Headed off to college this fall? Here are 10 great ways to green your dorm, your classes, and even your beer while you're off at school:
1. Be thrifty: Hit your local thrift stores and yard sales to pick up gently used items to furnish your dorm room or college apartment. Not only will you save a ton of cash, but you'll also avoid waste from production and keep those old items out of the landfill.
2. Green your texts: Do research to find used textbooks from stores, classmates or websites. Another option is to rent your textbooks or save paper and money by sharing textbooks with a friend.
3. BYOB: No, not beer — bottle. Get in the habit of carrying your own reusable bottle for water (or mug if you prefer coffee) to avoid buying drinks in disposable bottles or cups each day.
4. Green your dorm: When selecting furniture for your dorm, look for decor that you can recycle when you’ve outgrown it or when you move out in a few years. Avoid chemicals by investing in organic cotton linens. And pick up compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy while you study.
5. Park your car: Most campuses are pedestrian friendly, offering decent walking and biking trails as well as public transportation. Make it a plan to walk, bike, and ride the bus whenever possible instead of hopping in the car.
6. Take notes on your computer. Bring your laptop to class and take notes on it instead of in a notebook. You'll save paper and have a better chance of keeping your notes organized.
7. Save water: College campuses tend to use enormous amounts of water. Do your part to conserve by taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing your teeth, and using less water when washing dishes.
8. Buy beer on tap: When you’re out at the bar, buy beer on tap (that's served in a washable beer mug) rather than bottled beer.
9. Stay connected online: Save paper by reading the news and catching up with friends online. You can get newspapers, magazines, entertainment, and even books online these days. And between Facebook and Skype, there's hardly any reason to write a letter anymore!
10. Ask your professor about e-mail. Most college campuses are tech-savvy these days, so it's more than likely that your professor will not only accept assignments via e-mail, he or she may prefer to receive them that way. Don’t print out anything you don’t need to (class syllabus, assignments and review sheets included).