Being in college doesn’t need to stop you from reducing your carbon footprint. In fact, this is a great time to develop habits that will make you a lifelong friend of the planet. And by making these changes yourself, you might just inspire your classmates to do the same!

how to reduce carbon footprint as a student

walk to school


If possible, leave your car at home and walk to your classes instead. Walking not only helps to reduce your carbon footprint, but is a great way to improve your health and engage with your new community.

cozy rug

2. Get a big, cozy rug

If your apartment or dorm floor is cold, you’re more likely to feel cold and dial up your thermostat. To avoid this, put a nice, warm rug on the floor—it’ll insulate your living space and help to keep your feet warm.

warm comforter

3. Wrap Yourself Up in a Warm Comforter

Keep the cold out with a nice, warm eco-friendly comforter! You’ll be able to keep the thermostat lower — and, you might just sleep better, too! Studies show that a cold room + a warm blanket = better sleep (but we didn’t need a study to tell us that).

carbon facts


4. Switch to a Laptop

Did you know laptops use up to 90% less energy than desktop computers? If you’ve been using a desktop computer to write your papers and do research, consider making the switch.

With a little research, you can find an inexpensive one that’s more than adequate for your needs. In addition, consider switching to renewable energy sources if you can.

reusable utensils

5. Avoid Disposables

Instead of buying plastic water bottles or plastic water jugs, buy one good thermos and refill it with water, tea, or your favorite soup from the dining hall. If possible, also bring disposable utensils in your bag, to avoid using the plastic disposable utensils available at the your school’s cafeteria.

Using reusable containers and utensils will help you to reduce your waste and avoid ingesting the environmental estrogens that leach into drinking water and food from plastic.

plant milk

6. Reduce Dairy and Meat Intake

Dairies and cows are high-impact on the environment. Try reducing your meat and dairy intake a little at a time. Slowly, you’ll be able to adopt a more sustainable way of eating.

You just might feel better — and think of all the fun stuff you’ll be able to do with your savings!

reusable bags

7. Purchase Sparingly

Do you really need that new bulletin board? How about that hat? When you’re tempted to make a purchase, think carefully: will the item really add to your life, or will it just take up more space and drain your bank? account?

For more inspiration, check out our tips on sustainable living for ways on how to live a more sustainable life.

By trying one or more of these tips, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint even while you’re in college. And by developing these habits when you’re young, you’ll be a lifelong steward of your local environment. Want to do more? Consider becoming a Tree Ambassador with us!