Looking for ways to “Green Your Adventure” at Iowa State?
Remember to eat responsibly by only buying, cooking, and putting things on your plate that you will be able to eat. This will help keep food out of the waste stream.
Bulk It Up
Try purchasing products without packaging; this will reduce the amount of trash you have to throw away. You can even purchase items in bulk, this will often save money as well as reduce your “trash” footprint!
Practice smart financial sustainability by asking yourself, “Do I really need this?” before you buy anything new, or when purchasing a replacement item. This will help reduce the amount of stuff you will have to move when you leave Ames and it will reduce your carbon footprint because you are consuming less and putting less in your trashcan.
Rent, Borrow, Swap Anything
Instead of buying something new, see if you can borrow or swap items from a family member of a friend. This will save you money and it will prevent you from buying anything that you might not need to own forever and ever. Renting items that you use infrequently is another option. The Iowa State Bookstore offers textbooks for rent (and also has electronic textbooks for an even lighter footprint). You can even rent a car on campus (for an hour, overnight, or for days) by joining Enterprise CarShare.
Dispose No More
Think about purchasing quality items that will last a long time! Select items that can be reused instead of things that are disposable. This will save you money in the long run and will reduce your wasteprint.
If you need something new, try buying used first. There are many places you can go in Ames that have quality pre-loved furniture, clothing, electronics, books, bikes, and odds and ends for sale including Goodwill, Random Goods, The Loft, Great Stuff, and Firehouse Books.
When you’re getting rid of an item or if you’re looking for something specific, check out swap sites! You can talk to the seller directly and you might be able to save a few dollars. The Ames Community Swap, Craigslist, and Story County Freecycle are great places to check out.
Donate- Don’t Dispose!
When you are getting rid of something try donating it instead. This can help your community members in need and it can also prevent great items from being tossed!
You can donate your nonperishable food to help out your fellow Iowa State students at The SHOP, the on-campus food bank or you can help out your community members by donating food items to Food At First, Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) food bank, or ACCESS Shelter.
If you are seeking to get rid of furniture, clothing and other household items, you can donate your lightly loved items to Goodwill or, if you are willing to make a trip, you can donate to the Free Store in Des Moines.
Be Green On Campus
If you live on campus in the dorms, check out recycling bins located in each house’ common room. Most houses and dorms have a recycling chair- so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to them.
If you are on campus, there are many places you can recycle. There are several solar compactor-recycling bins located throughout campus. Check out the recycling maps to find your best recycling location.
Be Green Off Campus
If you live off campus, talk to your rental or property manager about adding recycling. You can get sign up for curbside recycling via bicycle from Cycles Recycling, or with your area trash through Chitty and Waste Management.
If you have recyclable items you can always take them to the Ames Area Redemption Center. They take all recyclable items.
It is always tricky to figure out where to recycle electronics, but there are plenty of options in town. Best Buy accepts many electronics without charge; call ahead to make sure your items can be accepted. Mid-Iowa Computers in Nevada also accepts used computer equipment.
A Touch of Glass
Keeping glass out of the trash is a priority for the City of Ames. Glass can be taken to the Ames Area Redemption Center or the Resource Recovery Center. If you have glass bottles that you need to recycle you can drop them off at Hy-Vee or Fareway. You can also recycle glass with your other recyclables at the Ames Area Redemption Center. If you are on campus you can recycle your glass in the solar compactor recycling bins.
Twisty Light Bulbs
Have twisty light bulbs? Recycle compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs for free at the Ames Resource Recovery Plant.
Need More Information?
Need to recycle other things?
Go to earth911.com for more recycling opportunities.
Featured image: flickr.com