How To Go Green in College?

Being sustainable in college isn’t that simple. Students are busy and short on money. The public usually thinks that they are too caught up in their own world of having a great college experience, meeting new people, paying off loans and so on to actually care about the environment.

Yet so many young people, namely college student, are looking for ways to still have that college experience and not leaving a large carbon footprint at the same time.

Is it possible?

Of course it is. With enough willpower and good directions, any student can and should go green.


What Does ‘Going Green’ Mean?

Going green generally means living a more sustainable life – living your life normally while trying not do anything to enable further deterioration of our planet. This is mainly focused on using the least amount of energy resources as well as taking care of our surroundings.

In an ideal world we would all have solar panels, excellent recycling systems and upcycled items in our homes. But this is highly unlikely on a larger scale.

However, anyone can do their best to be as green as possible. This means recycling, minding out electricity and water spending as well as trying not to use a car too often. There are many more ways to be green but these are the basics anyone can start with.

How Are Colleges Doing it?

Colleges, in general, are trying to implement the basic green behavior elements previously mentioned. For instance, some colleges offer rent-a-bike services so that students who live off the campus can use them instead of motorized vehicles. Some colleges insist on digital notes. Some have systems which turn off the electricity in dorms as soon as someone leaves the room.

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Of course, they also provide general education on ecology and sustainable living as well as proper facilities for recycling garbage.

Some colleges take it up a notch and host competitions between dorms where the dorm which spends the least resources – water, electricity and so on – and produces the least garbage wins.

This is a fun way to inspire students to go green but also a clever campaign to get students to form good habits. After a month-long competition, the majority of students involved will continue to be sustainable.

What Can I Do To Be More Green?

This is a common question students have. Some of them are willing to give up their luxuries to have a greener life but some give up after a while because it can be difficult, especially in college.

Because of that, we are offering some quick and easy tips to go green without putting too much strain on your time or budget.


This is the most important rule of going green. Your school will probably have all the right facilities for recycling – proper bins and similar things – so, all you have to do is throw the right thing into the right bin.

Recycling is a simple and easy act on your part but it could save our environment. Never throw loose paper or plastic that gathers in your pockets just anywhere. Wait until you find the right bins and then dispose of it.

Avoid driving to class

Driving is so much easier than walking or riding a bike, everyone is aware of that. However, just think about how much damage you are doing so you can get to school. Just you, a single person could have such a large carbon footprint each day.

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Walking and cycling can be good not just for the environment but also for your health. This way, you’ll stay fit without exercising or paying expensive gym memberships while saving the world. Killing two birds with one stone.

However, if you want to save the world without spending extra time to get to school, you can also use public transportation.

Do some smart shopping

Smart shopping is in the essence of keeping our environment clean and healthy. For instance, instead of using plastic utensils, why don’t you buy the regular ones or bring some from home. You can wash them and reuse them without throwing anything away. Another thing you could do is buy reusable water bottles, dishes, cups and so on. This will save you money in the long run, especially if you go shopping in thrift stores, look for discounts or simply bring some of these from your home.

Avoid water waste

Water waste is one of the biggest problems in colleges. While most students were taught good manners when it comes to preserving water during their time living with their parents, majority of them completely forget those rules once they go to college. However, you should start saving water again. Limit your showers to five minutes, for example, turn the water off whenever you don’t need it during your morning routine or something similar.

Use less paper

Students use a lot of paper. However, with technology advancements, you don’t have to. Take notes on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Instead of printing paper, just read the digital notes that you probably have. Get the books from the library or used books from other students. It’s also a lot cheaper than buying or printing. Even if you do print, use recycled paper.

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Donate your old clothes or things. You are not throwing them away and leaving a carbon footprint. Instead, you are helping other people and saving our environment.


An average college student has about five devices with them. Imagine just how much electricity you are spending on a daily basis. Especially if you charge them over night or keep them plugged in longer than they need to be. Instead, unplug your devices whenever possible and never charge over night because devices get charged fast and the rest is just wasting resources, not to mention deteriorating the quality of your battery life.

Going green in college might be hard but it’s not impossible. Just remember that you are doing the right thing and follow these tips to live a sustainable life in college.

Author bio:

Grace Carter is an educator at Boom Essays and Essayroo services. She helps with creation of educational content, develops marketing tactics and manages blogs. Also, Grace tutors at Cursework Service, academic portal.

Sonia Madaan is a writer and founding editor of the science education blog EarthEclipse. She loves writing on topics related to space, environment, chemistry, biology, geology and geography. When she is not writing, she loves watching sci-fi movies on Netflix.