Sustainability Column: 13 Ways to Be Sustainable

Delaney Pals, Maroon-News Staff

As a new school year kicks off, some of you may be thinking about how to organize your life and get things started off on the right foot. I am going to outline 13 ways in which you can incorporate sustainability into your daily life (without making major sacrifices), as well as ways in which you can get involved in sustainability initiatives here at Colgate.

1. As you settle into your dorm take inventory of all of the things you have. Sort through them and figure out what you no longer need. For example, a dinosaur costume you haven’t worn since Halloween your first year or a giant inflatable Zebra (I have no idea what you have in your room, but you get the point). Take everything you no longer use and donate it! There are many local thrift shops that take donations and this is a great way to de-clutter and simplify your life, while being environmentally friendly.

2. Get recycling bins! If you live on campus request in room recycling bins through the Office of Sustainability. Having bins in your room will help you sort your recycling and make life easier. Plus, if you are really dedicated you can take your cans to Price Chopper and get a 5 cent refund per can.

3. Going off that, learn what is recyclable in Madison County! There are many resources online on the Colgate Sustainability Facebook page that help emphasize what you can and cannot recycle in this county.

4. Turn off your lights when you leave a room (this one is really just common sense).

5. Bring reusable bags with you when you go to the grocery store.

6. Sign up for the Office of Sustainability Newsletter! This is a great way to get information about sustainability and stay up to date on current news and hot topics. It will also highlight events going on on campus that you can participate in.

7. Think before you print! Do you really need to print out the 80 pages of reading that you just barely skimmed? 

8. Walk up the hill instead of driving. Or, at least, carpool.

9. Join the Beekeeping Club, Students for Environmental Action or Green Thumbs. All of these are great ways to get involved in a club on campus that supports sustainability at its core.

10. Join any club and bring your passion for sustainability with you! Educate others.

11. Calculate your carbon impact and learn all the ways in which you can work to decrease that. 

12. Become Green Certified and learn all that Colgate does for sustainability and climate action planning (found on the Office of Sustainability Colgate page).

13. Do the best you can. Not everyone is perfect, but sharing and engaging in conversations about sustainability on this campus and beyond can make a big difference.

Contact Delaney Pals at [email protected].