Think Green: Eco-friendly tips for a new semester

With the semester starting, we all have a lot on our minds, and sustainability might not be a top priority. But being eco-friendly at Georgetown can be easier than you think – and can save you some money, as well. Below are a few tips for a sustainable semester.

Print double-sided. Lauinger and all UIS stations now automatically print double-sided at a discount of 5 cents per page. If double-sided is not the default, you can choose Eco-Printing under “Print Settings.” Single-sided pages are 10 cents each, so why not go with the eco-friendly option?

Brush up on university recycling. Check out the Sustainability Initiative’s recycling guide. You’d be surprised at how much you can recycle on campus – electronics, batteries, furniture, plastic bags, and, yes, Solo cups (recycle them with plastics). Also check out EcoAction’s guide to recycling commonly trashed items.

Switch it off. The official Switch It Off Challenge is over, but that’s no reason to stop conserving energy. Here are some tips: lower your heating setting, turn off lights when possible, turn off computers and appliances when not in use, and take shorter showers. If you’re living in a townhouse, this will result in financial savings as well!

Use CFL light bulbs. Compact-fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer than regular incandescent bulbs, and pay for themselves over their long lifetime. Find them at the bookstore and at CVS.

Buy textbooks green. Choose renting or used over new textbooks, or buy from Better World Books, a socially and environmentally responsible company with a huge supply of textbooks. For every book you buy, BWB donates a book to someone in need. Also, they have free shipping worldwide – and you can offset your shipment for just a few cents.

Buy everything else green, too. Choose recycled, FSC-certified paper and toilet paper; Environotes notebooks; and pens and pencils made from recycled material. Buy a reusable coffee mug and get a discount at Corp locations and Starbucks. Buy a reusable water bottle, too.

Madeline Collins is the Multimedia & Marketing Chair for EcoAction.

2 Comments on “Think Green: Eco-friendly tips for a new semester

  1.  by  Jennifer Richardson

    What a great reminder! I would also like to add using reusable shopping bags. Keep one of the handful sized in your pocket/ purse for when you buy a few small items and invest in a good one (like kerribag), big enough to buy groceries or to move stuff around.

  2.  by  Don Simkovich

    I wrote an article on eco-friendly coffee cups and mugs–the Copco coffee cup. I like the style, the weight, and the taste of the coffee. I’ve also read where Dunkin’ Donuts is researching eco-friendly mugs.

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