You know what it is to be green but, when you’re in college with a busy schedule, sometimes it seems like a lot of time and effort that you don’t have to devote to becoming Eco-friendly.
However, there are small changes you can implement into your daily life that take little to no time or effort and can actually save you a lot of money in the process.
Believe it or not, you can be kind to the planet and stuff your wallet – without much effort at all. Adopting a greener approach to life doesn’t have to be difficult.
Here are 15 easy ways you can live greener while you’re a student:
1. Take Notes Electronically
Thankfully, the world is now digitally focused and your studies can be, too. You’ll save money (and stop wasting paper) on purchasing notebooks and flashcards if you begin to electronically take down what you need to remember in class.
2. Adopt Reusable Bag Practices
Take reusable bags to the store with you to grocery shop instead of opting for paper or plastic. It’s wasteful and unnecessary – and several bags with every grocery trip can add up to a whole lot of garbage over a lifetime.
3. Nix Bottled Water
Reuse old water bottles or purchase water bottles that you can refill instead of tossing out a new bottle every time you need to quench your thirst.
According to The Water Project, it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of water bottles in the United States never get recycled. In addition, it takes three times the amount of water that’s in a water bottle to create the bottle in the first place!
The Water Project also notes that, “U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone.”
So getting a BPA-free water bottle shows the earth – and your wallet – love.
By now, this should be a no-brainer. When you’re able, recycle. Whether it’s paper products, plastics or upcycling old items, it’s important to think about which trash can be saved from a landfill.
5. Power Down
When you’re not using appliances or you’re not in a room, turn off lights and other electronics. An easy way to implement this is by connecting your electronics to a surge protector and flipping the switch when you leave the room. Bonus: your electric bill will thank you!
6. Buy Less or Borrow
Only buy what you actually need. In a consumer culture, it’s easy to fall into overbuying habits. If you only purchase what’s necessary, you’ll not only be going green but saving green as well.
If you have the option, borrow items instead of buying them. There are plenty of items available for rent, like DVDs, which can reduce waste. In addition, you can download music and movies electronically instead of purchasing hard copies.
7. Walk or Bike More
In addition to helping you live a healthier lifestyle, trying to cut down on driving can help the environment and save you a lot of gas money as well.
8. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Try to switch your bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent (CFLs) or LED bulbs. Though they may be a little more expensive, it’s worth it because they can last up to five times longer than regular light bulbs and are very bright so you won’t need to turn on as many lights.
9. Save Energy
Set your thermostats a few degrees lower or your air conditioner a few degrees higher. You probably won’t notice much of a difference, but the environment will!
10. Eat Sustainable Seafood
Stay away from harvested or farmed fish or seafood that’s not sustainable. In addition to being loaded with all kinds of unhealthy additives, the farming systems used are terrible for the environment. Choose sustainably-caught ocean fish as the other methods of capture can have disastrous impacts on ocean ecosystems.
On the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch site, you can learn more about the importance of sustainable seafood and find out where to get sustainable seafood in your area.
11. Decrease Meat Consumption
Raising livestock produces large amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment.
According to a United Nations report, “cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation, and smarter production methods, including improved animal diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions, are urgently needed.”
Additionally, “when emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.”
Eating less meat – even omitting it from a meal one day a week – can positively influence change. When you do eat meat, look for labels that specify free range, organic and hormone and antibiotic free.
There are resources to help you find sustainable food locally so you know exactly where your food is coming from – especially since it can not only affect the environment, but your health as well.
12. Don’t Purchase Aerosol Sprays
With millions of beauty products out there, it’s easy to find products in pump sprays as an alternative. Try to look for items with environmentally responsible brand seals.
13. Think About Your Water Usage
Remember that old adage you’d repeat at the grade school drinking fountain, “save some for the fish?” You can do this in your daily life by turning off water while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
In addition, cutting down your shower time can save more water and make a bigger impact than you’d think.
It’s estimated that, using an average number of 2.5 gallons per minute from the typical shower head, reducing your shower length by 4 minutes per day would save (assuming you shower every day, ahem) 3,650 gallons per year.
Now that’s a lot of water saved for such a small sacrifice!
14. Support Better Brands
If you’re going to give brands you’re support through purchasing their products, read labels carefully. Look for beauty and cleaning products brands that are responsible in their production, looking for responsible brand seals.
Check out this site, where you can find a list of environmentally responsible brand seals.
While we’re on the topic of being responsible, why not look for items that aren’t tested on animals. It’s a cruel process and showing your support for companies that don’t use animals for testing can end it for good.
