We all have been told to turn the water off while brushing our teeth, or turn the lights off when we leave the room, but there are many more ways to reduce waste and live eco-friendly. Here is a short list of additional things you can do in order to live greener!
- Use washcloths over paper towels
When cleaning up spills or wiping down your desk, it is less wasteful to use a cloth rather than paper towels. Although not everyone has spare towels in their room, even just a washcloth or an old shirt will do the trick. It both reduces waste and will clean your spills up faster and better, as cloth absorbs liquid faster and is able to hold more in it than paper towels. This may sound a bit unsanitary, but it is perfectly clean if you wash the cloths out after each use.
- Open your blinds
Natural light in place of artificial lighting is a sure way to reduce energy waste. I know that some people’s rooms face Access Road or other areas where people commonly walk by. Therefore, they don’t want to open their windows when it is light out and there are people moving around. However, even cracking the blinds open just enough to let sunlight in can take away the need to use a desk lamp in the middle of the day.
- Print double sided
With the new printer system you can see how much you have printed, how much percent of a tree you have used, and how much money it has costed by going onto your printer account. Although the amount of time it takes to print is exponentially longer, this checking system does have its benefits. It doesn’t feel great when it says you’ve already used 5% of a tree by the end of first quarter. To reduce this amount, make sure that you are printing the correct document in the correct formatting. It’s both annoying and bad for the environment when you have to print your paper a second time because you printed it single sided rather than double sided.
- Unplug your charger/light when you’re not using it
Even though it’s tempting to leave all of your chargers plugged in, it is not being environmentally conscious. Even when nothing is connected to it, some electricity is still being used, and this is both a waste of energy and (at home, especially) a waste of money. Make sure to take the extra five seconds to unplug your phone charger from the wall before you leave for class in the morning.
- Get a reusable water bottle
This tip is not only important for not wasting plastic, but it is also better for keeping you hydrated and healthy. As most people throw out their plastic water bottles once they are empty (hopefully in the recycling) they don’t drink anything for the rest of the day until they go to Sodexo or get a new plastic water bottle. This is not an adequate amount of water, but it can be easily fixed by changing out plastic water bottles for a reusable one. Better for you and the environment!
Remember that there are so many things beyond these five tips that you can do to live a more eco-friendly life. The simplest thing can reduce the amount of waste you produce, and being conscious of your lifestyle is important. Stay healthy, stay happy, and stay green IMSA!