Reusable containers: You can save anywhere from 300 to 1,460 plastic bottles per year by using reusable containers. Turning off lights at the end of the day can save you several cents per hour, and you'll save money on energy by avoiding buying new clothes. Organizing the collection of materials from your student housing is another way to reduce waste. Using these tips will help you minimize your carbon footprint while attending college.
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Reusable containers save 300 to 1,460 plastic bottles per year
Purchasing reusable containers like reusable water bottles is a great way to minimize single-use plastic consumption. By using reusable containers, you can save between 300 and 1,460 plastic bottles a year. These bottles are great for meal prep and snacking and can often be found at thrift stores for under a dollar each. In addition to saving money, reusable containers help the environment by reducing the amount of single-use plastic in landfills.
The plastics industry contributes about 232 million tons of CO2e to the atmosphere annually - the equivalent of 116 coal-fired power plants. And less than nine percent of that plastic waste is recycled. Many single-use plastics are made from fossil fuels and eventually break down into microplastics, which pollute our oceans and threaten our health. Fortunately, students are taking action.
Turning off lights can save you a few cents per hour
Even the smallest act of switching off lights in your dorm room can save you a significant amount of money per kilowatt-hour, which can significantly cut your monthly electric bill. Mass participation in energy-saving efforts like turning off lights can also generate additional savings. Many universities and students have joined efforts like Lights Off Cornell, a movement that promotes energy conservation and reduces the amount of electricity wasted.
If you live in an old house with incandescent bulbs, turn them off when you leave a room. You can also do the same if you live in an apartment or dorm. Before leaving a room, turn off the lights. If you have to study late at night, consider going to a nearby cafe or library for the night. If you have air conditioning, leave it off at home when you're done.
Clothing at thrift stores is cheaper than buying new
If you're a college student, clothing at thrift stores is the best way to save money while enhancing your wardrobe. The options available at these stores are almost endless, and they support local charities. You can find everything from cardigans to blazers to staple pieces like sweaters. Often, you can find items that you can use over again. Don't forget to check the accessories, too. Many high-end accessories cost $50 or more, but a thrift store can have the same style for five cents.
Although it may be tempting to buy new clothes, college students don't have the luxury of time or money to shop for clothes. One solution is to shop at thrift stores. According to college student Preston Cherry, a sophomore at George Mason University, clothing at thrift stores costs 50 percent less than buying new clothing. While the clothing may be outdated, it's still in good condition. Besides, a college student's budget doesn't include much money.
Organizing the collection of materials from student housing
Organizing the collection of materials from your university's campus housing is an excellent way to cut waste. Student housing is usually full of unwanted items, so organize for a pickup during Move-In week.
Organizing the collection of materials from your residence hall can help keep your belongings out of the trash. Many universities have donation programs to help college students get rid of their old furniture, clothes, and other unused items. Many universities, including Boston University, have programs for students to donate unwanted items to local charities.
By reducing the amount of garbage you generate, you'll be helping to keep the campus clean. Overflowing trash cans are a health hazard and contribute to climate change. Additionally, you'll help your college's sustainability program by reducing waste sent to landfills and incinerators. In addition to reducing waste, you'll help the environment and reduce the number of complaints you'll receive from your peers.
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