1. Hit that switch
Turn off your lights or appliances whenever they are not in use. The small action of turning off lights or powering down computers or other electronics saves energy and money that would otherwise be wasted.
2. Ditch disposable water bottles
Invest in a reusable water bottle to keep in your room or in your backpack to reduce the waste of throwing out disposable water bottles. You’ll save money while staying hydrated at the same time. Reducing waste from all angles is a great way to practice sustainable living, and reusing water bottles is an easy way to start.
3. Take shorter showers
Reducing your shower time by just a minute can make a huge difference. According to Ecopedia, cutting your shower time down by just one minute can save between 547 and 2007 gallons of water per year, and it’s considerate to other residents when it comes to community bathrooms to be mindful of time.
4. Turn the water off while brushing or washing
Another simple way to reduce water waste is by turning off the water while you brush your teeth. Similarly, while washing your hands, turning the water off while soaping up your hands saves tons of gallons of wasted water.
5. Take electronic notes
Whether studying in your room or one of the resident hall’s study rooms, taking notes on your computer when able is a great way to save paper and reduce unneeded waste. This will also make it easier to share notes with friends and classmates when you’re studying for the next major test or collaborate on a group project worth 30 percent of your final grade.
6. Recycle, even in your dorm
Though this sounds like a no-brainer, recycling can be difficult when you are living on campus. Find your closest recycling bin in your dorm and try to recycle your paper and cardboard rather than throwing them out.
7. Try meatless Mondays
One way to reduce your carbon footprint as a whole and live sustainably is by participating in meatless Mondays. According to Huffington Post, if everyone were to eat vegetarian for just one day of the week, 100 billion gallons of water would be saved as well as 1.5 billion pounds of crops, 70 gallons of gasoline and three million acres of land. The U.S. would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. See if you can get other members of your hall to try it out in solidarity with each other and the environment.
8. Go vintage
Athens is packed full of great vintage stores such as Dynamite and the Pope on Prince right downtown. Check them out, reduce clothes waste and fill your relatively small and probably-shared closet with timeless styles.
9. Don’t be afraid to file maintenance requests
The second you see something around your dorm that needs fixing, such as a leaky faucet or showerhead, report it. Problems like these can be huge water or energy wasters, and the fix is just a maintenance report away.