There are a lot of things that go on at college campus. Late night studying, early morning jogging, and all-night paper writing make up life for many dedicated students. However, between the bad cafeteria meals and frustrations with roommates, many students are still finding the time and energy to dedicate to living their lives in a greener, more earth-friendly manner. If you are living on a college campus and want to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and to encourage your peers to do the same, here are several great ideas towards making your campus a greener place to be.
1) Start an environmental stewardship club: Organize meetings based around special speakers for recycling facilities in your town. Raise club funding and awareness for your cause by selling “homemade paper” stationary products made from recycling old tests and quizzes from different teachers on your campus. (This is a great club fundraiser around Valentine’s Day.)
2) Make sure that your school has recycling bin options: If your campus doesn’t already have bins designated for paper/cardboard, newspapers, and plastic bottles, talk to your administration about setting them up. Most campus administrations are very friendly to these environmental measures because they increase the overall appeal of their university; a few emails and meetings to/with the proper university authorities could result in the increase of recycling bins around your own campus.
3) Recycling reward programs: If you school does have recycling bins around its campus but very few students use them, then try to implement a recycling reward program of some sorts. TerraCycle’s upcycling reward program is a great program for students who are easily encouraged to participate in activities that benefit nonprofit organizations. The Dream Machine is another great program that both benefits students directly through its points-based recycling reward system, as well as benefiting a specific nonprofit organization at the same time.
4) Go tray-less: Although this is definitely a slight inconvenience, once it becomes a habit it really is not as bothersome. Washing trays in a cafeteria takes up extra water and energy-two things that could be conserved if more students would choose to go tray-less. Additionally, students who choose to not use cafeteria trays are less likely to take more food than they will actually consume, thus cutting down on both food wasting and overeating. Some campuses have compromised between having trays and going tray-less by simply providing less trays for students, in an effort to encourage students to start leading greener lives without completely forcing it on them.