVs, cell phones, iPod chargers).
2. Purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.
3. Use your bicycle! Bikes can be very handy around campuses and for running nearby errands (before the snow falls, of course).
4. Bring your own reusable coffee cup. Not only are you helping the environment, many places give a discount for using your own cup!
5. Carry groceries and other items you buy in reusable bags.
6. Recycle! Wherever you look around campus, you are sure to find a recycling bin for cans and even paper. With a bit of research, you are sure to find somewhere in your city to recycle everything from styrofoam or cardboard to old batteries, old cell phones or ink/laser-jet cartridges.
7. Commute or Carpool! Many colleges offer a great deal on transit. Even if your university doesn’t, the cost of a bus or train pass will likely be less than parking on campus, plus you are helping the environment. Also see if any classmates would be willing to carpool to class.
8. Donate! You can donate your time, money or used clothing. Look around your campus for opportunities to get involved and to give to those who might be in need.
9. Purchase ethically and locally! Next time you buy that coffee so you can stay awake while studying, take a moment to consider where it came from and how it was produced; or when buying fruit or vegetables, check to see where it was grown.
10. Repurpose! Instead of throwing away an item you no longer use, try to trade with a friend for something they no longer use. Shop around and see if you can find an item used and in great shape! There are also tons of great opportunities to buy and sell second hand items! (Why not check out Goodwill?!)