Sustainability at Home
Ditch the bottle. Drink from the tap.
In the US, tap water is regulated by the EPA and is perfectly safe to drink. In fact, many bottled water companies actually just fill their bottles with clean tap water. Getting your water from water bottles increases the plastic use plus fuel that was burned to transport the water bottles to the store. The only small risk of drinking tap water is if you live in a house with old plumbing. Small amounts of lead can leach from the water pipes into the water. In this case, buy a water filter to remove the lead.
You know to recycle paper, but what you might not know is that the quality of paper degrades each time it is recycled. Each time paper is recycled, the tree fibers are made smaller. After paper is recycled several times, the fibers are too small to make new paper. Consider duplex printing, printing two pages per sheet (two-up), or expanding the margins to fit more content on a page.
Recycle as a last resort
We too often think of recycling as an ultimate sustainable task. Always remember, Reduce- Reuse- Recycle in an order of processes. Reducing the amount of stuff you use should always be the first priority. For everything else, find a bin on campus and find out what your city lets you recycle at home.
Avoid paper towels
If you need to use a paper towel, rinse it and reuse if possible (do not reuse paper towel if it was contaminated with something that could risk your health).
Use reusable cups
Paper comes from trees and paper cups end up in a landfill. Although reusable cups will need to be washed, using water, the production of paper cups uses water as well. Paper cups are non- recyclable because of food contamination and the plastic coating.