Easy Ways to be Sustainable

by JENNIFER DANESH

Following are tips on how to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. If implementing these changes can make the world a cleaner place, make you healthier, and pad your bank account at the same time, why not?

From the latest health trends to clean, efficient technology and even to the fashion scene, the idea of “going green” has become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe. As a student, it can be difficult to balance both an academic and social life, let alone adopt a lifestyle that requires that small extra step to be more sustainable. However, with the endless amount of ways to be more environmentally friendly, going green may be easier than you think! Recycling, conserving energy, eating less meat are all examples of simple ways to go green.

 

WAYS TO BE SUSTAINABLE 

 

1. Combine loads of laundry,

or make sure that you have a full load of clothes before doing your laundry. This can save both water and energy. Also, if you need to wash two colors separately, throw them into the dryer together

Another tip: Wash your clothing in cold water. Not only does it use less electricity, and less carbon dioxide production, but it also causes less heat damage to your favorite clothes!

 

2. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth.

Did you know that leaving it on could lead you to wasting over a gallon of water? Furthermore, reducing your shower time by just two minutes can lead you to keeping up to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment. Not only are you conserving several gallons of water, but you are also using less electricity to heat up your water.

 

3. Don’t buy new textbooks.

Either buy used books, or re-use other people’s textbooks and let them use yours for free! This service is available on sites like Bookins.com, PaperBackSwap.com, or SwapTree.com. You could also rent books for a whole quarter at Chegg. com. Not only can you stay green by doing this, but you can also save a lot of money.

 

4. Refrain from buying water bottles, and invest in a Brita filter.

Make use of reusable water bottles that you can refill with your own filtered water. Also, make sure to use a reusable mug for tea and coffee--some coffee shops may even give you a discount for doing so!

 

5. Tired of paying for printing at Powell? 

Make good use of the paper after you are done using it, by utilizing the back as scrap paper for brainstorms, notes, math problems, and more! Also, make sure to check the “Eco-Print Double Sided” option when printing, and use low quality settings when you print on campus, in the dorms, or in your apartment. This can save a lot of paper, ink, and money!

 

6. Make sure to turn off the lights

every time you leave your room--even if it’s just for a few minutes! If you forget, stick a note on the door to remind you before you walk out!

 

7. Do you have a job? Do you get paper paychecks?

Save paper by requesting for your paycheck to be deposited straight into your bank account! Also request your monthly bank statements by e-mail instead of through snail mail.

 

8. At the end of the quarter, tear out the remaining pieces of binder paper

that are left in unfinished spiral bound notebooks, and use them to take notes for your classes the next quarter, or as scrap paper. After you finish those sheets, start taking notes on a laptop to save paper! You can always rent a laptop for 4 hours from several Clicc locations on campus; check www.clicc.ucla.edu.

 

9. Pull the plug.

Although you may think that your chargers are not using electricity because your cell phone, iPod, or laptop is not plugged in, the charger is in fact using up electricity. Pull out your chargers from the wall outlet when not in use.

 

10. Don’t waste food in the dining hall.

This one is probably never intentionally done, but is most likely the most difficult one to self-enforce. Know your eating limits and remember that you can always take seconds. Putting less on your plate for the first round will diminish the amount of food that will end up in the garbage.

 

11. Donate your clothing and/or furniture

when you do not need it, instead of throwing it away. Organizations like The Salvation Army will come and pick up your items for free, and give you a slip that you can use to get a tax deduction.

 

12. Go green with school supplies.

Use empty cans for pen/pencil holders, and use old shoeboxes for storage. Furthermore, buy recycled products from the Green Corner at the UCLA Store. They sell recycled Post-Its, notebooks, binders, pencils, and more. You could also buy organic cotton clothes from this section!

 

Did you know?

  • The production of 1 pound of beef creates 14.8 pounds of CO2, the same amount produced by 20.59 miles of driving.
  • Roughly 70% of the grain grown and 50% of the water consumed in the United States are used by the meat industry.

 

Tips for going green for students living in apartments

  • Re-use bags from your shopping trips to carry your lunch, books, and personal items.
  • Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CLFs). They use about 75% less energy than standard bulbs and can even last for up to 10x longer! CFLs cost about $2 each, and will save you a lot on your utilities bills!
  • Make sure to set up recycling bins right next to your trashcan, and under your desk. This will make recycling a lot easier.
  • Installing low-flow shower heads will also save you on your utilities bills. Switching to a lower-flow model can conserve 3 to 4 gallons of water per minute in the shower.

 

Winter 2010 | Vol. 10 | Issue 2