Tips for a Green Graduation

c2b16 mountain view park (278)Hi my name is Hannah and I am currently one of the Outreach Interns at I Love A Clean San Diego! I am graduating this May from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability.  My love for the environment started in high school after taking a course in environmental science, which led me to my major. I am always trying to find ways to be more sustainable, including my upcoming college graduation.

Graduation season is quickly approaching. From kindergarten to college, there will be millions of students all over the globe walking across a stage to receive their diploma.  Here are 4 ways to be sustainable this graduation season and have a green graduation!

  1. Send evites to your friends and family to attend your graduation ceremony or party rather than paper announcements! You will not only be saving the planet, but also saving money. The online alternative to invitations is affordable, easy, and environmentally friendly! Websites such as Paperless Post, Greenvelope, and Punch Bowl all offer free or low cost alternatives.

  1. Rent or recycle your graduation gown! There are more than 5 million high school and college graduates every year each purchasing a graduation gown they will probably never wear again and could end up in a landfill, if it is not recycled. Greener Grads is a website that provides low cost cap, gown, and tassel rentals. If you have already graduated or purchased your gown, don’t fret, Greener Grads will recycle it for you after you are done.

SDSU gown

  1. Arrange a carpool for your guests attending your graduation or encourage them to take public transportation. Not only will there be tons of traffic getting to and from the ceremony, but they will be making a positive impact on the environment.   Since SDSU has a trolley stop right on campus, my family is staying at a hotel in close proximity to a trolley stop for my graduation this May for a quick, sustainable, and hassle free journey.
  1. Encourage your friends and family to refrain from showering you with balloons and candy leis at your graduation ceremony, and let them know their attendance is more than enough! We are currently facing a helium shortage, you know the stuff that we fill balloons with, and studies suggest supplies could be depleted before the middle of the century. Helium is a non-renewable resource, so once it’s gone it’s gone. Another popular graduation ceremony gift are candy leis, but candy wrappers are made from mixed materials that can be very difficult to recycle.

We’ll that’s it! If you’re graduating this spring or if you know someone who is, take these tips with you as you celebrate this incredible milestone with our environment in mind. For more sustainable ideas for other occasions, follow I Love A Clean San Diego on Pinterest!

Graduation meme

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