How to live green in a not so green world

When I think about going green and becoming one with the earth, I picture myself walking five miles in my Chaco sandals to a natural spring to fill my reused mason jar with fresh water. While this visual may be a bit much, going green on a college campus can often be perceived as difficult and quite expensive, but this is not the case. In celebration of Earth Week at SHSU, here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to give back to the earth.

Look at the flick of the switch

Turning off something is as easy as a flick of a switch, literally. When you leave things such as the light on, you are allowing electricity to flow out uselessly. From your bedroom lights to all of your kitchen appliances, shutting off all of those electricity guzzlers won’t only give back to the earth but also reduce your monthly electric bills.

Conserve your water

Now don’t get me wrong. There is nothing I like more than taking a long relaxing shower at the end of a busy day but doing this multiple times a week can get costly and wasteful. Try to limit your showers to five minutes or less or shut the water off in between lathering up to reduce the unnecessary flow of water. According to The Washington Post, every minute a standard shower head runs it equates to 2.5 gallons of water being wasted. Another great way to reduce water usage for those with a significant other is to take showers together.

Put Those Car Keys Down

Summer is around the corner and what better way to burn a few extra calories than by walking or biking to campus? Driving to school every day- whether you drive a gas or electric car- can be harmful to the environment. When you drive a gas car, you are emitting toxins into the air and with an electric, although more eco-friendly, you are still having to pump tons of electric currents into your car in order to get it to function. So why not just eliminate both? Another great incentive to biking and driving is you won’t have to deal with traffic and you will always get a great parking spot.


As college students, I am certain we are all familiar with the term BYOB or bring your own beer. So when the opportunity is present, why not bring your own water bottle, grocery bag or even reusable mug? Keeping items such as reusable water bottles and grocery bags are great way to go green without spending enormous amounts of money. I mean think about how much you can save by not purchasing cases of water which you most likely will not end up recycling. Many people are not aware but some grocery stores offer incentives to those who have reusable grocery sacks. Also the big daddy coffee of coffee shops, or as most call it Starbucks, will provide drink discounts if you bring a reusable mug instead of using its paper to-go mugs.

Print less or print double sided

I love a professor who will post notes or slides online before class, but I hate the amount of paper it takes in order to print them all. A great way to reduce the unnecessary wasting of paper notes that will likely be thrown away at the end of the semester is to either print on both sides or use your tablet or smart phone. Most phones and tablets have apps that allow you to electronically convert your notes in order to write directly on them.

Going green is great for the environment and your wallet. These are just a few ways to help reduce your carbon foot print and give back to environment while also saving a few extra dollars. As a part of Earth Week at SHSU, this week will be full of events such as clothing and technology drives, free outdoor yoga and a service project. For the full schedule of events, you can visit the recreational sports special events page.


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