Written by Emily Henry on November 27, 2021
Young people are more concerned about the planet than ever before. As you go to college, you can start making a tangible impact on the environment by making your campus more ecologically friendly. By working there, you’ll be making a real and sustained difference. Here are some ways that you can get started.
Join The Eco Club
This is the first thing you should do when you get to college. Find the college eco-club and get involved. If the college doesn’t have an eco-club yet, you can create one.
‘Being part of a club is the best first step, as you’ll be able to start making a difference with like-minded people’ says college blogger Kaylee Naylor from UK Writings. ‘When you’re part of a group, it’s easier to push for change and make a difference on campus.’
Encourage Reduction In Paper Usage
Paper is used constantly on college campuses. You’re using it to take notes in classes; professors are using it to hand out reading material, it’s used to put up notices, and so on. Most colleges have made a push to stop using as much paper. For example, most will allow you to submit papers electronically rather than on paper, and many notices are sent out over email rather than on paper.
However, there is more that could be done. For example, you can take notes electronically in class rather than on paper. You can push for this to be allowed in classes if it isn’t already. You can also look into bolstering any paper recycling services that your campus offers.
Campus Clothing Collections
Going to college means many students start to experiment with their looks. That does mean that many clothes are potentially thrown away, which is obviously not great for the environment. You can mitigate that damage by holding campus clothing collections.
There are a couple of different ways you can do this. You can have campus clothing swap meets, where students can swap their unwanted clothes with others and get other garments that they’ll enjoy more. You can also collect clothes to be sent to recycling centers or charities too, making sure the clothes are still put to good use.
Start An On-Campus Farm
Sustainability is so important when it comes to making a greener campus, and part of that is creating sustainable food production. A great way of doing this is by creating your own on-campus farm.
This doesn’t need to be significant, and you can do anything from growing your own vegetables to raising chickens. If you can get some space set aside on campus, you can be as creative as you like. It’s an excellent way to build community, too, as everyone works together on your farm.
Encourage Minimalist Living
When you first start at college, it feels like you need to have so much with you to get started. New clothes, new living equipment, laptops, phones, and all sorts of items. It gets overwhelming fast and is not great for the environment. Your eco-club can help encourage minimalist living to help reduce the impact all students have on the planet.
‘There are lots of ways you can encourage minimalist living’ says writer Blythe Jennings from Academized. ‘You can encourage students to swap clothes for a night out rather than buying new outfits, or buying second-hand books rather than new ones.’
Push For Cycle Friendly Campuses
While many will live on campus, there will be others who commute in. That leads to more cars being on the road and creating pollution. An excellent way to combat this is to encourage students to start cycling in instead.
You can also take this to your college themselves. Ask them to make the campus more cycling-friendly. That can include offering cycle tracks where cyclists can lock up their bikes and add in shower rooms so cyclists can shower before going to class.
With these moves, you can start making your campus greener and ecologically sound. Find a group and band together to start bringing better practices to your college. Not only will it look good on a resume, but you’ll know you’ve done your part to make the world better.
Emily Henry is a writer focusing on the needs of college students.