It IS Easy Being Green: Being Eco-Friendly on Campus

We all grew up learning the three “R’s” that matter when it comes to saving the environment – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Turns out, that lesson can be just as helpful once we get older. Making eco-friendly choices during college doesn’t have to be hard – and the “three R’s” can be useful tools. In honor of Earth Day, coming up on April 22nd, check out our handy Environmentally Friendly guide below.


Turn off the Lights – Reduce your energy use by turning off the lights when you don’t need them! Be sure to flip the switch when you head to class or to the dining hall. However, it’s also important to conserve energy when you’re in the room. Take advantage of the natural light that filters into the room during the day or try to keep only one light on at a time.

Don’t Waste Food – Many college cafeterias feature an all-you-can-eat buffet-style layout. However, just because you have the option to fill your plate with as much as you’d like, be mindful of wasting food.  You can always grab a second-helping!


Ditch the Bottled Water – It’s tempting to pick up a bottle of water from the vending machine on your way to class, but all that plastic has to end up somewhere. Try the more environmentally-friendly route and pick up a reusable water bottle (there are plenty of options available at your Barnes & Noble College campus bookstore)! The same idea goes for dinnerware – skip the styrofoam plates and go for the reusable options.

Water Bottles

Rent your Books, Buy Used Textbooks, or Go Digital – Buying used textbooks, choosing to rent, or going digital are not only eco-friendly options, they’re also very budget-friendly! When you can, opt one for a textbook format like these.

Look for Eco-Friendly Products – Many stores carry brands that use recycled goods to make their products. Before your next shopping trip, look into some brands that use eco-friendly practices and consider moving them to the top of your list.


Separate Recyclables from Trash – Recycling is an easy task that makes a big difference. Most colleges have separate bins for recycling, so make sure you take advantage! Separate your plastic, glass, and cardboard from the trash. Partner with other students in your dorm to make sure everyone is on board.

Donate Old Clothes & Furniture – It’s tempting to toss older furniture or clothes in the trash, but there are greener options available. Donate these items to your local Salvation Army or thrift store. After all, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. If you don’t have one of these near you, check with your local recycling center – they’ll know of other eco-friendly options for your “used goods”.

What advice do you have for other students who want to go green? Tweet us @BNcollege using the hashtag #EarthDayTips!


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