Don’t think that just because you can’t afford a hybrid car or cover your roof in solar panels, you can’t help save the planet. Going green often starts small, in every day tasks that often require only a few actions on your part. The best part? Going green often helps you save green too!
1. Rinse. Brush. Rinse. – Do you ever wonder why many of us leave the water running while we brush our teeth? There is no real purpose to it other than simply being too lazy to turn it off. According to the Daily Green, leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth can waste up to 1.3-gallons of water each time you brush your teeth! If each person in a four-person house brushes his or her teeth twice a day, that’s over 72 wasted gallons a week! Take the extra second and turn off the water.
2. Turn off the Lights! - I’ll admit it, I’ve been an offender of this simple rule. However, saving energy by turning off the lights is as easy as flipping a switch (quite literally) and can save you big money on electric bills. Take advantage of the spring sunshine and open up the curtains in your dorm rather than turning on all the lights. Watching a movie? Flip off the lights and call it “mood lighting.” The most important rule to follow is to turn off the lights EVERY time you leave the room. Your furniture will not mind the darkness, I promise.
3. Rent Your Textbooks - Renting your textbooks (or buying and selling them back) is simply another extension of recycling. Once you’re done with the book you need, you can return it so someone else can use it. At campus bookstores, this can also help you save over 50% of the cost!
4. Recycle…a lot! – Enlist your roommate (or your whole floor!) and make a real effort to recycle. Designate bins for each type of item (ex – paper, plastic and glass) and make sure to toss appropriate items in each. Turn in old ink cartridges and cell phones so they can be properly dealt with as well. Many schools have recycling programs so check with your RA or an administrator for more information. Companies like Terracycle will take your waste and recycle it for you!
5. Carpool - Whether you commute to school or simply like going on outings with friends, carpooling is both environmentally AND budget friendly! Taking one car instead of multiple vehicles limits harmful emissions into the air and helps lower gas costs per person. It’s a win-win!
Want more ideas? Check out our recent blog post about the Garnier Beauty Brigade and how they are helping to keep beauty products out of landfills! If you have any of your own ideas, feel free to post a comment below. Happy Earth Day!