It’s easy to find cruelty-free brands. You just need to know which labels to look for and there are a lot more options than you might think.
It will make a small difference to you but a world of difference to the animals involved, not to mention, no longer supporting companies that condone such cruel practices. Because, if you support them, it’s kind of like you’re condoning it too, isn’t it?
15. Opt Out of Junk Mail
How much of the mail you’re receiving is mail you actually want? By opting out, you can save resources and save yourself the hassle!
You can get off most unsolicited mail lists simply by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
Also, elect to browse online instead of getting catalogs mailed to your home. In this digital age, you can see everything you need to without the massive waste of paper!
All of these tips are easy to implement and will actually save you money. It’s time you go green to save green – the planet and your wallet will thank you!
What other choices can students make to have a greener lifestyle?
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Study Transportation and Logistics in the US
A customer in Louisiana orders a new television from a local electronics retailer. The local retailer sends the order to its national warehouse in Washington state. The warehouse selects the television from a Japanese manufacturer’s latest shipment and schedules the package for delivery. Will the television be shipped by air? Would the retail chain’s network of trucks be well-suited to deliver this package? Or would a combination of freight transport east and barge transport down the Mississippi be the most efficient route?
Transportation & Logistics is a broad, diverse industry that deals with organizing the distribution of resources. If you are an international student who loves solving puzzles and devising equations to answer problems, you might consider studying transportation and logistics in the US.
About Transportation & Logistics in the US
As home to the world’s largest and most diverse consumer market, the United States has an enormous supply system, and its highly skilled workforce and relatively low costs draw investors from all over the world. In 2011, nearly $1.3 trillion was spent in the US transportation and logistics industry, and the industry brought in 8.5% of the country’s gross domestic product.
Resources and products are delivered through a network of transport services, including:
- Air delivery
- Freight rail
- Trucking services
A good’s most efficient pathway to consumers often involves a combination of these transportation methods. Transportation and logistics professionals analyze data to optimize delivery schedules.
Types of Jobs in Transportation & Logistics
The transportation and logistics industry is incredibly diverse and involved in a broad range of services. Among the shipping and delivery of goods, industry positions include:
- Analysts are responsible for evaluating yield data, maintaining route schedules and business costs. It is the analyst’s job to optimize efficiency within the delivery system and communicate his or her findings with other team members.
- Import/Export Coordinators
- Import/Export coordinators are responsible for overseeing the shipment of goods in and out of country. Coordinators, as well as export/import managers, ensure that shipments pass through customs and make it to the next stage of delivery; as a result, they must remain up-to-date on regulations and procedures. Importer/Exporters also manage the shipment data that analysts use to optimize delivery systems.
- Account Executives
- Account executives are responsible for managing sales and customer service. Account men begin, develop, and maintain relationships with clients. When something goes wrong, it is the responsibility of an account executive to coordinate with the operations side of the delivery so they can explain the problem to the client. Although a college degree is not necessary for this position, experience within the industry is usually required and companies prefer candidates with a college education. A degree in transportation and logistics would provide candidates with such knowledge and experience necessary to give them a leg up in the industry.
Jobs within the transportation and logistics industry are not limited merely to shipping and delivery. Local and regional governments also rely on transportation and logistics principles. City planners, civil engineers, and public transportation officials all use logistics to make their systems more efficiently. (Think of the chaos a public bus system could cause if routes did not take traffic patterns, route schedules, and population distributions into full consideration!) Learn more about careers in Transportation/Logistics
Be a Part of the Future through Transportation & Logistics
Essentially, logistics can be applied to any system with many moving parts. For an example, consider a hospital. The process of simply scheduling a surgery requires countless considerations:
- How many other surgeries are scheduled that day?
- Which rooms can accommodate such a surgery?
- What staff needs to be scheduled?
- Is the hospital stocked with the necessary supplies and when should those supplies be delivered?
- How soon can the room be used again?
Hospitals rely on logistics professionals to evaluate data and streamline their systems so that questions like these aren’t a problem. Hospitals are only one example, however. Any organization large enough to have these questions uses logistics to answer them.
As the American economy grows, more companies will need logistics professionals to organize their systems and optimize those systems’ efficiency.
International students who want to study transportation and logistics in the US will find that there are many colleges and universities that offer programs in transportation and logistics. Different jobs within the industry have different education requirements, but logistics are applicable across a broad range of professions. Find out whether a degree in logistics is right for you
Transportation and Logistics
Visit the Study in the USA School search to find schools that offer programs of study in Transportation and Logistics.
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