by Holden Foreman '21
We’re back with you for Part 2 of how to be green, live green, and earn green at Stanford – check out our earlier blog post if you missed it!
1. Riding a USED, non-motorized bike is the coolest and most efficient way to travel on campus.
Forget the boosted boards or motorized vehicles. Why waste electricity when you can look like a total G riding a bike. It builds character and calf muscles. Plus, If you practice a bit (or know already), you can ride with no hands and up your G factor by a thousand, easily. Trust me. I didn’t realize how fun this is until I learned myself. DISCLAIMER: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. PLEASE WEAR A HELMET, AND DO NOT ATTEMPT ON BUSY STREETS.
2. C is for California and [water] Conservation - ditch the 15-minute shower
For those of you who aren’t already CA residents, you may be aware that our beautiful state is on fire and/or parched 98% of the time. Reducing your personal water footprint by washing only full loads of laundry, limiting your showers to 5 minutes, and generally not wasting can save well over 2,500 gallons per year, per person – and that makes a big difference in our drought-prone state! Conservation is a way of life in California, regardless of current drought status.
3. There is a GREAT vegetarian/vegan community at Stanford.
After moving to Stanford, I stopped eating meat, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only is the meat industry objectively terrible for our environment, but Stanford (California in general, for that matter) is home to some of the best vegetarian food out there! Even if you eat meat, try to minimize your consumption because meat products require much more energy (and water) to produce than plant-based foods.
4. The filtered water available in dining halls is amazing. Take a reusable water bottle everywhere!
And if you can’t get to a dining hall, there are water bottle re-fillers across campus (there is one in the Huang basement, for instance). Don’t waste money and resources by purchasing bottled water.
5. The bookstore sells pens, notebooks and paper made from recycled material!
There is a special section of the store for these materials, but you can also buy recycled materials online to save money! Check out Sustainable Stanford’s Green Office Supply Purchasing Guide for more inspiration.
6. It is super easy to donate unwanted items at the end of the school year with Give & Go! Save your extra stuff until then!
I donated my aforementioned refrigerator with ease by carrying it to the front of my dorm at the end of the year. There will be Give & Go bins around campus in early June to collect materials to send to Goodwill, so that you can pass on some of your belongings to someone in need. You’ve got a whole school year ahead of you before you need to worry about packing, but it’s helpful to remember before trashing something that could still be useful to someone else.
Check out Stanford's Student Sustainable Living Guide for a full list of ways to shrink your environmental footprint in your dorm! There is a ton of general sustainability advice and information on the Sustainable Stanford website.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you find these tips helpful as you begin your journey at Stanford! You’ll have a lot to think about and do in the upcoming weeks, but we hope you’ll keep these tips in the back of your mind as you transition into college life!
Please feel free to email me, Holden Foreman (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Students for a Sustainable Stanford leader Spencer Robinson (email@example.com) if you have any questions about campus sustainability or want to get involved!
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