May 25, 2014 2 min read

Being in college doesn't need to stop you from reducing your carbon footprint. In fact, this is a great time to develop habits that will make you a lifelong friend of the planet. And by making these changes yourself, you might just inspire your classmates to do the same, improving your community and the world.

Try one of more of these tips to reduce your impact:

  • Walk—Walking does more than reduce your carbon footprint! It also helps you to stay fit and engage with your community.
  • Use a Rug—If your apartment or dorm floor is cold, you're more likely to feel cold and dial up your thermostat. To avoid this, put a nice, warm rug on the floor—it'll insulate your living space and help to keep your feet warm.
  • Use a Comforter—Keep that thermostat low at night by staying warm under a nice, thick comforter. Down comforters are especially good at this.
  • 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 to write your papers and do research, switch to a laptop. With a little research, you can find an inexpensive one that's more than adequate for your needs.
  • Avoid Disposables—Instead of buying cases of water bottles, buy one good thermos and refill it with water, tea, or your favorite soup from the dining hall. You'll reduce your waste and 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 think of all the fun stuff you'll be able to do with your savings!

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  lifelong steward of your local and world environment. Want to do more? Consider becoming a Tree Ambassador!

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!

We plant trees on 4 continents around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?

by Ben Rummel

for One Tree Planted