Universities and colleges spend an average of $1.10 per square foot on electricity every year, with 31% on lighting and 28% on HVAC
Listen to this and other articles from The SustainabilityX® Magazine on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
With the climate crisis looming over us, many people are looking for more ecologically sustainable ways to live that reduce waste, our carbon footprint, and will help avoid the impending disaster. This holds true on college campuses. Below are 8 tips for helping your college become more sustainable.
1. Recycle, recycle, recycle
“This is the oldest and surest sustainability measure that works,” says Phyllis Robinson, a writer at Subjecto. Recycling reduces waste, helps the environment, and many communities have amazing recycling programs. Most college campuses have some sort of system in place already, so it’s just making sure you follow protocols. However, if your university doesn’t have a great recycling program there are a few things you can do:
· Contact local recyclers and find out what types of things you can recycle with them. · Work with your campus’s facilities department and use any spare bins, clearly labeling them with what accepted materials can be put inside the bins. · Place the bins in high-traffic areas, set up a team of volunteers to collect the recyclables
Be sure to weigh each bag of recycled material in order to demonstrate how effective the program you created actually is.
2. Start a composting project at your university
Food waste is incredibly high on college campuses. Composting is a great idea to help rid campuses of food waste and make them more sustainable and greener. Whether it's just a simple food compost bin that students can then use in the campus garden plot or you help the school set up a major composting operation, it’s a great way to help build a more sustainable campus.
3. Consider your lighting in your dorms
University lighting can eat a lot of electricity, putting a strain on resources and causing pollution. “LED or CFL bulbs provide a better quality of light and use less electricity,” says William Mayne, a journalist at Studydemic. Find out what bulbs you have in your lights and see if you can make a switch.
4. Take notes electronically
Sometimes, you have to provide your work on paper, and you can’t get around that on campus. However, there is nothing stopping you from using electronic means to take your class notes, reducing your need to rely on notebooks and paper agendas. Your laptop or tablet can do all this for you and keep you organized.
5. Create an on-campus garden
If your campus approves of the idea, why not start a community garden on campus. Gardening doesn’t just provide good, healthy fruit and vegetables. It has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses as well as boost happiness levels. You can donate all your local vegetables to a local food pantry, giving those less fortunate access to fresh homegrown produce or you can use them on campus for a farm-to-table campus dining experience.
6. Start a bike rental program
Traveling by car everywhere is not good for the environment due to the carbon emissions. Why not start a bike rental initiative on your campus? This will require approaching the school’s administration to see if they can cover the costs of bikes, locks, racks, and maintenance. Making a good case for this program therefore essential. There are many benefits of having a bike-share program, including promoting exercise, reducing vehicle emissions, and funding additional sustainability programs with bike rental fees.
7. Host a sustainability fair
Everybody needs to start living a greener lifestyle if we want to end our climate change crisis. Yet, a lot of people just don’t have enough information on ways they can get involved and make changes. Hosting a sustainability fair where students and faculty, can learn what actionable steps they can take is a great way to raise awareness.
8. Organize a donation drive during moving season.
When it comes time to move out of the dorms, there tends to be a lot of things tossed in the trash that could be donated instead. Having a donation drive during this time period can help reduce waste.
These 8 tips will help make your campus a greener and more sustainable place to study.
Emily Henry writes about sustainability and university life. She is also an editor at Law Assignment Help.