Adopting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, also known as going green, is rapidly becoming a pretty important part of the mainstream. People of all generations are recognizing that, without serious environmental change and corrected attitudes, we could be set for some pretty serious consequences. Combating man-made global warming and environmental deterioration is easier said than done but is, crucially, doable.
The generations with the most ardor for environmentally conscientious behavior tend to be the younger generations, kids in high school and college. Being in college is a strange time in life where you are just learning to take the reigns over the control of your life. It’s a big learning curve with a lot of potential difficulties, but also some wonderful opportunities to express how you feel and behave according to your own doctrine. So, if you are keen to be greener whilst at college, here are some ways you can go about that.
Reach Out To Professors and Administrators
Professors and students exist alongside one another on college campuses. Collectively they are the citizens of the little universe college campuses create. Professors have more power than students to make executive decisions over the way they conduct their day to day business. There are lots of ways they can work to improve on their environmentally conscious behavior. For example, you could encourage them to print their lecture handouts double-sided, or get students to share, or even go entirely paperless.
You could also talk to administrators about eco-friendly changes such as encouraging students to ride their bikes or walk from place to place rather than driving. Even if students don’t have bikes, you should urge your college to partner up with a bike-sharing program. Many colleges and universities already have these in place.
In all honesty, there are countless things you can discuss with your professors and administrators in an effort to help improve going green campus-wide.
Host a Recycling Competition
Maybe just between roommates, maybe just between floors or maybe between whole dorms, the bigger the better!
“Recycling competitions encourage students to recycle with all their effort and make it fun at the same time. It’s also a smart and subtle way of reinforcing the habit, so that, once the competition is over, people are more likely to continue keeping up with the good habit”, says Sarah Clarke, journalist at AustralianHelp and BigAssignments. This is a fun and easy way to get people who might not otherwise care all that much to become invested in a refreshing way.
Address Dining Hall Waste
One of the absolutely killer issues for environmentally damaging behavior on college campuses is the excess production of food and the immense waste that comes out of dining halls, particularly in the US.
College students can be strange creatures who are capable of having some pretty bizarre eating schedules; cereal for dinner, dinner at 10pm, etc. As a result, most college dining halls have an extremely cushy approach to food, providing masses of it at all times of day. The consequences of this are there is a huge over-production of food and lots of it gets wasted.
The first step would be ensuring the college has a really good system in place for recycling or composting leftover food. The second step would be seeing if there was a way for dining hall food that isn’t eaten to go to help feed the homeless or get used in a practically helpful way rather than getting cooked, laid out and then thrown directly in the trash.
Work To Eliminate Plastic Water Bottles
“Plastic is one of the most serious issues facing environmentalists today. It’s everywhere and it lasts forever, and the production of plastic is even extremely environmentally dangerous. As much as possible people should avoid it and find alternatives”, says Lydia Kimber, educator at BoomEssays and StateOfWriting.
Water bottles are a prime issue, sadly, particularly in the US. Making sure your college campus is fitted with filling stations and even, if possible, providing each member of the student body with a reusable water bottle, could make a huge difference over all. It may seem small, but it’s so easy and could actually end up making an impact on the environment and on people’s mindsets.
You can feel a bit small when you’re in college, just one of many others. But, if you are really passionate about ‘greenifying’ your college campus then you should, as this list demonstrates, be able to find some practical, achievable options for doing your part to make a lasting change.
Chloe Bennet is a health writer. She writes about eco living and promotes green campuses. Also, she is an educator at Dissertation Writing Service.