Friday, November 18, 2011

Sustainable studying

With finals beating down our doors, college students across the United States are barricading themselves in libraries with a constant stream of caffeine and all of the reading they didn't do all quarter/semester. But last minute cramming (or carefully planned out studying if it may be) doesn't have to be as big of a drain on the environment as it is on your brain. There are some ways to study sustainably, and maybe even make it more enjoyable:

1. BYOB: Bring your own reusable water bottle or mug.
-You will save money by bringing a refillable bottle or mug with you.
- Your own bottle will keep your drink hot/cold longer than the paper alternative
-In the United States we use more than 40 million paper cups per day. Break the cycle and enjoy your drink from the mug that makes you smile. 

2. Use recycled paper and recycle it when you are done.
- Every year the United States consumes over 90 million tons of paper. This is an average of nearly 700 pounds person. 
- It takes more than 1 and 1/2 cups of water to make one sheet of paper (about the size of a typical soda can).
- Using recycled paper saves trees, energy, water, and landfill space. Keep trees out of the landfill and recycle your paper when you are done. 

3. Study with other people in the library or someone's dorm room.
- Instead of everyone studying in their own rooms with all of their lights and lava lamps on, get together in a library or common room instead. You will save energy and have more fun studying. 

4. Study during the day to use the daylight
- Turn off the lights, open the blinds, and absorb some of the suns light. Who know's, it may be the only sun you get for a few weeks. 

Image courtesy of

5. Snack on local, organic food
- Ditch the processed snacks and instead feast on locally grown fruits and vegetables. 
- On average, food travels 1,500 miles to get to your supermarket. Shrink your carbon footprint and support local farmers while fueling your brain. 

6. Drink fair trade coffee or tea
- When you need a caffeine pick-me-up, choose fair trade. 

7. Print double sided
- Duplex printing saves you money and can potentially cut your paper use in half. 
- If you are at SCU you can print double sided in the library.

8. Buy used books
- I would hope that by now you have all the books you need for the quarter, but if not buy used. It's not only better for the environment, but will give you more money to spend on late night snacks. 

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