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Raise Awareness About Ways to Recycle - Living Green

Updated on October 25, 2011

Here are some great ideas on how you can turn your lifestyle into one of sustainable living, to go green and save money at the same time.

It's the best of both worlds: You do your part for the environment and get rewarded for it by saving more money.

Stop paying for things that you can get for free!!!

Listed here are sustainable living ideas for your home, dorm room (if you are in college), school, and work. Listed here are also ideas on how to raise awareness for the green lifestyle. Most of the ideas are even interchangeable! Have a look!

Ideas for your home:

1. Lights: You know all those crazy little corkscrew light bulbs you pass in stores? Buy them. Replace all your light bulbs with these energy efficient bulbs (CFLs).

They may be pricey at first, but they will last about 10 times longer than a regular bulb, and they use 75% less energy. So, in the end, they are worth it. Not only do they last longer, but they will reduce your energy bills.

2. Electricity:

Unplug the electrical appliances you don’t use everyday. You and I both know that you do not use all those kitchen supplies (your prized blender, electric knife sharpener, and toaster) every day. So, pull that cord. Appliances will still suck electricity and run up your electric bill even if the switch is turned off. 

Ideas for your room:

Instead of going out and buying new stuff (I am very much against accumulating stuff), I have found cheap ways to give your place a facelift without spending hardly anything (and you can throw most of it away when you want to redecorate the recycling bin of course!).

1. Walls: You can decorate your walls with original artwork made by the oh-so-gifted artist that you are. Or, sweet talk one of your artistically gifted buddies into making something that is unique for your room. If you are not artistically inclined and neither are your friends, simply hanging fabric or tissue paper on the walls brings color into your room. I got some light lime green fabric and stretched it across my boring, white walls, and secured the fabric. 

Another thing you can do is to hang pictures of your dream destinations, your family, and friends, whatever. 

2. Paper:

Every household goes through tons of paper throughout the year. Make sure you are recycling it! Don’t just dump it into the garbage, but make sure all that paper finds a paper-recycling bin!

Ideas for your school:

1. Track changes: We encouraged members of the faculty at Graceland University to allow students to turn in papers via email, instead of having to print them out on paper. Teachers would be allowed to grade and make comments on the papers using Track Changes. This can be accessed in Microsoft Word through the Tools tab. A few members of the faculty are using this technique now.

2. Raise awareness: Some of the ideas that my team carried out during a sustainable living week that we hosted at Graceland University were...

3. Making paper: We ended up teaching our team at the same time that we taught the campus!

  • We set up tables in one of our main buildings.
  • We cut scraps of used paper up into little 1’’x 1’’ squares, which we then soaked for 3 hours in water.
  • After soaking the paper, students used mixers or blenders to turn the soggy paper into a pulpy, oatmeal-like consistency.
  • Next we removed the paper pulp, and pressed it into wire mesh screen frames about 6’’x 6’’ in area.
  • Once most of the water was pressed through the screens, we flipped over the screens onto cookie baking sheets, dumping the pressed paper onto the cookie sheets.
  • We baked the sheets about 20-30 minutes, or until the paper started to curl at the edges.

Everyone who came and made paper had a fun time, and our group was able to teach them a fun, creative way to be sustainable. 

4. Finding your ecological footprint:

One of my professors talked about this website in my biology class. I contacted her for the site information, and she sent me this link:


The quiz takes about 4 minutes, and shows how many Earths it would take to sustain life if everyone on the planet lived like you do. The site opened my eyes to how much of an impact each person has on our planet. We set up computers with this as the default screen for a period of 4 hours one day, and we tracked our results by having students report back how many Earths they scored.

I think the site reported back that it would take 4.5 Earths to sustain our population if everyone lived like I do. (Darn my carnivorous appetite!) I think it opened their eyes a little bit more too.

5. Wear green:

We encouraged students to wear green one day as a way to publicly show their intent to become environmentally conscious and start recycling. 

6. Carpooling:

One day we had members from my group divert all those who did not have 2 or more people in their car to another parking lot that was a bit farther away. This, of course, required mass advertising at least 2 weeks in advance. This activity was met with a bit more hostility than we had planned on! But, with the right amount of advertising, it can be done.

The point is, that carpooling is a fantastic way to reduce carbon emissions. Also, you get to split the price of gas! Now who isn't up for spending less for gas?

7. Bottled water taste test:

Again, our group set up tables with little Dixie cups filled with bottled water and tap water. The students did not know which cup contained what water, and we asked them to guess which was which, and then recorded if they were right or not.

A little less than half of the students guessed correctly. Most of the students could tell a difference, but they did not know which was bottled and which was tap.

The most shocking result of the test was that initially most of the students said that they preferred bottled water, but when tested, about half the students said that they liked the taste of the tap water more. This test was a huge hit, and attracted a lot of student traffic.

Even if you THINK you like bottled water more, give yourself a little taste test and find out if you're right! Nobody wants to spend money on a product that they like less than a product they can get for free (ahem...tap water or filtered water...).

8. Recycling relay:

Our group gathered bottles, cans, and scrap paper, and held a recycling relay. Students had to throw the bottles and cans into the right recycling bin, and the paper was used in a game of paper ball dodge ball. 

9. Lights off hour:

This event needed mass advertising as well. Our goal was to have students turn off their lights, and come to a camp fire on campus to roast smores. The whole idea was to get students to turn off their lights for an hour, and not be tempted to turn them back on.

We all use our lights when we don't really need them on. I used to find myself turning a light on as soon as I walked into a room even if it was during the day. I can see perfectly well during daylight hours without having to turn on a single light in my house. Again, I was paying a higher electric bill for something that I could have for free.

10. Printers:

We encouraged faculty to print on both sides of the page. If each faculty member used double sided printing, my university could reduce its paper consumption by half. It is also extremely simple to do. You just have to change the setting on your office printer. 


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    • profile image

      asdf123321 6 years ago

      I read a lot of your articles and this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to thank you for your writing.

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 8 years ago

      jencantwell: Thanks so much! Forward away! : )

    • profile image

      jencantwell 8 years ago

      This is a great hubpage for beginning greenies. I will forward some less-than-green friends to this!

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 8 years ago

      RedElf: Thanks! Hopefully I will have time to keep writing! Your comments are always appreciated.

      midnightbliss: I agree! Who better to teach younger generations than us? Our lives should set an example.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      Lots of useful information, also we should serve as an example specially to the children so that they will learn at their young age and bring it while they are growing up.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Wow! Lots of great info, here. Welcome to Hub Pages, and keep writing! I look froward to reading more...:)

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 9 years ago

      The commuter program is a great idea!

    • Zollstock profile image

      Zollstock 9 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

      That's the way to go! I'd add that we ought to spread the word to the younger generation (and hey, college students might make great teachers for youngsters). There are awesome grassroots organizations as well - we have a commuter program in my town that rewards people for NOT using their cars. It has really caught on and raised awareness. From my green space to yours ....


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