Living the green life on a student budget


Students on college campuses nationwide are taking the initiative of being eco-friendly.

Many students who want to go green are having a difficult time because they feel it’s expensive.

Anthony Ward, the president of Florida A&M’s Green Coalition, believes students don’t have to spend a lot of money to start caring for the environment.

“There’s an abundance of different ways you can go green and keep money in your pocket,” Ward said.

According to the Go Green Initiative, daily practices like turning off your lights when not in use and unplugging televisions, stereos and other electronic devices are simple and free ways to decrease carbon footprints. Minimizing water and energy usage is another way to be eco-friendly on a budget.

“The most efficient way to save money is to turn off all appliances to save energy,” Ward said. “Unplugging cords and turning off lights will help bring down a decent percentage in any household utility bill.”

Students like Geoffrey Sims, a third-year political science student from Pensacola, want to go green, but are hesitant because of the lack of education of being energy efficient.

“I’ve always wanted to go green,” said Sims, “but when shopping, my budget has never allowed me to venture into becoming eco-friendly.”

Going green is often viewed as costly, but becoming more eco-conscious is a gradual process that will carry a long-term financial impact.

According to online magazine The Daily Green the simplest way to add green to your diet is to eat at home and cook for yourself. It also said a typical family will spend a minimum of $4,000 on meals outside the home.

“It’s also a gateway to using more organic foods when cooking,” said Giselle Rawlie, a senior psychology student from Jacksonville.

Rawlie said that as a college student, eating green is the last thing on her mind because organic foods are too expensive.

“When I’m grocery shopping, I stick to my budget,” Rawlie said. “Since I can’t afford the organic bananas, I always buy the non-organic bananas because it’s cheaper.”

The Go Green Initiative also encourages switching to purifiers and refillable water containers rather than buying bottled water. Carpooling and biking will also reduce the consumption of fuel and carbon monoxide in the air.

According to a recent study by the American Public Transportation Association, walking, biking and public transportation can save an individual thousands of dollars a year on driving expenses.

“Learning to educate myself on how to be an eco-friendly individual is challenging,” said Rawlie. “(It’s) a process that isn’t an easy transition, but it’s all well and worth it.”