5 ways to go greener this week

Going green is a big goal, so why not start small? Here are 5 ways to be a little more environmentally friendly this week, one for each school day.

Monday – Give a younger student an old textbook that’s still in good condition

Not only does this help underclassmen save money, but it’s also a great way to reduce paper waste. Many departments, like the English department, have shelves of used books that students can pick up.

Tuesday – Opt for the vegetarian – or vegan – choice at lunch

A 2012 study done by the department of water engineering and management at the University of Twente found that it takes 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, while it only takes 42.5 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables. This means that if every SPA student ate one more vegetarian lunch a year than we do now, we would save over 150,000 gallons of water in a school year.

Wednesday – Take advantage of that late start and bike or walk to school.

If students live close enough to school, choosing biking or walking as a means of transport is an excellent way to decrease their carbon footprint.

Thursday – Bring a water bottle to school instead of buying one at the vending machines

Americans use about 50 billion plastic bottles each year. Instead of adding to the landfills, bring a water bottle to school and fill it at the drinking fountain.

Friday – Volunteer at an environmental organization

There are lots of excellent environmental volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities – this week, try planting trees with Tree Trust, helping out at the compost station at the 20th annual Metro Children’s Water Festival, or removing invasive plants with Friends of the Mississippi River

Although these daily challenges might seem small, the cumulative impact of many tiny differences can add up–and reduce one’s carbon footprint.