College is a great place to start learning about what is good and what is not good for the environment. We can’t necessarily change the world, but we can at least try to control our impact. I used to find this concept difficult or even pointless, but in reality, a few simple changes to your life can really make a difference.
1. Use only the water you need. Take shorter showers, and do not leave water running when it is not necessary or while brushing your teeth.
2. Use a filtered tap water bottle. This will save money, provide you with cleaner water, reduce the amount of dangerous jobs required in the process of bottling water, and avoid so much plastic waste.
3. Use real dishes and avoid using plastic or paper products when possible.
4. Think about what you eat in the dining hall. So much of our food is processed and contains unhealthy substances, such as genetically modified organisms. The foods labeled organic are probably a good option.
6. Try not to take more than what you need to eat at the dining hall to avoid food waste.
7. If you use paper towels, take only what you need to avoid waste. After washing your hands you could also air dry your hands.
8. Turn off lights and unplug appliances when you leave for the day to avoid wasting energy.
9. Take reusable bags to the store when possible. If you buy only a few items, you may not even need a bag.
10. Reusable cups are a good idea if the coffee shop or wherever you go is okay with it. Just ask and they will let you know.
Morgayne Mulkern is a Comment staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.