As we progress through Autumn, change is all around us. The leaves on the trees have changed from green to vibrant colors of red, orange, yellow, and brown. The morning frost has begun to appear on once green fields in the morning. While nature undergoes its annual change, there is change in society as well. The presidential election is but a few weeks away, and regardless of who wins, change is upon us. It is now our turn as students to undergo change. Unlike the leaves, it will not come to us. We must make a mindful effort to change. Some changes are easy and quick, while some require a daily dedication. We have provided you with some alternatives to make your rooms a little more “green.” Not only are these changes environmentally friendly, but they save money and provide you with a healthier lifestyle. By following these 10 simple steps, you will be on your way to a better lifestyle!
1. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent alternatives. The compact fluorescent light bulbs not only save energy, but they are also less of a fire hazard.
2. Use non-Bisphenol-A Nalgene bottles instead of disposable ones, and fill them with Brita filtered water. Bottled water causes so much waste. Filtered tap water costs 1,900 times less then bottled water and is no-less healthy.
3. Buy reusable cloth grocery bags! They can be used for a variety of purposes, not just your grocery shopping. At around $1 a bag, they will help rid us of the waste produced by using plastic alteratives
4. Invest in power strips and plug all of your electronics into them. Whether you’re using them or not, your electric appliances are consuming energy. When you’re not in the room, simply turn off the power strip! Electricity vampires be gone!
5. Use environmentally friendly detergents for your clothes, and wash using the cold and warm settings. There are tons of websites online with lists and guides on which products are best. For bonus points hang dry your clothes, towels, pillow cases, and anything else for which you have room. They smell better too!
6. Go green – literally! Buy as many plants as you and your roommate can stand. Plants add wonderful energy to a room and help scrub your air clean of all that pesky Carbon Dioxide.
7. When dining at locations where disposable plates,knives, and forks will be used, bring your own! For bonus points bring your own coffee cup everywhere you go – you’ll help the environment and save yourself money!
8. Stop driving. Ride your bike, the bus, the train, or lace up a pair of walking shoes. Cars are a convenience, not a necessity. Break your dependence to save our Earth and your wallet.
9. Have you ever seen those commercials absorbent towels that soak up water like a sponge but can be wrung out instantly? Those are called shammy cloths and they can be dried in almost a single wring. They are available in most department stores and if you can’t find them there, nearly every auto shop carries them. Now that you know you can wave those mountains of paper towel rolls goodbye!
10. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. In that order. Remember, Think Globally, Act Locally.
Hopefully you can adopt some of these changes. Some are more feasible than others, but they are all possible over time. Make small goals as the semester progresses. Buy a plant one week, and some reusable grocery bags the next. You’ll soon find out that these changes not only help our earth, but they help us as well. Good luck.
Patrick Gardner is a fourth-year student majoring in communications studies. He can be reached at PG606594@wcupa.edu.