Today is America Recycles Day! As Christians, we believe we are called to be stewards of God’s creation. Recycling is all about reducing waste, but there’s a reason it is the last “R” in the phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Reducing and reusing are even stronger methods of conserving the earth’s limited resources, but you don’t have to live in the woods to begin taking care of your environment. Here are seven ways to reduce waste that you can do as a college student today!
1. Reduce plastic.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times, bring a reusable to-go box to restaurants, use real dishes when hosting guests, and bring your own shopping bags to the store.
2. Reduce water.
Shorten your showers, don’t leave the tap running, and wash full loads of laundry and/or dishes.
3. Reduce electricity.
Turn off your lights, invest in LED bulbs, and unplug your electronics when you’re not using them.
4. Reduce paper.
Print double-sided for drafts, ask your professors if you can turn in your papers electronically, and take notes on the back sides of old papers.
5. Reduce fuel.
Carpool to church or the grocery store, reduce your trips by combining errands, keep your coat on in the winter to reduce heating in your car or apartment, and drive as if your grandma was in the passenger’s seat.
6. Buy used.
Whether it’s electronics, books, clothes, or decorations for your dorm, buying used reduces the waste produced in manufacturing.
7. Shop unprocessed.
Reduce your spending on boxed, packaged, or bottled goods and buy more whole foods. This saves on materials while also encouraging a more healthy lifestyle.