How to live green on campus

October 9th, 2014



It can be tough trying to live a sustainable life while a student, you might not even know where to begin. But that’s what I’m for. Hello I’m Joe, your JCU Environmental Wacko here to give you some easy tips to help you live green on campus.


For starters, turn off your computer when you’re done with it. I have my laptop set to “power saver” so it shuts itself off rather than always being on sleep mode. However sleep mode does use less energy that what my computer is usually doing: Netflix. You can also turn your phone, TV and Perkin Elmer Autosystem Gas Chromatograph with a Carbowax 20M column off when you’re not using them to save energy.


Try printing double sided, this cuts down on how much paper you use. Better yet you can just use the printer outside the InBetween. It takes your print money but never actually prints anything. Zero paper used, just like the zero you just got on that essay.


The laundry room is where you can save some serious energy. While never doing laundry does effectively eliminate that portion of your carbon footprint, a happy roommate that does not make.


Instead fill the machines all the way up and use cold water for everything, it really doesn’t make any difference to your clothes (plus you don’t have to sort out the whites and darks). Monitor how much soap you use, one pod is enough. Modern soap is a product of some really cool chemistry and you only need a little bit to clean a full load of laundry. Also take the lint out of the dryer, not only is it gross, but also having a clean lint trap increases the efficiency of the dryer, meaning less energy used and dryer towels. One more tip: don’t leave your dry clothes in the dryer for hours. This isn’t an environmental tip, just a common courtesy. Don’t be that guy.


Now that it is getting colder out the campus will be turning the heat back on in the dorms. Now while you may be tempted to crank it all the way and the leave the window open because it’s your tuition. Don’t! The heater is on a negative feedback loop, that is they keep heating your room until the thermostat sense that your room has reached the desired temperature. By leaving your window open the thermostat thinks that your room is as cold as your soul and just keeps pumping up the heat, and that is a huge waste of energy.


And above all else, turn the lights off in your dorm when you go to class. And when you leave your dorm to go off campus, consider walking or checking out a bike to get up to Target. The Bike Co-Op now has seven bikes available for student use at the rec-desk. Not only is this good exercise but gives you more freedom when you go off campus. No longer do you have to stand outside Macy’s forever waiting for the shuttle.


If you want to know more about sustainability on campus consider coming to an Environmental Issues Group meeting, we meet Wednesdays at 7om in the Idlewood room.


Stay green and stay classy JCU.