We’re sure you have plenty on your plate with classes, internships, jobs, and other activities. You may not be thinking about ways you can help make our campus a more sustainable place. But what if we told you there are easy ways you can help?
Here are a few tips to help you do your part to make orange green:
Recycle: This may be the most obvious option you have and also one of the most convenient. On campus, blue or taupe bins are in almost every classroom and building with options to recycle paper, aluminum, and plastic. This takes the same effort it does to throw something away so be aware and sort accordingly!
Compost: You may have noticed some new signage in the restrooms across campus. Posters and flyers urging you to compost your paper towels are placed on doors, mirrors, and walls. Composting your paper towels can help reduce waste and provide nutrients and substance for soil.
Conserve energy: Conserving energy, it sounds like a complicated process but it may be easier than you think. If you leave your room or class, make sure someone turns off the light. When using a lot of power cords, take advantage of a power strip to turn on and off instead of unplugging each cord individually.
Conserve Water: Not only is conserving water good for the environment but it will also help out with your utilities bill if you live off campus. Make sure to run your dishwasher or washing machine only when you have full loads and try to take shorter showers. Lessening your shower time by even five minutes can save gallons of water.
Take campus transit: The “T” not only spares you walking up the Hill for those 8 a.m. labs but it can also conserve energy. Buses reduce the amount of individual cars driving on campus which saves you from using unnecessary gas. UT’s buses also run on biodiesel, which is a more sustainable energy source than traditional fuels.
Participate in the Mug Project: The Mug Project was started to reduce waste and save students and faculty some money. When you bring your own reusable cup to almost any dining location on campus, you can receive a coffee or fountain drink for 99 cents. This reduces the amount of cups thrown away every day and can save you a pretty penny in the long run.
Strive for a zero waste game day: Did you know that UT football games generate approximately 21 tons of landfill waste per game? UT Recycling teamed up with UT Athletics, Volunteer Dining, the Office of Sustainability, and Good Sports Always Recycle to eliminate at least 90 percent of waste created during athletic events. You can help make this goal a reality by utilizing blue bags for recyclables and clear bags for trash at areas across campus on game day.
UT Recycling is searching for students for open positions within their office. Are you looking for a job or work experience in an environmental field? How about on campus? UT Recycling is looking for interns and students who qualify for work-study to fill several positions. Learn more and apply on the Recycling website.