Easy tips for making the environment just a little bit cleaner
Students are often asked the same question when they are going to class: “Do you have a minute for the environment?”
While many students may not have the time to stop and hear about Boulder’s environmental issues, it’s important to know that it really does only take a minute to make the environment a better place.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency the easiest way to help the planet is by practicing the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
The easiest way to reduce and reuse items is through buying objects that last longer so they don’t have to be thrown away as often.
The EPA’s Web site shows that reducing and reusing helps conserve natural resources, lower the toxicity of waste and save money of both producers and consumers.
Students can reduce and reuse by purchasing a reusable coffee mug rather than using disposable cups when going out for a morning coffee.
“I don’t use any plastic bags and I always use a reusable mug when I go get coffee or tea,” said Justine Smith, 19, a sophomore anthropology major.
However, sometimes products just have to go to the trash.
When it comes time to throw out an item, check to see if it’s recyclable. Most plastics and almost anything that tears can usually be recycled.
CU has recycling areas located in most buildings around campus as well as in the dorms and along walkways.
According to CU’s Recycling Program Manager Dan Baril, there are 20 new recycling cabinets in classrooms.
Another great way to help the environment is to conserve energy use.
Turn off lights when a room is no longer occupied, keep showers short and turn off electronics when they are not being used. Anything plugged in is continuously drawing energy all the way from phone chargers to computers.
“Sleep mode (for computers) is good, but if you’re not using it for extended hours turn it off,” said Baril.
Baril also suggests using a power strip for electronics, so when a variety of objects are not being used, one simply has to unplug the power strip to save energy from going to multiple unused items.
Blackle.com is another great way to save energy. It’s a search engine that runs off Google but instead of having a white background, it uses black.
According to the Blackle Web site, it takes less energy for a computer to power a black background than a white one.
Finally, a good way to help the environment is to limit driving.
The Bike Station by the UMC is a great place to start since students can borrow bikes free of charge.
“I try to drive as little as possible and I drive my Vespa instead of my car,” said Abrina Williams, 18, a freshman environmental science major.
Students can also take advantage of their RTD bus pass to get around Boulder.
While most students are too busy to become environmentalists, a little knowledge, and taking a minute of time to turn off a light switch or take that soda can to the recycle bin, can make a world of difference.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Cameron Naish at Cameron.email@example.com.