Top 5 ways for students to go green for Earth Day

Going green isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. For college students on tight schedules and budgets, it’s also not always the easiest or cheapest thing to do. Finding the time and energy to work environmentally-conscious choices into your day can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task. But going green is a process, and although we may struggle to work them into our routines, there are many small things we can do that can make a difference—all while saving money in the process.

1. Take advantage of Kansas City’s plethora of public transportation options

We’re lucky to live in a city where getting around without a car is about as easy as walking five steps in any direction. Bus stops, bicycle kiosks and scooters are available everywhere around Kansas City. With your student ID, you can hop on any KC Metro bus for free. You can also track buses and plan trips with the free Ride KC app.

2. Take notes electronically, and print just what you need

Taking notes on Google Docs or Microsoft Word saves from filling up notebooks that, let’s be honest, you’re just going to throw out at the end of the semester anyway. Also, try to be more selective with what you print. Find ways to get everything you need onto as few printed pages as possible.

3. Get into a habit of using reusable shopping bags

Start carrying a reusable bag in your car or backpack, so you have one with you if you decide to pick up a few things after class before you head home. It’s one of the hardest things to remember, but one of the biggest changes we can make.

4. Buy less—borrow more

Libraries are your friend. Before you decide to buy a new book for class, it’s always worth a shot to check if either the Kansas City Public Library or Miller Nichols have it first. If not, look into used and secondhand options like Half Price Books or Amazon. This isn’t always possible for some textbooks, but you can always go with the electronic option if there’s one available—it’s usually always cheaper, too.

5. Recycle

This one is pretty obvious, but how often do you catch yourself in the act of throwing something away that could have easily been recycled? It’s difficult to get into a habit of being more conscious about our waste, but it’s important to remember what things can be spared from a landfill when possible.

mspz8b@mail.umkc.edu

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