Eco Tips for Students

Go All the Way to Zero

Zero waste isn’t just about recycling, it’s about being conscious of your lifestyle and how it affects your health, your community and your environment. This full-circle approach to smarter consumption means that every step along the way makes a difference. Read on to see how you can contribute to a greener, waste-free world and make an impact that lasts for generations. Be sure to visit the What is Zero Waste section of the Irvine website for more information.

Buy Green and Cast a Vote

Think about it, every time you spend a dollar you are casting a vote.  [vote yes] A vote that helps a company stay in business. Consider what companies you’re “voting” for with every purchase you make.

What Makes a Product Green?

Sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Green Product Standards:

  • Post-consumer material: end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would have been disposed of as a solid waste. But instead, the product was used to manufacture something new. For example, recycled denim jeans can be made into pencils! You want to look for products with the highest amount of post-consumer recycled material.
  • Fair-trade: movement that seeks greater equality in international trade. It advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards, focusing on exports from developing countries to developed countries, such as coffee, cocoa, handcrafts, sugar tea, etc. Visit Fair Trade Federation for a list of companies that make the cut.
  • Organic: grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers or toxic chemicals. Organic farms do not consume or release synthetic pesticides into the environment – some of which have the potential to harm soil, water and local terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.

Car-less and Car-Free

Irvine is a pedestrian and bike friendly community – for students, especially. If you can get by without owning a car, you can save money on gas, repairs, and overpriced student car insurance. If you do own a car, try to use it as little as you can and carpool with your friends whenever possible.

Eat Your Greens

Put down the fast food and visit these restaurants for some eco-friendly and yummy cuisine.

Mother’s Market & Kitchen
2963 Michelson Dr, Irvine

Speak Up

Write or call companies whose practices you don’t agree with and let them know. Remember, as one of their “voters” they are interested in keeping you happy.

Doing More With Less

UCI offers classes such as Environmental Pollution and Remediation, through their Environmental Health, Science and Policy department. Visit the course listing for undergrad and grad students. 

Set up message boards on your networking profiles to generate ideas from your friends on how to help your environment.

Attend or arrange your own clean-up events at school and in your neighborhood. Visit OC Watersheds for more information.