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10 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint as a Student

by Meaghan Weeden â—Ź August 22, 2023 â—Ź 3 min read

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TIPS TO LOWER YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT IN COLLEGE

Going to college is a formative experience that can help you learn about the world, and find your place within it. But traveling to attend a school on the other side of the country (or world) doesn't need to stop you from reducing your carbon footprint. In fact, your college years are a great time to develop sustainable living habits that will help you be a lifelong friend to the planet. And by taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint, you might just inspire your classmates to follow your example!

In addition to your coursework, an important part of college life is learning about (and sharing!) new ideas, attitudes and perspectives. In this sense, it's more than just a place to learn: attending college or university is also a place to grow. If you are interested in sustainability and the environment, we encourage you to take advantage of any clubs, associations, or organizations on campus. One great way to get involved is by joining our network of Tree Ambassadors that hail from all around the world. You will have opportunities to connect, make friends, organize fundraisers together and share your experiences with other nature lovers. 

Ready to make an impact? Keep reading for ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint while at college.

How To Reduce Carbon Footprint As A Student

1. WALK OR USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

If possible, leave your car at home and walk (or bike!) to your classes instead. Walking not only helps to reduce your carbon footprint: it is a great way to improve your health and explore your new home.

2. GET A BIG, COZY RUG

If your apartment or dorm room floor is cold, you're more likely to feel cold and turn up the heat. To avoid this, put a nice, warm rug on the floor — it'll insulate your living space and help to keep your feet warm.

3. WRAP YOURSELF UP IN A WARM COMFORTER

Keep the cold at bay with a nice, warm (and eco-friendly) comforter! You'll be able to keep the thermostat lower — and you might just sleep better, too! Bonus: studies show that a cold room combined with a warm blanket lead to better sleep!

4. STICK TO A LAPTOP

Did you know laptops use up to 90% less energy than desktop computers? If you've been using a desktop computer to write your papers and do research, consider making the switch. With a little research, you can find an inexpensive one that's more than adequate for your needs. 

5. REDUCE WASTE BY AVOIDING DISPOSABLES

Instead of buying plastic water bottles or plastic water jugs, buy one good thermos and refill it with water, tea, or your favorite soup from the dining hall. If possible, also bring reusable utensils in your bag so you won't have to use the disposable cutlery and straws provided at the dining hall. If you're ready for more, check out our tips on zero-waste living.

6. REDUCE DAIRY AND MEAT INTAKE

Dairy farms and cows are high-impact on the environment. Try reducing your meat and dairy intake a little bit at a time. And when you do consume dairy, make sure it's local and chemical-free. This simple switch is a major step towards having a sustainable diet— and you just might find that you feel better, too!

7. PURCHASE SPARINGLY

Do you really need that new bulletin board? How about that extra pair of sunglasses? When you're tempted to make a purchase, think carefully: will the item add to your life, or will it just take up more space? For more inspiration, check out our tips on sustainable living for ways to live a more sustainable life.

8. FORGET FAST FASHION

We get it, you want to stay on trend and within your budget. But fast fashion comes at a high cost for the planet, including significant waste, heavy pesticide use, and a high shipping footprint. A much better option is to buy from sustainable brands or hit your local thrift store for quality, gently-used pieces that will help you look good and make a statement!

9. GIVE VEGETABLES A CHANCE

Reducing your meat consumption is a simple and impactful way to reduce your carbon footprint. And what better place to do it than a college campus, where you have access to a variety of flavors from all around the world, every day? Try eating a few vegetarian meals a week to figure what you do and don't like.

10. PLANT A TREE!

Planting trees is a great way to connect with the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. You can do this by planting a tree locally, or by leaving the planting up to us!

forests and carbon graphic

By trying one or more of these tips, you'll reduce your carbon footprinteven while you're in college. And by developing these habits when you're young, you'll be a lifelong steward of your local environmen.  Want to do more? Consider planting trees today!

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Meaghan Weeden
Meaghan Weeden

Meaghan works to share our story far and wide, manages our blog calendar, coordinates with the team on projects + campaigns, and ensures our brand voice is reflected across channels. With a background in communications and an education in environmental conservation, she is passionate about leveraging her creativity to help the environment!