Eco-friendly college partying
Monday, August 10, 2009 - 15:01
One aspect of partying people may not consider is how to be more eco-friendly. Sure, going out to party is supposed to be a time to let loose and stop caring, but a little consideration can prevent some next-day regret.
Step 1: Your party outfit
There are a lot of organic and eco-friendly clothing options online. You don't even have to wear burlap or a "Save the Earth" hemp T-shirt. Sites such as whiteapricot.com and greenloop.com offer an index of eco-friendly apparel sites with discount coupon codes and even options for men and ethosparis.us has upscale, stylish duds.
If you would rather go shopping in a store, think about thrifting. The thriftshopper.com has a directory of stores that you can find by simply typing in your city or ZIP code. This way no new clothing has to be manufactured in factories that produce pollution and use up materials, and many thrift stores benefit charities.
If you go to the mall, try to buy clothing made of fibers such as bamboo, rayon, lyocell, tencel, viscose and others that are more eco-friendly to produce. Buying garments made in the USA saves fuel for shipping.
Step 2: Have some hygiene
Before going out to see other people who you may potentially be getting in close proximity with, you'll probably want to clean yourself up a bit.
There are lots of natural products available at certain stores and on the internet. Drustore.com has a green and natural section. CVS, Walgreen's, Heinen's, Trader Joe's and Giant Eagle carry all natural and organic products which you can check out online or clearly labeled in the store. Tom's of Maine, Burt's Bees and Physicians Formula are well-known examples of natural products. Try to avoid non-eco-items such as aerosol spray cans or products with a lot of unnecessary packaging.
Step 3: Pre-game (assuming you're 21)
Despite the delicious selection of Natural Light at frat parties and expensive drink options at the bars, enjoying a drink before you arrive at a party may be a preference.
Of course refraining from drinking at all is earth friendly because you do not use any bottles, cans or products that take energy to produce. You can take the eco-friendly approach by buying alcohol in larger quantities. A large bottle of liquor or the 40 oz. bottle of beer will save packaging and the Earth.
Don't forget to recycle the bottles and cans! You can find a recycling center at Earth911.com by entering your city or ZIP code.
Also, if you can find them, there are organic beers, wines and liquors. Or drink a local beverage such as Great Lakes Beer, which is manufactured in Cleveland and dedicated to being earth friendly.
Step 4: Get on out!
When it is time to actually go out on the town, why not walk? Save yourself money and a DUI and burn off some beer calories. Biking, skateboarding, scootering and rollerblading are always options as well. If the party is too far away, consider an eco-friendly party bus or at least a big carpool (with a designated driver).
You can even configure your car to run on water or vegetable oil. Just Google "how to convert car to run on water or vegetable oil" and check out the many websites that tell you how.
Step 5: Late night snacking
After some socializing, dancing, drinking, etc., you may build up an appetite. Chipotle is an organic restaurant, but it is not open past 10 p.m., at least not here in Kent.
Before hitting up some fast-food joints you may want to know that Climate Counts scored companies from 1 to 100 on environmental friendliness (100 being the best) and Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell were rated with zeros. The best fast-food chain score was a 22 for McDonald's.
Going to a diner or somewhere where the food doesn't need to be wrapped or packaged is more environmentally aware. Meat takes a lot more energy to produce than non-animal products. Grab some bread at Jimmy John's or get a cheese pizza to share.
If a gas station or drug store is open, then opt for some natural and organic food (like Kashi, Odwalla and Morning Star).
Not only are these options healthy for the Earth, but they are healthy for the body. There is no reason not to have fun while you care about the planet!
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