By Jessica Spencer
There are both advantages and disadvantages to a college campus when it comes to being eco-friendly.Not only do college campuses generate a lot of waste, but they also have as many students crammed into a small city as some small cities have spread over several miles.
And the lifestyle of an average college student generates an abundance of garbage. We’ve all seen it.
On the plus side, college campuses are becoming more and more aware of their impact on the Earth’s environment.
And I’m sure many colleges are more than willing to recycle and do their part.
But while recycling paper, aluminum, glass and plastic is a good habit for students to maintain, I do not know if there is enough to maintain a healthy environment.
What other colleges and universities are doing to help
Seattle University: Instead of being thrown in the trash, pineapple heads, watermelon rinds and lettuce leaves fertilize flowers across campus, according to an article by Christine Frey in SeattlePI.
Warren Wilson College opened an “EcoDorm” on its campus in North Carolina, with solar fuel cells that convert sunlight into electricity and heat, composting toilets and waterless urinals.
And best of all, all shrubs across campus are edible for those students with sudden hunger pangs on the way to class, according to an article written by Katina Mitchell.
Williams College: According to ABC News, as part of Earth Day, the campus holds a competition titled “Doing it in the Dark” to see which residence hall can conserve the most energy by dimming the lights, turning off all electronics and unplugging electrical appliances, such as phone chargers, from the walls.
What is Eastern doing to help?
In the past, Eastern has helped with environmental issues by helping to recycle ink cartridges and cell phones.
To do this, EKU Greens, a chapter of Campus Greens, placed EnviroSmart boxes across campus.
Eastern, along with many other campuses, provides a public transportation system that is free for students so they can get around without using their cars.
Recycling bins have also been placed in every lobby of the resident halls, making it easy for students to drop their plastic bottles (or the graded paper you don’t want your parents to see) in the bins on their way out of class, according to the Eastern Web site.
My tips on becoming more eco-savvy
1. Recycle everything, especially paper. How many pieces of paper do students go through in one semester? Between the notes, rough drafts, second drafts (third drafts?), term papers and everything else printed off the Internet, it can add up.
But instead of throwing five bags of paper in the trash, just drop them in the recycling bin.
2. Limit the use of disposable cups & plates.
Instead of buying disposable cups and napkins, which can add up to a lot of waste and money, buy some inexpensive dishes and wash them.
3. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Though these bulbs may cost a little more, they last longer and can save you money in the long run.
And for dorm life, using a lamp is much more environmentally efficient than the overhead lights.
4. Walk, bike or ride the bus instead of using a car.
Using public transportation, riding a bike or walking can not only help the environment, but can save you money and gas.
5. Carry a water bottle.
Save waste and money and carry a refillable bottle instead of throwing away plastic bottles.