Colorado State University is rated one of the most sustainable universities in the world thanks in part to our students. Discover eight things you can do to keep CSU green, written by a student who lived on campus for two years.
#1: Leave your car at home.
With all of the great alternative modes of transportation available at CSU, there’s no need to have a personal vehicle on campus. Many students opt to bring a bike instead. CSU and Fort Collins are top-rated spots for bikers with 300+ miles of bike paths. There’s even a student-run bike repair shop on campus called The Spoke, which offers free hands-on learning opportunities for bike maintenance.
Additionally, all campus and city buses are included in your student fees; just use your RamCard. CSU also has services that allow you to rent a bike , a car, or a scooter, for a brief period of time.
#2: Buy second hand.
Buying previously owned items like microwaves or lamps for your residence hall room is better on the planet (and your wallet). Check out CSU Surplus or your local thrift store for some great finds.
#3: Save your boxes and packaging from move-in day.
Not only will you save all of that material from the landfill, you’ll also have boxes and packaging for when you move out at the end of the year. But if you can’t stand to hang on to those boxes until May, be responsible and recycle them appropriately. There will be cardboard corrals near your residence hall during move in, and cardboard recycling is always available in waste-sorting areas on campus.
#4: Take part in Green Warrior during the fall semester.
Green Warrior is a campaign where you can pledge to make sustainable behavior changes like taking shorter showers or buying fair-trade products. It’s a great tool to learn how you can live greener (an you can also win sweet prizes). In previous years, prizes have included solar-charging battery packs, bikes, and remote-control power outlets.
#5: Hang onto the reusable water bottle you’ll get on move-in day.
You’ll need to stay hydrated at Colorado’s high elevation. Reduce the amount of plastic water bottles being wasted by using the CSU reusable water bottle or by bringing your own. The CSU bottle can be used to get to-go drinks from the dining centers on campus, as well.
#6: Reduce the amount of animal products you eat.
Carbon emissions created by the production of meat and dairy products are significantly higher than that of vegetables. Don’t want to cut out meat or dairy? You can still help out by looking for food in the dining centers labeled as a local product. Local food products require less transportation, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. The dining centers even have lettuce grown right here on campus. Want to learn more? Check out nutrition and food labeling at CSU’s dining centers.
#7: Compost what you can.
Nearly all food waste from the dining centers gets composted at CSU’s Foothills Campus, where it’s turned into fertilizer for university landscaping projects. Each dining center also has public access compost bins where you can drop off any of your compostable to-go containers and uneaten food scraps.
#8: Apply to be an Eco Leader.
As a former Eco Leader, I highly recommend that you fill out an application if you’ll be living on campus and are interested in sustainability. Eco Leaders learn about sustainability and promote sustainable living behavior on campus. It’s an opportunity to be able to learn about environmental responsibility.
Eco Leaders get a $1,500 housing stipend per semester as well as take a sustainability course through the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.