- Reusable Dishware
Using reusable dishware and utensils instead of disposable ones can really reduce your consumer footprint. This system is much cheaper than constantly buying new plastic utensils and it’s a whole lot greener. You can buy microwave-safe bowls and plates at Target for a very cheap price. Most freshmen received a reusable water bottle at orientation which is another great way to save money and the environment one step at a time.
- Energy Usage
Energy usage in the dorms is a huge issue that can easily be minimized. You can start by being more mindful of your lights. Keep them off whenever you can and open the blinds if it’s light out. Studies have shown that natural lighting improves your mood and workplace performance, so conserving energy might even boost your GPA in the process. Also, turning the lights off in the bathroom or floor lounges when nobody is there is a super easy way to reduce your energy usage. If you can help it, avoid charging your electronics overnight and unplug when your computer or phone is fully charged.
- Conserve Water
If you’re a native Californian, chances are you’ve heard this speech at least once in your lifetime, but that’s only because this one is especially important. Although California is technically not in a drought anymore, it’s still extremely important to watch our water consumption. Try taking shorter showers or turning off the water when you’re not using it. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and washing your face and help others do the same.
- Paper Towels
Try to pay attention to your paper towel usage because it’s probably a lot higher than you think. Use a hand dryer if it’s there or, if you can help it, don’t dry your hands. Keep a hand towel in your bathroom locker and use it when possible.
- Dining Halls
College dining halls are the epitome of unnecessary food waste. Only take what you can eat at the dining hall and start small; if you want more, go back. Remember: your eyes are bigger than your stomach, don’t waste food!