50 Social-Distancing Ways to Celebrate Campus Earth Week

Did you know? Earth Day 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of this global celebration! To honor this milestone, we’ve put together a list of 50 actions that you can take while practicing social distancing. We hope these ideas will inspire you to take that extra step to connect with the environment, your well-being or your community.

If you take an action on this list and want to share on social – tag us! (@sustainableuf)

  1. Go for a bike ride and enjoy some fresh air while practicing social distancing recommendations.
  2. Graduating senior? Complete the Green Gator Graduation Cord Challenge to receive a green graduation cord.
  3. Skip the plastic! Use reusable utensils when eating meals. You can make a note in your take-out orders to exclude disposable cutlery.
  4. Enjoy a hike or visit an open local park while practicing social distancing techniques.
  5. Take a virtual tour of a national park, thanks to Google Earth.
  6. No gym? No problem! Take a virtual fitness class from RecSports.
  7. Buy locally grown produce when you can. If your town is still hosting farmers markets, you can still support local growers while practicing social distancing techniques.
  8. Registering for Summer or Fall courses? Check out some of the sustainability-focused or sustainability-related course options.
  9. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using a dryer – the planet, and your energy bill, will thank you.
  10. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, which can last longer and use a fraction of the electricity. 
  11. More time to shop online? Use websites like Poshmark and Thred Up to buy and sell second hand clothing items, rather than shopping on “fast fashion” sites.
  12. Take the free Cycling Savvy Basics Online course available for UF students, faculty and staff through UF E-Learning.
  13. Plant a garden and grow some of your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening is a great way to stay active and can save you money in the long run, plus UF/IFAS offers great online resources to get started!
  14. Try some new vegan recipes! Websites like Bon Appetit and Forks Over Knives are great resources with tons of easy-to-make recipes with things you may already have in your kitchen!
  15. Continue tracking your reusable water bottle use with the Fill It Forward app.
  16. Make your own household products; like toothpaste, deodorant, etc. 
  17. Donate to a sustainable cause, like The Nature Conservancy, which has protected over 119,000,000 acres of land and thousands of miles of river worldwide.
  18. Save paper and take your notes electronically if you can.
  19. Take shorter showers (it’s estimated that using an average number of 2.5 gallons per minute from the typical shower head, reducing your shower length by 4 minutes per day would save 3,650 gallons per year).
  20. Enter a photograph into Sustainable UF’s 2020 Earth Day Photo Contest! Submissions are accepted until April 10th.
  21. Take a study break by watching some of @SustainableUF’s Tik Toks or videos on Youtube! 
  22. Get creative and make art out of materials you would normally throw away (milk jugs, bottle caps, eggs cartons, etc.).
  23. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Getting in this habit can save energy (and $) in the long run. 
  24. Cut down on your meat intake (try Meatless Mondays!). 
  25. Still on campus? Check out the meatless options at open Gator Dining locations.
  26. Miss using your hammock in Plaza of the Americas? Try hammocking in your backyard with a book instead!
  27. Plus, you can order Krishna Lunch for local delivery!
  28. Start a compost pile of your household food waste. This can make for a great fertilizer for your home garden! 
  29. Still getting bank notices and bills delivered to your house? Switch to online bills and email alerts to save paper. 
  30. Avoid using straws, or use a reusable or paper one. 
  31. Install a low-pressure shower head to save water (and money). 
  32. Donate your old computers and other devices to schools and other institutions in need, especially during this time when many students are being required to learn online. 
  33. Learn more about UF’s sustainability measures by exploring sustainable.ufl.edu (did you know the 160,000 pounds of waste have been diverted from the landfills because of UF’s composting initiative?)
  34. Watch environmentally-focused documentaries on Netflix, like Our Planet and Chasing Coral.
  35. Collect rainwater and use it to water your houseplants and garden. 
  36. Ordering take-out? Repurpose the hard plastic to-go containers into tupperware, rather than buying new ones.
  37. Highlight a sustainable student org that you’re a part of, or one who is doing awesome work!
  38. Watch Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax to be inspired about protecting our environment.
  39. Taking the time to clean your home from top to bottom? Use non-toxic cleaners, such as baking soda, vinegar, and castile soap for light cleaning needs.
  40. Continue to support local businesses and restaurants in Gainesville or your area by ordering take-out or delivery if possible. 
  41. Getting hot in your home? Weather-strip and caulk around the windows and doors in your house to keep it properly insulated and avoid cranking up the A/C.
  42. Need to print assignments for school? Use double-sided printing when possible. 
  43. Make your own coffee at home rather than at a coffee shop, especially with many of them now unable to take personal cups for safety reasons (but continue to support your local coffee shop by buying coffee beans or a gift card). 
  44. Relax to some jams with Sustainable UF’s Spotify playlist featuring music that will inspire you live and breath sustainability. 
  45. Use reusable washable cotton pads for removing makeup during your nighttime routine. 
  46. Sharpen your bike maintenance knowledge and skills so you can upgrade your ride with confidence.
  47. Read e-books or listen to audio-books related to the environment, climate change, or sustainability.
  48. Giving someone a gift? Considering using gift wrapping material from a past gift you received. 
  49. Stay at home as much as possible to help “flatten the curve” and stay healthy and safe! Follow the UF COVID-19 Updates.
  50. Follow the Office of Sustainability on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok (@sustainableuf) for more Campus Earth Week updates and tips!

Published: April 3rd, 2020

Category: Highlights