A Green Island: How to Live Eco-Friendly on Campus



Separating recyclables such as bottled water and canned sodas to take to recycling cans on campus is an easy and effective way to reduce daily waste.

With an ever-progressing global consciousness regarding our footprint left on the world, the phenomenon of “green living” has become increasingly popular within mainstream media. Although living on campus with limited resources can make such a lifestyle seem entirely out of reach, there are small steps everyone can take to leave the planet a little cleaner than they found it. 

Nicole Sprencel, a sophomore graphic design major and community assistant for the honors dorm on campus, worked to incorporate the premise of green living within the dorm’s theme in the fall semester. Sprencel centered the theme for the dorm hall around frogs and leading a more sustainable lifestyle. Even though the display is not found in the honors dorm this semester, Sprencel continues to promote easy green living by encouraging residents to do things as simple as separating recyclables and nonrecyclables in their trash.

“If I could just make it easier to do their part, it might incentivize them to live greener. If it is too much work people aren’t going to do it,” Sprencel said in an interview.

A fun and lively display found within the honors dorm, made by Nicole Sprencel during the fall semester, was used to inform its residents about sustainable living. (Bailey Otter/ISLAND WAVES)

So, where does the average student start in their journey to live a more eco-friendly life? There are many avenues students can take to begin with, but the best is getting involved within the community. There is one student organization on the Island looking to motivate students to become educated and change the sustainability patterns of our world: The Islander Green Team. 

The Islander Green Team, according to their I-Engage profile, aims to “empower the TAMU-CC community towards campus sustainability and cultivate environmentally conscious behavior through advocacy, engagement, research, and service.”

“Islander Green Team has several compost bins around campus that people can find using the interactive campus map,” Sprencel noted. 

Other than amping up campus involvement, there are many ways students can live sustainably on an individual level. Everyday practices such as recycling plastic bottles and reusing containers after they are empty are things many individuals implement without even realizing. Other examples of sustainable practices include opting for reusable water bottles, unplugging electronics when they are not in use, using a bike or city bus for transportation, and eating less meat.

Living sustainably does not require going vegan, swearing off all plastic usage, or any other extreme initially. Finding a middle ground and ways to transition into a more environmentally conscious lifestyle allows room to grow and less of a likelihood of burnout from the practice. 

A great way to get started on the journey is by going to a campus event. To sign up for this event, join the Islander Green Team, and explore other opportunities within the TAMU-CC community, please visit https://tamucc.campuslabs.com/engage/.