Who would spend that extra dollar to save the environment?


Photo by Hope Daluisio

April is finally over and it has reached that bittersweet moment of the end of the semester when students start to pack up their dorm rooms and head home.

With a packed car(s), students realize just how many items they have.

Between bedding, trashcans, bins, shower caddies, school supplies and other dorm items, students like to keep these products in good condition to reuse them for the next school year.

“I definitely look to buy things that will last a few years because I am tight on money and do not want to have to buy the same things over again,” Bernadette Koff, a sophomore at Shippensburg University, said. “I do try to reuse notebooks until the paper is all gone because I hate wasting all that paper at the end of the semester and school year.”

According to the National Retail Federation, in 2012 the average college student spent approximately $900 on dorm supplies, personal care items, school supplies and anything else they needed.

Reusing dorm items is not just good for saving ones money, it is also good for the environment. By reusing products such as a shower curtain, binders, notebooks, mugs, plates and silverware, you are reducing the use of paper and plastic items that hurt the environment.

Some popular reusable products among college students are reusable water bottles.

By only using reusable water bottles, you cut down on the amount of plastic waste that you are throwing away. Plastic water bottles may hurt you in the long due to the toxins to make the plastic that can contaminate the water, so having a non-plastic bottle leads you to having cleaner drinking water.

“I use a reusable water bottle everyday,” Kathryn DelCollo, a sophomore at Penn State University, said. “At my school we have several water bottle fill up stations so it is really easy to deal with, plus it’s free. After you fill up the bottle, the fountain tells you how many bottles were reused, so I think that’s a good incentive for students to take advantage of the fountain.”

When looking up prices of environmentally friendly products, some people look at other items because they can be a bit pricey.

For example, some reusable bottles can be priced at over $25.00 due to having a filter inside or just because of the brand. But do not fear, there are cheaper water bottles for sale that are just as good as the more expensive ones.

“I like Lifefactory water bottles because they’re glass instead of plastic. I have dropped mine several times and it hasn’t broken,” DelCollo said. “They’re a bit pricey, but sometimes you can find them at other stores for a really good price – I got one from TJ Maxx for $7.99, which is no more than the price of a plastic bottle.”

Sophomore Nicole DeFrancesco is a commuter Arcadia University. She really cares about the environment and tries to recycle and reuse products when it is necessary. Since DeFrancesco is a commuter, she is more aware of how much gas emissions from her car are being emitted into the air.

“I own a Prius and not only is it literally perfect but it is also so great for the environment and my bank account. It doesn’t use a lot of gas even though I commute to school, which takes me around 30 minutes everyday,” DeFrancesco said.

Being conscious of your actions and how they affect the environment really makes a difference. Just one little life change can make the Earth cleaner.

“I care about the environment and if there is something I can do to make my [negative] impact a little less, then I’ll do it,” DelCollo said.