Having a green thumb as a college student

Cornell University Using reusable water bottles and recycing any plastic ones helps the environment.

                                                                                                                       Cornell University
Using reusable water bottles and recycing any plastic ones helps the environment.

The world as we know it is becoming overwhelmed with atrocious amounts of trash, resulting in the pollution many suffer from. Unfortunately, most of our trash contains items that can easily be reused, though people still throw recyclable items away; whether this is due to laziness or simply not caring is unclear. There is no reason to avoid taking more action to recycle and make smarter, eco-friendly decisions. Here are some helpful tips on what to recycle and how to do it efficiently and effectively.

First things first: Be a part of the recycling loop. Try to only purchase items made from recycled materials.
Make sure you are not abusing your water supply, especially when doing laundry and taking showers. Keep in mind that we are still in a drought.

Use reusable water bottles such as tumblers to avoid the excessive waste of plastic bottles.
Try to use your car as little as possible. Carpool or use an alternate form of transportation, such as a bicycle, scooter or longboard.

Do not throw away any cardboard or paper packaging you may come across! It can easily be thrown into the recycling bin.

Your food can be recycled too, so start a compost. Over half of America’s food is thrown away each year, which is utterly heartbreaking. One perk of composting is that it saves you money on fertilizers, and your plants will love it!

Plastic bottle caps are usually recyclable along with the bottle. Check with your local solid waste and recycling office to be sure, but many recycling programs accept bottle caps, which are made from No. 5 and No. 2 plastics.

After using or eating out of recyclable materials, make sure to clean them well enough so that there are no traces of food residue. If unclean, these products cannot be recycled.

Half is better than none! Although you cannot recycle your whole pizza box, you can tear off and recycle the top half, as long as it is grease-free. As always, check with your local solid waste and recycling office to be sure. Keep this tip in mind if you plan on picking up a pizza or ordering in this weekend!

Use hand towels as often as possible. This will save you a ton of paper towels.

Use reusable bags, such as tote bags, when grocery shopping to avoid using more paper and plastic, even when you are making a trip to the mall. The fewer bags used, the better.

Do not forget about recycling your bathroom products. Remember, do not trash your shampoo bottles and toilet paper rolls just because they are in the bathroom.

Can it! Metals are among the most valuable materials in the waste stream, and almost all recyclers will accept aluminum and steel. So, remember to recycle all those beer cans at parties!

Technology these days uses quite a bit of electricity. Look for the Energy Star sign when purchasing new appliances. This will make your power bill and the environment a lot happier. Rechargeable batteries also truly help.

Hopefully these tips will be useful toward making more environmentally smart choices! Remember to stay green, Pacific.

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Jenna Graves

Lifestyles Editor at The Pacifican

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