Going Green for College

The transition from high school to college can be a life-changing experience. During this time, many students make important decisions about their careers and other aspects of life, including going green. For those who are concerned about the environment and reducing their carbon footprint, doing so may seem difficult or impossible. With everything college students have to worry about- grades, extracurricular activities, and even keeping a job- they may want to help out but feel as though there's simply no time to go green. However, living a greener lifestyle takes very little time, work, or concentration. With these tips, not only will a college student learn to create a greener living space, but also improve his health and pad his wallet, all while helping the environment.

Recycling has become more available on college campuses than ever. Biodegradable cleaning products keep petroleum use to a bare minimum and work just as well to clean everything in the dorm, from bathrooms to laundry, to kitchen appliances like refrigerators and microwaves for those microwavable breakfast burritos.

Because they're getting used to the new, fast-paced schedule and quick, on-the-go eating habits, students tend to gain some weight during their first year at college. Making poor choices where food is concerned, like eating pizza at parties, chips for snacks while studying, and hamburgers for lunch has inspired the phrase "freshman fifteen," referring to the fifteen pounds students often gain in their freshman year. This massive weight gain can be avoided though. A diet that consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins from beans and nuts is readily available, as college dining halls have come a long way in offering local, organic, and fair-trade foods. With a never-ending variety of meat-free choices, students will find it easier to decrease their carbon footprint as well as any extra body fat.

In addition to eating greener, college students can live healthier, more earth-friendly lives by ditching their cars. Public transportation is a much better option, and public bus companies almost always offer student discounts. Most campuses are designed so that driving isn't absolutely necessary. Students can walk, bike, or take advantage of campus transportation to get from building to building.

As the semester comes to an end and students prepare to move, they often make the mistake of throwing out perfectly good dorm room essentials- lamps, furniture, and kitchen appliances- just because they don't feel like taking them along to their new place. A smarter idea would be to sell used items through online networking sites, keeping them out of landfills while making money at the same time. To their gear as possible from online networking sites and shops. Thrift shops sell used clothes cheap, but no one would ever know they were previously owned by someone else because they look so new. Great items, like used but functional futons and cool beanbag chairs, can also be bought from thrift stores and online networking sites.

While college can make for an exciting first glimpse of independence for teens, it can be difficult for them to take responsibility for their own actions and look out for their own well-being. The pressure of making green, earth-friendly choices can be overwhelming and difficult to handle, but these tips to assist in the transition into a greener lifestyle proves that it doesn't take much time or money to lessen one's impact on the environment.

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