OWU Campus Sustainability Month ’15: How to be a Lean, Green Machine

Reilly Reynolds

When most people think of “going green” there is an image that pops into your head of bread that tastes like cardboard, embracing the smell of body odor, and asking people to call you Sister Willow.

While all of those things are well and good, being sustainable doesn’t have to be so crunchy and counter-cultural. It simply entails caring enough about the state of our planet to make meaningful changes and encourage others to do the same.

October is Campus Sustainability Month, and I’m here to be a little green angel on your shoulder and share a few ways to spruce up your space in an eco-nomic way.

Green Tip #1: Invest in an organic pillow! Conventional pillows are made with chemicals like polyurethane foam which can interrupt regular sleep patterns, and are energy intensive to make too! Swap your pillow for one from Naturepedic Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.24.44 AM(naturpedic.com) or Sachi Organics (sachiorganics.com) and sleep like a baby. With all that (re)new(able) energy you can start a green revolution!

Green Tip #2: When thinking about décor for your room, think less about plastic based products from retail stores, and think more about DIY! You can make things yourself that are one of a kind and reuse materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Think about making a green terrarium out of old glass jars (you can find unique ones at thrift shops!). Instructions are easy to find online, and your new plants will help improve your air quality. Other DIY ideas: home deodorizer (it’s 2015 and aerosols are so out), record player bookends, and pillows made from old t-shirts.

Green Tip #3: Clean up your laundry routine. Conventional detergents often contain artificial colors and fragrances that can irritate your skin. When you dry your clothes, leangreenyou unnecessarily use energy to do a process that the air will do all by itself, given a little more time. Often, your clothes will end up less wrinkled and smelling fresher if you hang dry. And one more thing: If you use dryer sheets, they leave a thin coating of formaldehyde and other chemicals on your fabric. Yuck.

Making your own laundry detergent couldn’t be easier.. 2 cups baking soda + 1 cup Super Washing Soda + ½ a bar of grated castile soap = a super cost effective way to live greener and feel good about your laundry day. If you prefer a store bought option, Seventh Generation makes a great detergent.

You’re ready! Get out there and rock the world, eco-warrior. And if you have any questions, feel free to email me at rjreynol@owu.edu.

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