I will openly admit that I am not a treehugger. I'm not a vegetarian, I don't watch those PETA videos about animal cruelty, and I certainly would not consider myself the most energy efficient student on the block. Don't hate me just yet.
I like to think of myself as the leading example for all those doubters out there, that being green doesn't mean becoming a treehugger. I might not be driving a hybrid or installing a windmill in my backyard, but we can't all save the earth in the same capacity. This planet is my home and therefore this energy crisis is not "their" problem...it's mine as well.
So although hardcore environmentalists (whom I truly admire) may look down upon my carbon footprint compared to theirs, I'm here to tell you that there are a few ways to be green without hugging a tree.
10. Brush your teeth in the shower. If Jennifer Aniston can do it, so can you. Killing two birds with one stone the green way.
9. Buy used. The less you buy, the less you waste. If for no other reason, it's riveting to see how cheap you can find a product you want on ebay.
8. Shop green. Patagonia is my personal favorite. Their motto is "Live Simply".
7. Reuse bottles. Regardless of my personal love for the taste of good old tap water, the world is beginning to think that purified or bottled water is the only way to go. So when you grab bottle on the run, make sure to wash it out and use it again for a week or two.
6. Wash your clothes in cold water. College students generally have no way to control this, but when you're at home make sure you use cold water. It can save you more money and energy than you think.
5. Hop on the reusable bag train. I was hesitant to buy reusable bags until DC decided to charge 5 cents for each plastic bag. It's amazing what taxes can do.
4. Buy a bike. I'll be the first one to say that sometimes it's just too far to bike, but for short distances, a car really isn't necessary.
3. Turn off unnecessary lights. I used to be that girl who walks into an empty room and turns on every single light. But that girl is reformed! Not only do I turn off unnecessary lights but I also save energy by using compact fluorescents.
2. Unplug Electronics. After being taught how much energy is used just by having something plugged in, I began to realize how easy saving energy can be. Unplug your laptop when you're not using it. Don't leave your phone charger plugged into the wall when it's not charging your phone.
1. Plant a tree. I know it's ironic to place this at the top of my list, but it is arguably the simplest way to give back to the environment. Last year I planted a tree in my backyard, and you know what, I have never felt more green in my entire life.
How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.