Oswego State offers numerous alternatives for students to live green, save gold

"Living green at Oswego State is not as difficult as you might think, especially when it comes to transportation. But what do many students love to do? Drive. Anyone who can bring their car to campus often drives alone rather than carpooling. However there are other options, that many students do not take into consideration when they go out.

"Only 11percent of people in Oswego carpool, and only 2 percent take advantage of mass transit, according to the website "Sperling’s Best Places." Both of these statistics are lower than the national average, and with the growing availability of buses to and from campus, it is easy for Oswego State students to make a difference.

"One alternative Oswego State offers are Zipcars: a Toyota Prius and Toyota Matrix that are available for students to rent. The two cars average 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg in the country. They drastically cut down on carbon dioxide emissions compared to many other cars. Take the Volkswagen Jetta, which gives off 3,132 kilograms of emissions per year. The Toyota Prius gives off roughly half those emissions per year, averaging 1,748 kilograms.

"Accessing the Zipcars is simple and extremely cost affordable. It costs $35 to sign up for the program and then only $8 to take it out for an hour or $66 for a full day. The price looks even better when students decide to carpool with friends. Oswego State’s website provides more information about the Zipcars and about signing up for the program.

"Students also have the option of using Centro to get to campus from virtually any location in the city of Oswego for free. The bus travels to and from downtown Oswego at least once an hour starting before 7 a.m. and continuing until almost 11 p.m. The buses also travel to Syracuse and back Thursday through Sunday for free.

"Any student can go to the Box Office in the Campus Center to get a sticker for his or her ID that allows him or her to use the Centro buses for free. There is also the Laker Shuttle: another free bus that drives around campus in a continuous loop taking students from one side of campus to the other in roughly 15 minutes.

"Around 4,100 undergraduate students are housed on campus in 13 residence halls. With the construction of the new town houses, Oswego State is already helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels. There is now more room for students to live on campus, so fewer students need to commute. But there is still much more that can be done by students who live on campus. When going to the grocery store or to the movies, carpool with friends or take the bus. And although the uphill trek to Snygg Hall from West Campus can be grueling, walking to class instead of driving is much more environmental friendly.

"These options and more are available to students and with almost no effort at all, they can make a major impact on the environment. The most important thing is to take a moment to think about how your actions will impact the environment and then to consciously make changes in the way you live.