by Ben Rummel

Just because you're in college doesn't mean you can't reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, this is a great time to develop habits that will help you to be a lifelong friend of the planet. In addition, by making these changes yourself, you'll be part of a grassroots movement to improve your community and the world. Others will see what you do and make changes in their own lives.


  • Walk. Walking does more than reduce your carbon footprint. It also helps you to stay fit and engage in your community.
  • Use a Rug. If your apartment or dorm floor is cold, you're more likely to feel cold and increase the temperature on your thermostat. Put a nice warm rug on the floor. It will insulate your room or apartment and help keep your feet warm.
  • Use a Comforter. Keep that thermostat lower at night by staying warm under a nice, thick comforter. Down comforters are especially good at keeping you warm while you sleep.
  • Switch to a Laptop. Did you know laptops use up to 90% less energy than desktop computers? If you've been using a desktop computer for writing your papers and doing your research, switch to a laptop. You can get an inexpensive laptop that is more than adequate for the student life.
  • Avoid Disposables. Instead of buying cases of water bottles, buy one good thermos and refill it with water, tea, or even soup. You'll vastly reduce your waste, and you'll also avoid ingesting the environmental estrogens that leach into drinking water from plastic.
  • Purchase Sparingly. Do you really need that new bulletin board? How about that hat? When you're tempted to make a purchase, think carefully. Will the item really add to your life? Or will it just take up more space and empty your bank account?
  • Reduce Dairy and Meat Intake. Dairies and cows are high-impact on the environment. Try reducing your meat and dairy intake a little at a time. You just might feel better and spend less on groceries, too.

By trying one or more of these tips, you'll reduce your carbon footprint even while you're in college. And by developing these habits while you're young, you'll be a responsible lifelong steward of your local and world environment.

Did we miss anything? If you have any tips for your fellow college students to help reduce your carbon footprint, let us know in the comments!

Ben Rummel
Ben Rummel


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