Brown: Five tips for being a sustainable college student


Columnist Jake Brown suggests five different ways a college student can be sustainable and green.

Jake Brown

College is hard. Like really hard. From classes to internships, it seems like we are always sprinting from place to place. But it’s easy to forget the little things. Sometimes, it seems like there is a lot of time and effort we don’t have to devote to being green. Even as we begin our journey of independence, we must also strive to take care of the world around us. There are many small changes we can implement in our daily lives that take little to no effort that are sustainable and can save money in the process. Adopting a greener approach doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are some tips to save the planet while being an A+ student:

Reusable Water Bottles

Reuse old water bottles or purchase reusable ones every time you need to get a drink. According to The Water Project, it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of water bottles in the United States never get recycled. In addition, it takes three times the amount of water that’s in a water bottle to create the bottle in the first place! Getting a reusable water bottle shows the earth, and your wallet, some love. If water quality is a problem, a sink filter or a pitcher with a built-in filter can help out.

Washing Dishes

Washing dishes is probably the last thing you want to do, but when moving into your first apartment or home, avoid the temptation of disposable paper or plastic plates, cups and utensils. It may be convenient, but this adds up to a lot of waste and money. You’ll save a lot of money by purchasing some inexpensive plates and utensils. 


We should all know this one. When you’re able to: recycle. Whether it’s paper, plastic or glass, most things can be recycled. Just look for the little recycling sign on the package! It’s important to think about which trash can be saved from going to a landfill.

Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Try to switch your light bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs. Though they may be expensive, it’s worth it. They can last up to five times longer than regular light bulbs and are very bright, so you won’t need to turn on as many lights!

Walk or Bike More

In addition to a healthier lifestyle, cutting down on driving can help the environment and save gas money as well. Walking, biking or taking a CyRide is a great way to help the planet and get to your destination on time. 

Like I said, it’s easy being green!

Jake Brown, junior in biology and kinesiology.