The idea is everywhere. Being “green” is as
important as ever and everyone wants to do things to be less wasteful and help
the environment. However, what if you are on a college student budget and can’t
afford that new top of the line hybrid vehicle? Here are something you can do
to be a “green” college student AND save yourself some money in the process.
Make the switch! Traditional textbooks are not only heavy and a pain to try and lug around, but they are expensive and will put a huge strain on your pocketbook. Transitioning from traditional textbooks to online textbooks and course materials will not only lighten your load, but they will save you a significant amount of money. Renting etextbooks compared to buying its traditional hard cover or paperback counterpart will in most cases reduce your textbook costs by half.
The environment also benefits from etextbooks. A common occurrence with textbooks is that a new edition will be released and often times the new edition will contain only grammatical or spelling corrections and not actually any new material or information. This is a huge waste of paper and trees, especially when there are five or even nine editions of a particular text. An etextbook on the other hand doesn’t require any additional paper or printing to release its newest edition. It is just digitally updated instantly.
The 3 R’s and Paper
Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to get around using paper. You are a student after all, and some teachers will require you to do assignments on paper or do an essay that requires you to print it out and hand it in. However, you can reduce the amount you use. For instance, even if your professor wants a printed copy of your assignment, don’t write out your first, second, and third drafts. Do all your drafting, editing, and revising on a computer or laptop and only print out the final draft, the one you will end up turning in.
You don’t just want to use less paper though. Reuse old paper. Before you through the paper in the recycle bin make sure both sides have been used up. If one side is blank, you can use it as scratch paper for figuring out math problems for example. Post-It’s cost money. Instead take that piece of
paper that has once side blank and cut it in half twice. Do that with several sheets and staple them together. Now you have a scratch pad for jotting down quick memos, and it didn’t cost anything to make it!
Of course, once a piece of paper has been used completely make sure it goes in that blue recycle bin instead of the trash can. Once it’s full just take it down to your local recycling center.
So you already know you can’t go splurge on a brand new hybrid vehicle, but there are other ways to go green while saving money instead of spending it. If you live close enough to campus walk or ride a bicycle to class. You won’t be contributing to pollution, you will be saving money on gas, and you will be improving your health with exercise.
If you live farther away however, you might need alternative transportation. Instead of driving your own car, you can ride the bus. Again you will be cutting back the amount of automobile pollution and saving money. Many places offer student discounts for monthly bus passes. Pay a onetime fee at the beginning of the month and have unlimited access to bus rides.
Another option you have is getting to know others on campus with similar schedules and setting up a carpool. If you were able to get enough people to join in, you could end up driving only once or twice a week.