The Carbon Challenge
What Sustains You? Calculate your Carbon Footprint here and think about how to reduce it.
Whether moving onto campus for the first time, or moving into a house or aprartment off campus, chances are that you will be looking for stuff to fill your new pad. Try to make your choices here as green as possible. Check out UNH’s virtual energy efficient residence hall for some good energy saving ideas. https://sustainableunh.unh.edu/unh-virtual-energy-efficient-dorm-room
Also, if you are looking for furniture, keep in mind that there are several Good Will and Salvation Army options in Carrollton.
And don’t forget, when you are moving out donate furniture, electronics, clothing, non-perishable food instead of just dumping them.
The University of West Georgia has some great sustainability focused programs and courses. If you are interested in sustainability issues, or want to learn more, think about taking a course that has a sustainability focus, or component. Whether you are looking for an introductory core class or an upper division course, there are lots of options - Check out the list of upcoming sustainability programs and courses.
Beyond learning you can get involved to make a difference, while gaining valuable real world experience by joining a student organization that is involved with sustainability issues. “Green Elite” is currently the main environmentally focused organization on campus, with most of their energy committed to the campus community garden.
There are also several discipline specific organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities, that have stepped up to the plate to take part in environmentally centered events, including clean-ups and recycling.
Check out the list of student organizations here: http://www.westga.edu/csi/1997.php. If you do not find the environmental focus you are looking for, join a relevant organization and make your case for including such a focus. Or, start your own organization!
It’s all about reducing the negative and reinforcing the positive impacts we have in the process of living our daily lives. Here are a couple of standard green tips. Although perhaps not all of them will work for you, consider which ones you could incorporate into your living routine.
- Combine trips
- Walk or bike to work
- Support more sidewalks and bike lanes
- Adjust your thermostat, lower in winter (68F), higher in summer (78F)
- Use power strip and turn off when not in use (devices suck energy when plugged in)
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Use fans and open windows as an alternative to air conditioning
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Don’t use heat to dry dishes
- Run dishwasher and wash clothes only with full load
- Turn water off when brushing your teeth
- Take shorter showers
Recycle and reuse
- Recycle paper, plastic, glass, and metal
- Reuse and repurpose things to save money and divert waste from your local landfill
- Avoid disposable; use your own shopping bags, bottles, and mug
Think of what you eat
- Eat less meat; the lower you eat on the food chain the lower the expended energy
- Support certified humanely raised meat
- Eat what is in season and from your region to avoid foods with a heavy carbon footprint
- Support your local farmers market
- Buy fair trade and rainforest alliance coffee, tea, and chocolate
- Support you community by attending its events
- Buy locally
- Try to stay informed on where your consumer goods come from, avoid sweatshop labor
- If you can invest, invest in socially and environmentally sound companies.