Simple Ways to be Green
Here are 6 simple ways you can conserve energy and live in ways that benefit the environment. Earth Day is April 22nd and often brings excitement to the ways in which we can be “green” or “eco-friendly” through special events. It also brings about an awareness to the ways we can reduce our footprint on the environment without spending a fortune. Consider integrating some or all of the following 6 Simple Ways to Be Green as part of your lifestyle on Earth Day and every day. Be sure to check out our Earth Day Every Day infographic!
From newspapers to notes for school, using paper is common part of life. To save paper:
- Use both sides of the paper for taking notes
- Create scratch paper from the blank spaces on old syllabi, assignments, & course handouts
- Recycle newspapers, scrap paper, notes, post-its, etc.
Say No to Plastic Bottles
If you don’t buy water bottles, kudos to you! When studying or online in class, have a reusable glass or BPA-free water bottle readily available & use it instead of a plastic water bottle or paper cup.
If a case of water bottles regularly appears on your grocery list, consider purchasing a Brita water filter. This will save you money in the long run & reduce waste.
Turn Off Lights & Electronics
- When you’re not using your computer, shutting it down will reduce energy consumption more than keeping it on sleep mode
- Use natural light as your primary energy source (its free!)
- When leaving the room, shut off any lights
- Turn off radios or TVs used for background noise when studying. Aim for 30 minutes, and then try keeping it off for 1-2 hours
It’s common for students to print course materials, but there are ways to print less to save more trees. In addition to using the paper saving tips:
- Always print double-sided
- Think twice before printing something. Can you save it as a hard copy and still be successful or do you need a paper copy?
Stop Unnecessary Computer Applications
It’s a no-brainer that you need your computer for school. You can consume less power by following tips from geekswhoknow.com:
- Turn off unused computer programs (think Skype or iTunes) running in the background
- Check the icons running in the task bar; if you don’t need them, turn off the program L
- Reduce the brightness of your monitor, especially if running on battery power
Something to Think About
Ever throw something out the window of your car? It’s okay, we are all guilty of it! In honor of Earth Day, consider what happens to items that aren’t recycled. American Environmental Outfitters put together a list of common trash items and how long it takes to decompose. Here’s how long it takes these items to decompose if littered or not recycled in some way:
- Cigarette Butts – 1-5 years
- Glass Bottles – 1,000 years
- Aluminum Cans – 500 years
- Plastic Bags – 10-20 years
- Banana & Orange Peels – up to 2 years
- Plastic Bottles & Styrofoam – indefinitely
Pretty interesting, right? Let us know what items surprised you the most and the least! Also be sure to share your energy-saving, green living tips with others!