Written by PeaceHealth account team members, Lily Newman, Presley Chambers, Kaylie Fekich and Isabel Hernandez.
Utilize Bike Share Programs
Are you without a car at college? Well, you’re in luck because bike share programs are growing in popularity over the country. In cities like Portland and New York, Biketown and Citi Bike are the bike share programs available for rent. PeaceHealth Rides is the local bike share organization on the University of Oregon campus that allows students and the community of Eugene to speed around the city without adding more pollution to the air. Riding a bike means no more traffic or worrying about receiving an expensive parking ticket. Any student can receive a discounted membership for $5 per month and unlimited rides!
Reduce environmental concerns by using reusable water bottles. Each year, Americans use over 50 billion single-use water bottles, with 38 billion directly leading to an increase in pollution. Using a reusable water bottle such as Hydroflasks, S’well Bottles, Klean Kanteen and others can help protect the environment and keep you hydrated. It is also more cost efficient than buying a water bottle every time you are thirsty!
Do you ever go through your closet and think “I have nothing to wear”? Maybe it is time to recycle those clothes that you don’t use anymore! Clothing is always going in and out of style, and donating is a great way to practice sustainability. There are resale stores that will even give you cash back for your clothing items and sell them at a lower price than retail. For example, Buffalo Exchange in Eugene is a way for college students to shop on trend and on a budget. There are also numerous places to simply donate your clothing, such as Goodwill, St.Vincents and more. You can donate more than just clothing too! Nonprofits such as Goodwill will take anything from furniture to kitchen utensils and sell it at an affordable cost for low-income individuals. If you are looking to re-furnish your college apartment, check out Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill for more affordable and sustainable options!
Turn Off Lights When You Leave the Room
Sometimes it’s easy to forget to turn off lights when you are leaving the room, going to bed or running a quick errand. However, there are many ways that you can fix this habit and minimize energy use. One quick fix is to use LED light bulbs. These light bulbs use only 25 percent the amount of energy than other iridescent bulbs do. Another tip: If you’re not using it, unplug it! Many small electronic devices like cell phone or laptop chargers will use some energy while they are plugged in, eating away at your electricity bill, as well as wasting energy. Power strips are also a wonderful way to quickly turn off all of your idling electronic devices! For more great tips check out the DOE’s list of ways to save energy.
#MeatlessMonday is trending on social media. And there’s a good reason. Dedicating one day a week to plant-based meals can make a huge difference to both the planet and your wallet. According to EarthDay.org, eating one less burger a week is the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles. Skipping steak once a week is the equivalent of not driving for three months. If the entire U.S. ate mostly plant-based meals for just one day, it would be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road. Not only can this small change in your weekly diet do wonders for the environment, but it could also help you pocket some extra cash. By replacing meat with beans, eggs, nuts, or seeds, you can save up to $100 a month! With so many benefits of going without meat for only one day a week, why stop on Monday? Let’s start a whole new trend. #MeatlessMonth anyone?