From Red Cups to Green Alternatives

0225blogvignetWe college students are pretty accurately stereotyped.  We party hard, sleep late, and cram for finals until the wee hours of the morning.  Luckily for us and the environment, a lot of these common habits can be easily “tweaked” in order to save energy and resources.  And as a college student myself, I give you my solemn oath that these steps will not affect your party or study life in any way.

Here are some of the most well-known college kid characteristics and how you can change them to better our earth:

We are constantly glued to our laptops. And no matter whether you’re Facebooking or researching the native crops of Haiti, you’re still using lots of energy.  Now I’m not stupid – I wouldn’t dare suggest that you cut down your Skype time just to save the Earth.  Really all you have to do is cut down your energy usage when you’re not actually on the computer (i.e. sleeping or boozing).  How do you do this?  Unplug your electronics!  Computers practically use as much energy when they’re in standby mode as they do when they’re actually in use.  So if you’re leaving the room for a good amount of time, turn off your computer and unplug all of the plugs in your outlet if possible.

We are messy and we have our clothes to prove it. I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to eat or drink anything without staining whatever I’m wearing.  This is especially tragic when you happen to be wearing one of those “dry clean only” numbers, which of course, are always the cutest.  But don’t run off and spend last night’s tips on pricey dry cleaning before you try some other easier, cheaper, and more eco-friendly tactics.  Believe it or not, some “dry clean only” garments (such as silk and wool) can actually be hand washed with cold water.   Of course, give it a test run before you wash and potentially ruin your favorite silk dress.  If that doesn’t work, seek out “wet cleaning” or “green dry cleaning” locations by searching at GreenEarth Cleaning’s website.

We pull all nighters to finish those last minute term papers. But don’t make the environment suffer alongside you!  Use your paper wisely – double side it (you can change the feature on your printer) for drafts and even for your final paper.  Most professors don’t really care whether your paper is one or double sided.  You can save even more paper, ink, and moolah by simply reading over your paper carefully before you print it out.  I’m sorry, but printing out a paper 50 times just because you keep forgetting to use spell-check is just ridic.

We fund America’s red cup industry. I will bet that 9 out of every 10 parties you attend you can be found with a red cup in your hand.  However, using a different red cup with every drink can be pretty wasteful.  What’s more, you never really know where those cups have been before they reach your lips.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not really down to catch the Swine.  Solve all these problems before they start by bringing your own cup.  Think about it – you can decorate it your own way (helloooo, Pimp Cup!), you don’ t have to share it with any creepy randos, and you’ll look far less suspicious when your grandma decides to check out your drunken facebook pics.

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