For many students, an important part of living in an area as beautiful as Bozeman is the opportunity to be involved in a myriad of outdoor activities. With this desire comes the need to take individual steps to balance our recreational use of the environment with habits that protect it. All of our favorite hobbies depend on a healthy environment in one way or another. Although the scale of the issues that threaten the health of the Bozeman ecosystem can seem incredibly intimidating, personal action can make a difference. Just as students place a high value on having easy access to the multiple mountains, national parks, and recreational areas, they can also place importance on reforming aspects of their daily life that endanger the future of the outdoors. Listed below are a few tips for a more sustainable lifestyle that keeps the Gallatin Valley as we know it around for the foreseeable future.
-Bike or walk to campus instead of driving to avoid carbon dioxide emissions (and save gas money). Make sure to wear a helmet while biking (or walking too, if you feel like it).
-Public transportation is available to get around town. The Streamline bus offers service from the SUB to areas around Bozeman during the day and a late-night route Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. It can replace stumbling home after a night out and with a cruise twice as fast as the first time you rode it. Additionally, there is a Bridger-Bowl-bound bus that meets at the SUB every half-hour on the weekend starting at 8 a.m. during the ski season.
-Keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature. Altering the temperature frequently requires the air conditioning system to expend additional energy to keep up.
-When drying a load of laundry, double check that the lint trap is clean. A large amount of lint trapped on the filter lessens the airflow to the machine and increases power use.
-If possible, use sunlight from windows to light your living space.
-Avoid peeking in the oven while cooking. Opening the door forces the appliance to expend more electricity to maintain its temperature.
-Do not place hot or uncovered food in the refrigerator, as this emits water vapor and causes the machine to work harder to cool the space.
-Use the microwave to heat food when possible instead of the oven as it is more efficient.
-When any cold-weather gear or clothing breaks, make it your first priority to see if there is a way to fix it rather than throwing it away. Outdoor retailers offer a repair service for their gear as an alternative to buying more and leaving a greater environmental footprint.
-If you have to use grocery bags when you go shopping, save them for use later as trash bags or to clean up a pet’s mess instead of throwing them away.
While going through your daily routine, keep in mind these tips to reduce your carbon footprint and keep Bozeman green.