Since we can’t all be Leo DiCaprio and live in a state-of-the-art eco-friendly condo, here are some tricks to be more environmentally friendly.
1. Actually use NYU’s Mixed Recycling system, especially if your dorm has a dining hall. (Key: Compost — all food, food-soiled paper and compostable plastic. Mixed Recycling — paper, metals, plastics, glass. Landfill — Styrofoam, food when compost not available.)
2. Limit your bottled water use, and drink tap water instead. NYC water is closely tested by its Department of Environmental Protection, and it is known for its high quality. For the ever-skeptical, there are always filtered pitchers.
3. Do not forget to unplug your electronics. Devices such as televisions and printers consume energy known as “standby” or “vampire power,” even when they are off. Make it a habit to unplug them when they are not in use.
4. Reuse plastic bags. If canvas grocery bags are not for you, reuse your plastic ones as garbage can liners.
5. Do your laundry with cold water. By pressing the correct button, you will be saving energy in addition to the desperate call to your mom on how to unshrink your favorite shirt.
6. Eat with reusable silverware and plates. Although washing dishes is a pain, consider it a part of your grown-up life. If you absolutely must buy disposables plates, stick with paper instead of foam or plastic.