It’s common knowledge that environmental sustainability isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds all the time.
In this post we’ll show you 6 simple steps that will help you become more environmentally conscious as you go about your day. These steps won’t be too overwhelming and won’t adversely affect the quality of your day. But in the long run they will help contribute to a more sustainable planet.
6 Ways to Be More Sustainable
1. Use reusable water bottles and refill them at one of the many water fountains around campus
Refill your water bottles. Take advantage of the water fountains on campus. By bringing a water bottle to campus everyday, you are doing the environment a great favor by reusing or having a permanent water bottle.
According to Ban the Bottle, last year the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38. Especially with the water fountains on campus giving you an option to fill water bottles via sensor, there is no reason to not refill it!
2. Recycling things like ink cartridges, toner cartridges, and batteries
Recycling more than just water bottles. Recycling is important because waste has been having a huge negative impact on the environment for quite some time now. You can recycle other things such as your empty ink and toner cartridges, batteries, and even old/unwanted devices such as cell phones and computers can be recycled as well.
You can aim to pick up a few objects a day. Something as little as a candy wrapper or a Starbucks cup goes a long way. If we have a group of 100 students following along, that could lead between 500 to as much as 1,000 pieces of reusable material that is being recycled on a daily basis.
3. Printing double sided
Printing paper on both sides is a great way to conserve paper. Something as simple as clicking a button before printing, and you have already cut in half the number of pages you are printing. From seeing people print first hand and in my own experience, I feel as if printing double-sided has become more and more rare. Printing on both sides is both cost effective and eco friendly and a really easy way to save!
4. Turning off lights when you’re not in the room
Along with saving water, conserving energy is a great way to increase sustainability. When leaving your room, be sure to shut off your light. We’re all guilty of it, and it happens every day. There are times when turning off your lights become very effective in saving energy on a daily basis. Along with turning off your water, if you are able to effectively conserve both, you will find more green in both the environment and your wallet!
5. Making sure you shut off the water when you’re not using it
Remember when your mom would yell “Hey! Turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth!” Turning off the sink water while performing tasks is an extremely effective way of conserving water. Whether you are brushing your teeth, shaving, or scrubbing your hands, something as little as turning a handle can go a long way in not only helping the environment but can save you some money on your water bill.
6. Carpooling or riding a bike
If you’re a student at UAlbany with a car, you know how at certain times it can be impossible to find a parking spot, aside from the vast wasteland that resides near the basketball court behind Dutch Quad. The amount of people driving to and from campus every day causes more harm than inconvenience. Significant levels of C02 emissions can be traced to automobile usage.
Two simple solutions to help ease inconvenience and improve the quality of the air are: carpooling and cycling.
If you and your friends all routinely drive to campus for class, why not simplify this and share a ride? You’ll notice that it’s easier to find parking, but you won’t notice that you just engaged in a highly beneficial and environmentally conscious behavior.
As for the other solution, I know cycling isn’t practical for people who live far off campus, and especially on days when it’s cold and snowy. But if you have the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, get some exercise, and avoid causing harm to the environment, why wouldn’t you?
Unfortunately, there isn’t just one solution to instantly promoting sustainability and creating a clean environment. However, these six steps can guide you along the right path to help improve the world around you. By taking part in these steps, we hope that you notice the differences and can pass them along to family and friends!
Try all or some of these ideas and let us know your experiences. If you decide to incorporate these steps into your daily routine be sure to link back to our blog so we can see how well they worked for you!
Image courtesy of Max Pixel