As busy college students, we often partake in food on the go amongst other wasteful habits just to make our crazy lives easier. It’s understandable that with our work filled anxious lives that we take the easy way out from time to time- but it’s important to realize the impact we are making and the small changes we can incorporate in our lives. Here are 5 simple tips you can use a minimum of once or twice a week to improve your carbon footprint and help reduce waste.
Tip 1: Use your flex to get Starbucks Swag!
A lot of people may not know that flex dollars can be used to buy reusable cups at Starbucks. That’s right, those extra dollars that you would normally use on Chik-fil-a or at the P.O.D. in Main can be used to buy one of those cute cups with straws that you would normally pay money for at an off-campus Starbs. So ditch the junk food for a couple of days then reward yourself with a fancy cup that matches your personality.
Tip 2: Utilize Fill-Up Stations Around Campus
All over campus, there are water bottle fill-up stations. Some easy ones to find are in Recitation Hall and the Business and Public Management Center. Use a reusable water bottle (or your new Starbucks cup) to keep hydrated all day without buying plastic water bottles.
Tip 3: Bring snacks to campus in Tupperware or resealable silicon baggies.
When you’re hungry and on the go, grabbing something from Sykes or the P.O.D. can be way too easy. Curb those cravings by bringing your own snacks or lunch to campus. This will be better for you than grabbing chips or fries and it will cut down on wasteful packaging too! Your physical health: check. Environmental health: check. You can’t lose with this one!
Tip 4: Take notes online
Tired of hand cramps and scribbling down notes as your professor runs through a lecture without taking a breath? This might seem like a simple tip but, take notes on your laptop! Now, this is obvious, yes, but people still don’t like to do it. If you have the technology and your professor allows it, taking notes on a laptop can save so much time. Google Docs is an amazing tool for keeping your classes organized. Taking virtual notes it great for staying organized and never losing a thing. It also cuts down on the huge waste of paper that is notebooks. Notebooks are often half-used and thrown away. Make this simple switch in even just a couple of classes and reduce your impact on the environment. *Mini pro-tip: Drag the link to Google Docs home onto your taskbar for easy access!
Tip 5: Spring Cleaning!
If you saw a wrapper or plastic cup on the floor of your apartment, wouldn’t you pick it up? Hello! The earth belongs to you too and if you see trash on earth’s floor you can pick that up too! West Chester University provided trashcans all around campus. Don’t be afraid to toss out someone else’s trash. Just make sure you wash your hands on your way to class and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth before you do. WCU is your campus, take care of it as you would your own home.
These are 5 easy tips you can implement into your life to help reduce waste. Make a checklist and make sure you make one of these switches or changes at least once per week. By making these simple changes, West Chester can become an even better community and the earth can become a better home for all of us.