Today: Mar 01, 2024

Eco-friendly 101: The college way

SIMONE VIRZICopy Editor

After decades of slowly destroying the Earth, humans are now starting to make up for the abuse. From reusing grocery bags to driving hybrid cars, many people are trying to step up their game and be as eco-friendly as possible. It’s almost become a “keeping up with the Jones’” scenario in which people are trying to one-up their friends or neighbors. OK, that’s great. But what can college kids do? Plenty.

Water

Assuming we all keep up with our hygiene and shower daily, we use a lot of water without realizing it. Now, I believe showering is absolutely essential, and if you disagree, please don’t sit near me. But how do you become more eco-friendly without skipping showers after hitting up the gym? Stop masturbating in the shower. This can easily save you 2-25 minutes in the shower. And you’ll be saving the dolphins!

OK, not everyone masturbates in the shower (but many do). Or maybe you’re like me and think you’re a Grammy winner once you get in the shower. Actually, I’m a double threat because not only can I sing, I can dance as well. So I have this habit of putting on shows while getting clean. Maybe I sound totally ridiculous, but that’s my style. To save water, I’ve been multitasking by singing and dancing while washing my hair. I don’t recommend dancing while shaving because, well, that’s just not safe, and safety comes first. I wouldn’t want to cut my leg; that would ruin my performance!

Recycling

It’s practically law that we’re supposed to recycle. But sometimes just the thought of it is a drag and an inconvenience to our lives, and many of us would rather go on Facebook than give recycling a second thought. However, it’s easier than you think! Say you used a jar of pasta sauce or finished a can of tuna. Put them in a recycling bin or a bag designated for items that can be recycled. That’s simple enough, right?

It’s just as easy when it comes to bottles and cans as well. Try putting empty bottles and cans in a separate garbage bag. Once you’ve filled the garbage bag, bring them to a grocery store to deposit them. The best part about this form of recycling? You get money back! Yeah, it’s only 5 cents per can or bottle, but it adds up fast, especially if you make the return after a big house party. Besides, when you purchased a liter of soda or a 12-pack, a 5 cent deposit was added to your total- just check your receipt. I’m not suggesting to steal a grocery cart and start pushing it around New Haven to try and find bottles, but it is a fairly simple way to add a few extra bucks to your wallet.

Driving

Hybrid cars are becoming more popular, but they can also be expensive. A Smart Car is eco-friendly, but it’s also a deathtrap on wheels. Instead of going out and buying a new car, try carpooling. Not only will it be cheaper as far as gas money goes, it’s an easy way to give the environment a slight break. Or try not driving at all. If you live on campus and wanted to pick up milk at the North store, walk instead of driving. The same is true if you’re going to Delaney’s or Westside. Not only are you going to get extra exercise, you’ll avoid the possibility of getting a DUI – something no one wants to have on their record.

Paper

Trying to use as little paper as possible can be challenging. Or is it? If you’re writing an essay, don’t do a rough draft in a notebook. If you’re like me, one of your best friends is the backspace key on your computer. Not only will your essay be easier to read (depending on your handwriting) but you’ll save time too instead of doing a rough draft and then having to type it up.

If you have to print out an essay or lab report, print on both sides of the paper. If you’re printing on campus, it is slightly cheaper this way, and it’s an easy way to save paper, especially the more you’re printing. Most professors do not object to double-sided assignments; they care more about students completing it and handing it in on time.

Lights Out

Among the many pet peeves I have, one of them is keeping unnecessary lights on. It’s unnecessary and a total waste of electricity. I’ve heard some students who live on campus say it isn’t a big deal if you keep the lights on because you’re already paying for them. However, you’re still making an impact on the environment! This is especially true for West, Brownell, Schwartz and North, since the rooms are much larger and there are many more light switches. If you live in one of the suites and aren’t in the bedroom or the bathroom, turn the light off. I promise it’s that simple. If no one’s watching TV, don’t keep it on. Perhaps you need a song to inspire you to save electricity. Try “Better With the Lights Off” by New Boyz, and start saving the environment!

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