Grass Clippings: How to Avoid Waste on Campus

By Maddie Zins
Staff Columnist

The beginning of the semester is a great time to set precedents of behavior to carry throughout the following four (ish) months and despite this being the end of the second week, there is still time for you to integrate environmental consciousness into your daily routine. Here’s 13 ways you can be friendlier to our earth and more sustainable on campus this semester:

Dining Hall Waste=Worst *These points can also help those trying to maintain diets in the New Year*
1. When getting food at the buffet-style parts of Hodson, be size specific and ask for a certain amount (“a little bit of…” “two pieces of…”) as the workers are generally more than happy to comply with your requests.
2. Go for fewer items on your plate in a given sitting. You’ll be more likely to eat all of whatever is there and to throw less of what you can’t finish away.

3. Invest in a hard plastic green “to go box” to carry food out in instead of using the paper ones. They are sturdier and less messy. I also just take a fork from the dining hall (instead of using the plastic throw-away kind) and bring it back in the box.

4. Bring your own mug to fill with coffee/tea/drinks of your choosing instead of using the paper cups—they can hold more and stay warm longer.

5. When taking food out, ask yourself if you’ll eat it before your next trip to the dining hall, or if it will just go to waste (fruit on your ledge, leftovers in the fridge).

6. Instead of buying water bottles from ACME, just get a reusable water bottle in the bookstore and fill it up in the dining hall whenever.

Scholastically Green
7. REUSE: Outdated one a day calendars as note cards/reminders for yourself, papers that have some room for writing on them as to do lists, and old notebooks from last semester that still have some pages as space to plan out essays/take notes for classes now.

8. REDUCE : Ask professors if you can submit assignments via email—it saves us printing fees and a couple of trees here and there. Print double sided on printers in your dorm and save the hassle of printing last minute in the library. Instead of printing out handouts for classes, take notes separately or bring them to class on your laptop/ipad in a pdf or a word document.

9. RECYCLE: Old batteries at the Help Desk, papers from last semester (this is a no brainer), and past flyers that you see posted around school.

Energy-Saving Dorm Habits
10. Turn lights off when you leave not just your dorm, but also your hall bathrooms or common rooms.

11. If you have time while running out to class unplug one device you wouldn’t normally unplug that you aren’t using when you aren’t in your room—a lamp, phone charger, printer, or anything else that doesn’t need to be reset if you disconnect it from an outlet.

12. Take quicker showers—I know, I know, this is the one I’m worst at, too—because you really only need five minutes of hot water, soap, and shampoo to get clean and reawakened enough to get back to studying (most nights).
13. Instead of using both the washer and dryer for laundry (which is $3—crazy!), hang your clothes on hangers around your room after they’ve been washed to air dry.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not some practice will help or hurt the environment, look it up! Environmental science is a field that is practically ever-adjusting and new information is being brought in all the time so don’t be afraid to google to your heart’s content, just use discretion when trusting certain websites as some are more credible than others. I Hope these help your spring semester be a sustainable and prosperous one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *