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5 Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle on Campus

College is not always the easiest place to reduce your carbon footprint, but with these five easy ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle on campus, anyone can help make a difference. 

  1. Use a reusable cup for your daily coffee

Washing dishes may seem like the end of the world, but your plastic cups from those iced vanilla lattes are accumulating to become what will actually end the world. The campus coffee spot, Java Joint, has mugs that you can use if you’re going to be hanging out there anyway. You even get a 10% discount if you use a reusable mug. Rahul Basu‘22, a student employee at Java Joint, said that the “amount of reusable plates and mugs is going up,” but there still aren’t that many people who bring their own.     

  1. Reduce paper towel waste by using a real towel

Yikes, laundry is hard. But killing the environment is easy, right? According to OceanConservancy.org, “13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year.” It is not difficult to bring your towel into the bathroom with you to wash your hands. Most dorms on campus have the air dryer, but it still uses power and takes forever to actually dry off your hands. There’s a simple solution. It’s called a towel.   

  1. Turn off your lights

I know your fairy lights are really pretty, but they’re also using power that can easily be reduced. Just unplug them when you leave your room. Turn the lights off when you leave the bathroom. A little goes a long way. It may not seem like something you need to think about when you’re living your busy lives, but it really does make a difference.   

  1. Get a reusable water bottle

Again, doing dishes is tragic, I know. Getting a plastic water bottle every time you need water is not only wasteful but also not very cost-efficient. There are plenty of water fountains on campus that make it easier for you to fill up your water bottle. According to “The World Counts”, more than 8 million tons of plastic waste has been dumped into oceans this year. On the campus of Beloit College, the Health and Wellness Center will give you a reusable water bottle for free. You just have to ask.  

  1. Donate and buy used clothes

Y’all like to thrift and are poor anyway. Beloit College student, Alana Schacher‘22, enjoys thrift shopping because it is a “really inexpensive way to experiment with crazy clothes.” According to The Balance Small Business, “more than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States” When Schacher started thrifting she was unaware of the environmental impact she was making by buying used clothes, but now she is. Beloit College is only a few blocks from The Salvation Army as well as the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.  

These are just a few tips and tricks to help reduce waste on campus. I hope you take these points into consideration while you go about your day.

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