LEXI RODENCAL | FEATURES EDITOR
An ongoing issue the world is facing is that of waste management and rising energy levels around the globe. As college students, there are many easy things we can do to do our part in reducing global warming and helping to make the planet a better, greener place. Here are some easy tips to incorporate into your college lifestyle that will not only benefit you and your immediate community, but the world as well.
1. Re-use folders and binders from previous semesters. It’s an easy way to save money, and the plastic in them is surprisingly durable for the everyday life of a college student. This way, you’ll just have to remember to pack your old binders and folders before coming back to school each year instead of going out and buying new ones. Same goes for pens, pencils and other school supplies!
2. If the bookstore won’t buy back your textbook, find alternative methods to reuse it. You can sell used textbooks on popular (and reliable) websites such as Chegg and Amazon. Try selling to a fellow student on the SNC textbook swap Facebook group, or even recycle your books if they’re paperback.
3. All campus housing at St. Norbert has recycling as well as trash bins. Be sure to follow the guidelines posted by trash rooms and recycle only what’s recyclable – no pizza boxes or broken glass allowed!
4. Always try to print double-sided. Although many professors require student to print formal assignments on single-sided paper, try to cut back in other ways by printing notes, slideshows and other necessities double-sided.
5. As you may have noticed around campus, many St. Norbert dining areas are no longer offering easy access to disposable paper or plastic cups. Take heed of this and try to start using reusable bottles for drinks, rather than taking a new cup or plastic water bottle each time you need a drink.
6. If you haven’t already, find out how to get your signature on the tree mural in Ruth’s Marketplace. Not only will your name be up on the wall, but you’ll also pledge to reduce food waste in the cafeteria by eating everything (or as much as you can) on your plate before returning your dishes to the dish room.
7. If you cook your own food, try buying local whenever you can. This reduces your carbon footprint and supports local farmers. You can also consider using reusable grocery bags or paper bags rather than the plastic bags many grocery stores give out. If you need plastic, try reusing them as garbage bags or other things instead of throwing them out once your items are unpacked.
8. An obvious one, but a good reminder: remember to turn off all lights, fans and other electronic devices when leaving your dorm or house. This is especially important over school breaks when you won’t be on campus for a longer period of time – this means unplugging all power strips too.
9. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by carpooling whenever you can, such as going on grocery or shopping trips with friends, catching rides back home with friends and students for school breaks, and riding a campus bike (or walking) whenever possible.
10. Last but not least, remember to educate yourself further by looking into alternative methods of waste reduction and management!