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5 Ways to Go Green at College

The CollegeBound Network | April 23, 2008

Yesterday was Earth Day but that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep on keeping green today and tomorrow. Living green will not only help the Earth, it can also help tighten your budget — a concern shared by plenty of college bound students. With that in mind here are a few tips for staying green during college:

Go Green at College

1. Use Canvas Bags: Chances are you won’t be buying as much as you did when you lived at home, so why waste a few plastic bags when you can be prepared with your own canvas ones? Doing so will help keep plastic bags from hitting the landfills. If you find that you must use plastic bags, make an effort to later reuse them as trash bags, lunch bags, and even laundry bags.

2. Skip the Laundromat: While most people would rather go the automated route, handwashing can be gentler on delicate fabrics and clothing while also conserving electricity and water in the process. Not sure you want to get your hands wet? Then opt for a device like the Wonderwash Washing Machine which can clean small loads of laundry with the turn of a handle and zero electricity.

3. Create a Homemade Lamp: Sure, you can find dozens of happening styles at places like Ikea and other stores, but nothing compares to making your own one-of-a-kind lamp. How-to instructions and kits are available both on the Internet and at your local crafts store. Recycle vases and glass jars to create the base of your unique lighting fixture. (Interested in more tips for decorating dorms on the cheap? Click here.)

4. Don’t Write-Off Refillable Pens: By this stage in your education you’re probably used to purchasing bulk bags and boxes of pens at the beginning of each school year. But what happens to all of that plastic once you’ve run out of ink? They write their way into the trash. Though it may not seem like much, all those pens do add up — so consider buying a refillable pen instead. When the ink’s done you’ll only have a small tube to throw away, rather than an entire pen.

5. Think Outside the Margins: Your elementary school teacher taught you to always write inside the margins of the paper, but when all you’re doing is taking class notes there’s no point in wasting paper. Ignore that red line and start writing — or doodling — near the edge of the paper. You’ll be surprised by how much extra material you can fit on every page.

— Genevieve M. Blaber

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For more than two decades, The CollegeBound Network has worked with America's leading colleges, universities, and career schools to connect students of all ages with educational and career training opportunities.

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