How to Be Eco-Friendly at School: 7 Tips
Are you trying to learn how to live sustainably? If so, you might be curious about how to be eco-friendly at school. It might feel like an impossible task — but whether you’re in college or high school, you can make a positive impact. The smallest changes are sometimes the best!
Here are seven tips to try as a student.
1. Walk or Bike More Often
You might be surprised to know that transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. That includes everything from buses to subways — but light-duty vehicles, or cars, are the largest source. Fortunately, you can make a difference.
If you can walk or bike to school, you should do that more often. This switch may mean you have to leave the house earlier, but you’ll be helping the environment. Try asking your friends to walk with you so that it’s a little more fun.
2. Bring a Water Bottle
It’s essential to stay hydrated throughout the day. That said, you shouldn’t bring plastic bottles to class if you can help it. There’s a big chance they’ll make their way to landfills after you throw them away. They might even end up in the ocean like millions of other plastic objects.
Your school likely has water fountains. Use them! Bring a filled, reusable water bottle with you to class. Then, you can take a few seconds to refill it when it’s empty. What’s easier than that? This tip is one of the best ways to be eco-friendly at school.
3. Recycle Extra Paper
There’s no denying that school requires a decent amount of paper. That’s true even in today’s age of technology. But you should note that obtaining paper exhausts various resources. It takes energy and water to produce items like printer paper that you use in class. Fortunately, you can help.
Toss papers into the recycling bin when you’re done using them. You can even go the extra mile and take your notes digitally. Try only printing assignments when your teacher or professor asks. These habits will ensure you’re not wasteful.
4. Choose Green Products
If you want to learn how to be eco-friendly at school, you need to adopt sustainable buying habits. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you vote with your dollar?” This idea means your money has power — and if you choose to purchase green products, you’re directly supporting environmental initiatives.
You might be wondering what constitutes a “green product.” In general, you should look for items that use little packaging, contain recyclable materials and have vegan ingredients. For example, you can get notebooks for school that use vegetable ink so that they’re compostable.
5. Eat Less Meat
Does eating less meat really help the planet? Yes. Our modern agricultural practices are resource-heavy and emissions-intensive to the point that they’re causing environmental devastation. Everything that goes into raising an animal for consumption has a negative effect.
We can do our part to protect the planet by eating plant-based meals. If you’re in college, you should try choosing vegetarian options at the dining hall. As a high school student, you can pack a plant-friendly lunch. Making this effort once a week is a great way to start.
6. Carry Reusable Bags
The number of plastic bags circulating across land and water is immeasurable. If we want to prevent our world’s ecosystems from being polluted further, it’s vital to cut back on plastic bag use. A reusable bag can make a difference in both the short and long term.
Keep a canvas tote bag in your backpack or locker. This small step will ensure you always have an eco-friendly way to carry extra items — like when you stop at the store on your way home. It’s one of the simplest ways to be sustainable in your everyday life.
7. Join a Club
If you want to go the extra mile, you should join a club. There’s likely at least one environmental organization at your school. By participating, you can learn a lot about the planet while you make an impact. It’s truly a tangible way to be more eco-friendly.
As a club, you’ll do things like attend rallies, plan clean-ups and more. This experience will help you become a better sustainable citizen. It’s also a fun way to meet people and make friends when you’re looking to expand your circle. You can even put your club on your resume.
Try These Activities to Be More Eco-Friendly at School
If you feel like you can’t do a lot to help the planet as a student, you should think twice. There are so many ways to learn how to be eco-friendly at school. Try incorporating these habits into your life. It won’t be long before you’re living a greener lifestyle.
About the author
Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.