Living sustainably and going green is something anyone can do. You can take small steps every day to become a better, more earth-friendly person that leads a sustainable lifestyle. UNT offers many ways to be a conscientious person by offering resources on campus such as recycling bins everywhere, providing habitats for all sorts of wildlife like bees and squirrels, and so many more. If you would like to help contribute to saving some of the bees on campus, leave a dish of water outside with some twigs for the bees to safely land on and drink. Here at UNT, WE MEAN GREEN!
Cut Your Water Use
Living in the dorms can make being green seem a bit hard but, there are easy ways to contribute to saving the planet. Take shorter showers. Although 3/4 of the planet is covered in water, there is only a small percentage of it is actually usable for drinking and cleaning. Cutting your shower time by two to three minutes will save about 10 gallons of water as about a gallon is used per minute.
Another way to conserve water is to turn it off when you are not using it. It sounds so simple, I know. But whenever you are brushing your teeth or doing your skincare routine, turn the faucet off when you’re not directly using it. You are wasting running water whenever you just leave it on. This could save you up to 200 gallons of water a month!
Plastic Is Not Fantastic
Plastic waste is the biggest problem plaguing our planet. It is not biodegradable and takes thousands of years to break down. It pollutes our planet unlike anything else. The creation of plastic all the way to its disposal is detrimental to the Earth.
There are so many ways to substitute plastic products such as post-consumer recycled trash bags like Grove’s Trash bags or reusable straws that you can attach to your keys and take with you everywhere! These products help you get rid of small items in your everyday lives that you didn’t even realize were becoming problematic and help you be more sustainable. Plastic water bottles are another problem so try replacing them with a Brita filter in your dorm or having a tumbler or reusable water bottle with you to refill your water.
Beauty Is Pain But, It Doesn’t Have To Hurt The Planet
Makeup wipes are a single-use product but, that’s a waste! You can kiss those wasteful products goodbye and replace them with washable makeup remover pads. Adding water and/or a remover solution will help take your makeup off swiftly. This product is available on Amazon and it usually comes in a pack of many, catering to multiple skin types to assure you that it will not irritate your skin. These products can be washed either in a washer or by hand with some soap.
Speaking of soap, try using package-free products like bars of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Doing this is a great example of being sustainable because you are eliminating unnecessary plastic waste as I mentioned before. Lush has great eco-friendly paper packaging for all of its products.
Unbelievable Reusable Products
If you happen to have a Keurig coffee machine in your dorm room, first of all, lucky you. Secondly, do the planet a favor and buy a pack of reusable Keurig cups. You can buy any blend of coffee you’d like and fill it inside the cup to make it. It not only saves you loads of money that you would normally spend on buying individual and wasteful cups when you could just buy a bag of brew and use your single, environmentally friendly K-cup!
Another product that also is incredibly sustainable is reusable silicone bags. These bags are incredibly sturdy and easy to clean! Packing your lunch has never been easier. Your silicone bag can be microwaved, frozen or steamed, and still remain in perfect condition. Single-use plastic sandwich and snack bags are one of the most common products that are wasted when it comes to pre-packed lunches.
Instead of using any of the plastic bags offered by grocery stores, bring your own reusable bags. A reusable tote for groceries is a great investment because it is very sustainable and allows you to say no to the single-use plastic bags offered at checkout. Also, if you happen to like fresh produce even while living on campus, buy yourself a netted reusable produce bag to take with you whenever you go grocery shopping. They keep your fruits and veggies fresh without bruising them in your tote.
Use the Bins
As I mentioned before, UNT has bins everywhere for students to actively participate in being more green. Try to go out of your way to recycle any plastic you do use. Keep all your papers and place them in the correct bins when disposing of them. And if you happen to have any trash that doesn’t fit into any of the categories you see, don’t feel bad about just putting it in the regular trash. At least you made the effort to look.
UNT’s message to go green is plastered all over our campus. The bins are provided to us to send a message to all of the students and staff that whatever we do matters. Our contributions to this planet will leave its mark whether we want it to or not and it is up to us to decide if we want it to be a positive or a negative thing.
Buy Recycled Products
Nowadays it is really easy to find a recycled alternative to simple things like notebooks and even shoes! Brands like Vans are creating shoes from recycled materials, even old shoes! Vans is doing its part in creating a more sustainable business. Another business doing the same is one available in the Union! Decomposition books are available at Barnes and Noble on campus. Their notebooks and composition books are made with 100% post-consumer recycled products. Although they are a bit pricier than regular notebooks, they help the planet much more than they do!