Framingham State was named among the most environmentally friendly colleges in America by “The Princeton Review.”
FSU does a good job trying to reduce their carbon footprint. According to Framingham.edu, two solar PV arrays were installed on the athletic building and campus center. There is also a food composting program and the University utilizes water-saving dishwashers.
However, I have noticed some less environmentally friendly things happening around campus such as leaving the water on in the bathroom, wasting food in the dining commons, and littering.
The community can improve their efforts to make campus a healthier place. People need an incentive to want to make a change. Here’s one everyone can get behind – being environmentally friendly can save you money and here are some tips.
Though buying plastic water bottles in bulk is not cheap, a pack of 35 Poland Spring water bottles is nearly $30 at Walmart – FSU has water bubblers around campus to refill a plastic or glass bottle, saving you hundreds, if not thousands a year on water alone. Plastic water bottles are also damaging to the environment. According to Myequa.com, plastic bottles take 700 years to dissolve and 24 million liters of oil are required to produce billions of plastic bottles. If you buy a reusable bottle, you are saving plastic and minimizing expenses – it’s a win-win.
If you are a resident student, you need to pay $1.75 to wash one load of clothes and another $1.75 to dry them. That is $3.50 every time you need to do laundry. Resident students live on campus roughly 36 weeks out of the year – if you do a load a week, that’s $126 over the course of the year, on top of your other expenses.
Using cold water while washing clothes is a more eco-friendly approach. According to epa.gov, heating the water takes up 90% of the energy the machine utilizes. The site also suggests washing in full loads as you can save 3,400 gallons of water each year. These methods don’t cost you a dime but can minimize your carbon footprint, saving our home.\
Investing in a dry rack can help you cut the cost of drying in half – which is $63 saved on laundry while conserving water. Dry racks are cheap, and you can get one at Walmart for $10. Most dry racks are small and collapsible and can fit in the average college dorm room.
Some students eat on the go or in their dorm as they are too busy to make it to the dining commons. Using paper dining wear is typical for many college students. Instead, try buying microwave-safe reusable dining wear. It’s more expensive in the short term, but you’ll end up saving more in the long run because you won’t have to keep buying paper plates over and over again. Along with being more affordable, it will help minimize paper waste.
Lastly, taking notes electronically can save you money on buying notebooks, while also saving paper and a trip to the store.
Being a college student can be financially distressing, but there are ways you can ease the ache of your bank account while simultaneously helping the Earth.
If each college student takes these little steps, we can make a big impact.