Worried about your carbon footprint? As you start a fresh school year, you may want to consider how your habits are affecting the environment. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can help change the world. Here are a few to get you started.
Make Your Dorm or Apartment Eco-Friendly
While you may not have much control over how your living space is set up, you can still make simple changes that have a big impact. First, swap your standard light bulbs for fluorescent bulbs. They use 75 percent less energy and shine just as bright. Next, buy eco-friendly cleaning products that don’t have harsh chemicals and reduce pollution and contamination of natural resources. (Hint: Check that the products are certified by independent nonprofit organization Green Seal or have the Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice seal.)
Change Your Skincare Routine
Maybe you’ve heard that the microbeads in facial soap are harmful to marine life. Don’t worry: You can still exfoliate your skin. You just need to find the right cleanser. Some brands offer a great selection of products with natural exfoliants. You can also look to your kitchen for alternatives like oatmeal, sugar, sea salt, lemon, or baking soda. Just remember: Different skin types respond best to certain exfoliants, so check with your dermatologist about which beauty routine is best suited to your needs.
Wash Your Clothes More Efficiently
Washing machines use a huge amount of energy to heat up water. By selecting a cold cycle instead of a warm one, you can cut back on electricity use—and as a bonus, cold water is also better for your clothes, as it prevents your favorite shirt from shrinking or fading. Keeping your clothes at their best means you can wear them longer, so you’ll create less waste overall.
Pack a Lunch
When you go out, consider bringing food with you. (Psst, this Lunch Tote is perfect for keeping your food cold or hot, so you can easily carry last night’s leftovers with you.) You’ll avoid the plastic waste that comes from grabbing takeout and will likely save money too. See, you’re nailing this college thing already.
If you’re still using a physical planner, it’s time to switch to an app on your phone. Google Calendar and Microsoft are both tried-and-true options, or there’s Trello, which lets you track assignments and deadlines. If possible, you may also want to ditch physical textbooks in favor of e-books, which are lighter, easier to search, and better for the planet. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting a book in your room.
Once you’ve pared down what you’ll need for class, you might find that you can swap your big bag for something lighter and cuter. The Half Pint 2 FX Mini Backpack, for example, can fit your tablet easily and adds style to any look. Or if you need space for more notebooks and devices, the Superbreak Plus Laptop Backpack might be just what you need. JanSport takes sustainability seriously, which is why every bag comes with a lifetime warranty. You can rest easy knowing that your backpack is built to last.
How have you changed your lifestyle to help the environment? Let us know on social media!
By: Mandy Carr