7 Ways You Can Become a More Eco-Friendly College Student

Students Hanging Out at Entryway MonumentFor many college students concerned about the environment, living a sustainable, more eco-friendly life is often top of mind. Fortunately, making a few small changes can be an easy way for you to be healthier, save money, and be a kinder, more considerate earthling all at once! Talk about a win-win, right? Check out our top 7 ways you can become a more eco-friendly college student today:

Be Thrifty

Looking for some furniture, cutlery, dishes, or decorations for your dorm room or apartment? Before you head out to a furniture store or big box store to buy something brand-new, consider buying something secondhand at a thrift store or even garage sales first. This will help you reduce your environmental impact while helping you save some money! This goes for textbooks, too – shop around the McKendree Bookstore for used textbooks, or buy them from your fellow students.

Try Digital Notetaking

It’s becoming increasingly more common for students to take notes with their laptops in the classroom. Instead of purchasing a new notebook for each of your classes, try using your laptop to jot down everything your professors have to say. You can store your notes in the Cloud as well for safekeeping. If digital notetaking just isn’t your thing, no worries – you can still use notebooks. Consider using notebooks that are made from at least 80% recycled materials and using all of the paper before you recycle it.

Unplug Before You Go

Did you know that your appliances can suck up power even when you’re not using them? This translates to a lot of wasted electricity and money. Be a more conscious earthling and remember to unplug your small items and appliances like your toaster, coffee maker, game consoles, and phone charger before you head out for the day. If you have things plugged in through a power strip, flip the switch to “off” and that’ll do the trick!

Reduce Your Single-Use Consumption

Single-use plastics like straws, water bottles, bags, and cutlery are definitely convenient, but in the end our Earth pays the price. These items, which are produced from fossil fuels, litter the landfills and the oceans. But guess what? You can make a difference! Start cutting down on your single-use plastic consumption by carrying your own reusable water bottle (and coffee mug if you like a bit of java). Bring your own reusable cloth bags anytime you go shopping. Be that person who brings their own cutlery and straw with you to restaurants. Who knows – you could be the one to inspire your fellow classmates and the world beyond campus to do the same!

Give Meatless Monday a Chance

Sometimes making a difference for the environment can start at the table. Studies have shown that plant-based meals are not only healthy but also cost-effective and great for the environment! You don’t have to totally swear off pizza and burgers, though. Give Meatless Mondays a shot and substitute animal proteins with beans, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds, and yogurt to give you the protein you need to stay full and energized throughout the day. Load up on fruits, veggies, grains, and beans to enjoy balanced and delicious plant-based meals!

Live Close to Campus if You Can

There are so many advantages to living on or close to campus. Not only will you feel more connected to your fellow students and can get to class and practice without hurrying, but you will also help make a positive impact on the Earth! Instead of enduring long daily commutes to campus, live in one of McKendree’s many housing options and walk or bike to class. You’ll save money, decrease the pollutants in the air, and get some extra steps in your day!

Be a Smart and Conscientious Shopper

Before you head out for school supplies, groceries, or anything else, take a moment first to check that you already have the supplies you think you need. Maybe you already have enough pens from last semester to get you through the rest of the school year. Then, make a list of the items you actually need. Choose well-made supplies so you can use them for a longer time, and do your best to use everything until it’s completely gone.

Becoming a more environmentally-friendly college student doesn’t mean that you have to change your whole life. Even just a few small changes like the ones listed above can make a huge difference on the world around you! Give them a try to live a more sustainable lifestyle. And once you’ve reused and reduced what you need, don’t forget to take advantage of the recycling areas around campus as well!