Redhawks Go Green for Earth Day



A hike out in nature to commemorate Earth Day 2019 on Monday, April 22.

It is always a good time to evaluate your carbon footprint, so in honor of Earth Day on April 22, here are some ways you can be sustainable as a college student—whether you live in a dorm or off campus.



All types of fuel used to generate electricity leave a lasting impact on the environment. Reducing the amount of electricity you use is easy to do and requires very little effort on your part. By simply turning off the lights when you leave a room and unplugging your appliances when they are not in use, you can reduce your electrical waste. When shopping for appliances, look out for ENERGY STAR labels signifying energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR appliances use less energy than their traditional counterparts and save you money in the long run. If you have fluorescent light bulbs, make the switch to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs use less energy and last up to 8-12 times longer than regular light bulbs.


Conserve water by turning off faucets and showers when you are not using them. Taking faster showers and only doing laundry when you have a full load are other ways you can reduce water waste. Also, the water does not need to be running while you brush your teeth.


As college students, we use a lot of paper. If your professor allows it, cut down on your paper usage by taking notes electronically or turning in assignments online. If you need to print something, print on both sides of the paper. Avoid misprints by checking your documents thoroughly and use old printouts as scratch paper.

Instead of using paper towels while cooking or cleaning, use a rag that you can wash and use again. When you grab a bite to eat, limit your napkin consumption. Do not grab a handful of napkins only to throw them away later. Instead, take only what you really need. If you need to use paper products, try to only buy those that are made from recycled paper.


Instead of driving or using a rideshare app to get where you need, try walking, biking, or using public transportation. Less cars on the road means less pollution in the air and a healthier environment for all of us. If you need to drive, consider carpooling.


Livestock farming is one of the most substantial contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. The production of meat–specifically red meat–is incredibly wasteful and requires more resources than it yields. Livestock production uses 75 percent% of the earth’s agricultural land. Pumped full of antibiotics, the meat we eat is harmful to our immune systems and bodily health. Cut back on your meat consumption by participating in Meatless Mondays. Not eating meat one day a week will benefit you and the world.

Aerosol Pollutants

Air fresheners are harmful to the environment and can contain chemicals that adversely affect your health. If you want to get rid of funky smells in your home, buy a plant. Keeping plants in your living space will improve air quality, and plants like lavender and rosemary can even help to neutralize weird odors.


Bring on the go

Take a reusable bag with you when you are grocery shopping, rather than opting for a paper or plastic bag. The waste of several disposable bags per grocery trip really adds up over a lifetime.

Reusable containers and utensils are another way to cut down on the waste you generate. Instead of using plastic wrap or foil on your leftovers, use a container that you can wash and reuse later. When you are on the go, bring along a cup and utensils in the event that you grab coffee or a bite to eat. If you find yourself without a reusable container, rethink straws and plastic lids if you are not in danger of spilling your beverage. As an added incentive, Starbucks will give you a 10-cent discount if you bring your own reusable cup.


Donating your old belongings is a great way to help the environment and those in need. Rather than discarding your old clothes and furniture to sit in a landfill, donate them to your favorite local charity. Instead of footing a hefty bill for new books, clothing, and furniture, buy what you need second-hand. Buying or renting used books saves you money and does not contribute to the damaging effects of new printing. Thrifting clothing and furniture saves hundreds of gallons of water used to create new textiles and can even help stimulate your local economy.

Be a smart consumer. Take the time to ask yourself: Are the products I am supporting beneficial to the planet we all call home? Shop responsibly and bankroll companies and brands that are doing their best to be environmentally responsible.


Recycling is an easy way to save material and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With so many recycling and compost bins scattered throughout campus, doing your part to save the planet has never been simpler.

Food scraps, soiled paper, to-go ware from Seattle University’s catering services, and plant and yard waste can all be composted in the many compost bins located around campus. Cap-less plastic bottles, plastic bags, paper, cardboard, glass, and metal can all be recycled in the blue recycling bins found around school. If you have questions about what you can and cannot recycle, consult Seattle University’s compost and recycling page.

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