By Mallory Hart ’16
As we can all tell, Taylor Lake is beginning to thaw, the snow is melting, and we might even hear some birds chirp outside our windows. Spring is coming! Adding some sustainable checkboxes to that spring-cleaning list of yours could be an easy and effective way to change some unsustainable behaviors. Here’s a list of a few easy things you can do this spring that involves enjoying the warmer weather, staying organized for school, sprucing up the dorm room, and considering your wardrobe.
- Rent a green bike! It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting where you need to be. A favorite of mine is biking downtown on weekend mornings for brunch. The rental period for bikes in the spring is from April 1 – May 1 and only cost $15/month. Check out the website for more information colgate.edu/greenbikes
- Midterms are over so it might be time to reorganize that messy binder and refill all the paper you used up studying. First, try using both sides of any scrap paper you might have. This can help reduce the amount of paper used in general. After, be sure to purchase 100% recycled paper for the rest of the year and continue to use both sides.
- When its time for the actual dorm room clean up, think about the types of cleaning products to use. Typical chemical spray cleaners release volatile organic compounds and toxins, making air in most homes as much as five times more polluted than air outside. Method, The Honest Co.*, and Seventh Generation are some eco-friendly brands to keep in mind when purchasing products for the home (or dorm). As a general rule of thumb, use cleaning products that…
- List ingredients
- Contain no chlorine, ammonia, or synthetic chemicals
- Are certified biodegradable
- Come in recyclable packaging
- Are Green Seal certified
- Clean out your closet. It’s time to part ways with that old sweater you didn’t wear all winter – yeah; I’m talking about that one. While spring-cleaning usually involves putting away all of the heavy winter gear and replacing it with some fabulous new warm weather clothes, there are a few things to take into account before doing so. It’s important to DONATE your old clothes, since its good for the environment and society at the same time. When it comes to spring shopping, check out vintage stores! The clothes bought at thrift shops are second-hand, making recycling part of your wardrobe as well.
* Shout out to Colgate’s Entrepreneurs Weekend that is bringing The Honest Company’s Founder and CCO Jessica Alba on campus next weekend. Check out http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/entrepreneurship/entrepreneur-weekend#ew_schedule for more information.