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College is regarded as being comprised of the “best years” in a young person’s life; it also stands as period of seemingly incomparable stress and responsibility. Balancing fun with hard work is usually the best approach, and as a result of both, it can sometimes be difficult to adopt a sustainable mindset while living the campus life. After all, who has time to seek out a recycling bin in face of final exams and late night studying sessions — all while trying to spend time with friends?

Still, however, there is no excuse to avoid sustainability while in college. There are a variety of effective, albeit minor, changes that a student can make to ensure he or she is working for the future with the environment in mind.

Here are a few “goodbyes” to make toward better for college sustainability.


Goodbye bottled water

Bottled water is everywhere on most college campuses, from vending machines to dining hall lines. However, convenient as these plastic bottles may be, it is imperative that you limit or totally eliminate use of them. The Water Project reports that an estimated 80 percent of bottles never get recycled, so there is no need to contribute to this statistic when you can easily purchase a reusable aluminum bottle.


Goodbye paper

Classrooms continue to fill a technology-dominate mold, and note taking stands at the forefront of this shift. Therefore, it is now both easy and efficient to take notes electronically in lieu of physically in a notepad, and doing so will help you save money while saving trees. Do not stop at notes; there are a variety of apps that simulate flashcards, graphs, and other resources previously drawn or schemed by hand.


Goodbye car use

If you live on or near campus, there is technically no need for you to drive to class or other on-campus locations. Invest in a good bike or simply commit to walking to your destinations throughout the week. You will simultaneously save gas money while also keeping yourself in physical shape. On cold days, where it is easy to succumb to your driving urges, focus instead on bundling up to counter the conditions. In short, use your car as a last resort means of travel brought out during dangerous weather or in a time pinch.