6 ways to stay sustainable in the dorms

Film photography by Emma Lammermeier

As college students, we have the opportunity to be leaders in every aspect of our lives. We are the innovators the world needs. We choose what we are passionate about and how we would like to make change. 

Our environment is dealing with pollution, global warming, and environmental degradation, but we have the power to change that. We have the opportunity to make sustainable choices and help fix our planet. There are many small changes you can incorporate into your everyday routine that will make a world of difference. Sustainability doesn’t have to be boring, so here are six ways that college students can practice sustainability in their everyday life on campus. 

Any chance you get, recycle! 

Make sure you know what is recyclable. You can recycle any clean paper, cardboard, metal cans, and plastic containers. They need to be clean containers to be recycled and never bag your recyclables. Choosing to recycle instead of throwing it away in a trash bin is the easiest way to stay sustainable in college. If everyday college students thought about their items in recyclability terms, we would be much better off in our environmental downfall. 

Stay reusable not disposable! 

Use reusable bags when you do your shopping instead of the plastic bags that pollute our oceans and landfills. If you use any disposable kitchenware [like plates, utensils, or cups] make the switch to reusable ones. Disposable kitchenware cannot be recycled because it’s contaminated with food, meaning your paper plate will go straight into a landfill. Reusable is just as easy to use. All it requires is a little cleaning afterward in exchange for huge environmental help.

Reusable bottles are also key to staying sustainable in college. It takes approximately an hour to drink a plastic water bottle, but one plastic water bottle can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Something so little can have such an extraordinary effect on the environment. Investing in reusable bottles is the smartest decision an environmentalist can make. It will also be much cheaper in the long run.

Save paper and go electronic!

Taking notes is a necessity for most classes, but have you ever considered switching to electronic notes rather than the traditional paper and pen? By using online notes you are saving the trees cut down for the paper in a notebook, as well as possibly saving water and energy wasted in the manufacturing process. Taking notes online is a great way to save the environment but you can also try to get your textbooks used. This will save you a lot of money, as well as trees. 

Thrift shop instead of choosing fast fashion

Next time you go clothes shopping, head to Goodwill instead of H&M. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry right behind the oil industry. Choosing to thrift instead of buying fast fashion is the best way to combat the fashion industry’s harmful environmental techniques. To get great thrifting tips check out A Magazine’s article for beginner thrifters. Also, mending your own clothes is environmentally friendly. If your shirt develops a small hole, instead of throwing it out, stitch the hole and continue to wear it! Thrifting is not just a trend, it’s a lifestyle that can save our planet. 

Opt for walking instead of driving

When living on a college campus where everything is accessible, it’s easier to walk. Instead of taking the PARTA buses or driving your car, try walking to your destination. It saves the environment from harsh gasoline pollution, in addition to keeping your body healthy. While protecting the Earth from carbon emissions, you can also get your steps in. So lace up those sneakers and get walking!

Channel your green thumb!

The most fun out of all of these practices is trying out your own green thumb. Growing your own plants can be a lot of fun, as well as good for the environment. Not only is it environmentally friendly to care for plants, it can also add a little spice to any dorm windowsill. 

2020 marks the end of the hottest decade in recorded history. Global warming is getting harder and harder to ignore, yet as a society, we still try to ignore it. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away, it will just continue to destroy the planet. As the most innovative, forward-thinking age group we can make a difference in the state of our planet. If you follow these easy ways to stay sustainable, you’ll be helping the environment in no time. 

Film photography by Emma Lammermeier

Support Student Media

Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

You May Also Like