Going Green For Earth Day

Filed under: College Life, Education, Fun Ideas, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

Earth Day started in 1970 to recognize the need for and celebrate environmental protection. Now, it is a global event, celebrated annually on April 22nd. There are typically many different festivals or events that occur on Earth Day with lots of activities to educate people on how to “go green.” “Going green” means to act in a way that is environmentally friendly that will protect the environment and sustain natural resources. There are many different ways (some simple, others creative) to “go green” this Earth Day and help make a difference!

1. Save Energy At Home

This is at the top of my list because it is the most common (and a simple) way to try to live green. Try reducing your utility usage (water, electricity, and heat/air conditioning) and not only will the environment thank you, but so will your wallet! Reducing the amount of utilities you use will save you money and the earth’s resources. Turn off unused lights, upgrade to more efficient appliances, reduce water usage, and insulate your windows and walls to conserve heat/air conditioning. Instead of sitting at home and watching television or playing videogames, consider going on a walk, exercising, learning to play an instrument (that’s not electric), or planting a tree! Distract yourself from the use of utilities for a while to make a difference and when you eventually do return to watching Netflix, please do so responsibly.

2. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

This is a creative option that not many people consider. Using just vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and soap you can make your own cleaning supplies that are environmentally friendly. What most people don’t think about when using regular cleaning supplies is if the product label says it’s toxic to people, wouldn’t that imply that it is not so great for environment either? Pouring those cleaning supplies down the drain, or throwing away a Windex-soaked paper towel, exposes the environment to these toxins. Some products are labeled as eco-friendly, but be sure to read the label to be sure. Even still, you are better off creating your own cleaning products since you know the materials used first hand and will probably spend less money for them.

3. Buy Used And Donate Items

Buying and donating used items (that are still in good condition) are great ways to reuse and recycle items. Unfortunately, not a lot of people like to own previously used items because they want the newest stuff for themselves. This is the most common mentality since we have been taught how to be good consumers. However, this has led to overproduction of goods and an increase in waste. Not only is buying used a good way to “go green,” but it is also a great way to spend less money. Garage sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, and searching online are all great places to look for discounted used items. Also, buying used does not classify you as “lower class.” It classifies you as smart, responsible, and caring.

4. Buy Local Food

Do you know where your food comes from when you buy it from a store? It is likely that it traveled about 1,500 miles before ever reaching your dinner plate. Think about it. You are relying on the necessity of oil to have your food shipped to you. Oil debate aside, this takes a huge toll on the environment and disenfranchises local farmers trying to make a living with responsible farming practices such as intermittent grazing. If you buy from a local farmer’s market not only are you supporting that farmer, but you are also supporting your local economy and likely buying food that tastes much superior. You are also reducing the distance from the source, which reduces how many people handle your food, how much time your food is sitting on a shelf or in a truck, and you actually decrease the risk of your food expiring too soon or picking up a bacterium along the way. Fresh, local food tastes good, feels good, and does the body good.

These ideas are only a few ways you can “go green” for Earth Day, or any day for that matter. Sometimes small steps towards living an environmentally friendly life can make a big difference.

Leave a comment below to tell us how you’re helping the environment!

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5-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

After what seems to have been the longest winter yet, it’s time to shed the winter blues and welcome spring with open arms! This is the time when many of us like to do some spring cleaning to have a fresh start to spring.

This spring, really get some cleaning done by taking our 5 Day Spring Cleaning Challenge:

Day 1 – Clean Out Your Closet

It’s time to clean, organize, and get rid of all that old stuff in all of your closet(s). Put away the winter wear, pull out your spring wear, and donate all the clothes that you know you will never wear again. Let your friends help and take their pick of anything they want to keep. Another good idea is to sell any unwanted items through websites and apps like Poshmark.

Day 2 – Filter Your Social Media And Email

We spend so much time on online that it’s important to take time to clean out old emails (especially junk/spam) and our social media pages. Go through your Facebook, Instagram, and all other social media profiles and filter out whatever and whoever you wish to remove. After a while, a lot of stuff can just continue to build up without even realizing it.

Day 3 – Clean Up Your Schedule

As the days get warmer and longer, we begin to have a lot more to do and not enough time to do it all. Go through your schedule and organize your plans and due-dates. If you don’t have a planner, now is the time to put one together. This will help you to keep you organized and will actually help to alleviate any tension by not having to stress about remembering certain things.

Day 4 – Detox Your Body

Nothing will make you feel fresher than a nice detox to get rid of all the toxins in your body. You can start slow or plunge right into it with a hard core 7-day detox that will leave you feeling great. Be sure to do some research before starting any new regimen.

Day 5 – Find Your Inner Peace

The most important of all of these is to de-clutter your mind. Days 1-4 should help to achieve this a little bit easier, but the key is to do things to help you relax and rejuvenate your inner peace. A few good ideas would be to take a long walk, a relaxing bath, or even take a day or two without any electronic gadgets! The last idea might sound stressful, but you’d be surprised how peaceful life can be without the constant interruptions we get on a daily basis. It’s good to remember to make time to let go of all the stresses and the millions of things that run through your head in a day and simply free your mind. Without a clear head, your life will always seem cluttered.

Good luck and happy cleaning! If you are up for our 5-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge, let us know and if you successfully complete it, share your experience with us!

Leave any other spring cleaning tips you may have in a comment below!

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6 Style Trends This Spring

Filed under: Fashion, Seasonal Celebrations, Tips - Angelina
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Bailey Buckingham BookRenter Blogger Biography

Spring is finally here, and with it comes a new wardrobe! Guys and girls, check out these spring style trends to be sure you are looking and feeling your best this season.

For The Gals:

1. Shirt Dresses

This style is already being seen on the runaway, as well as celebrity street style. I personally love that this is trending because they are comfy, and you can dress them up or down! They come in so many different colors, but when thinking spring – think bright! Add extra flare with a belt!

2. Florals

Florals are definitely popping up this spring – whether it’s a flowery blouse, a button up, a skirt, a crop top, or skinny jeans… However you wear it, you’ll sure to be following the trends this season. Keep in mind – the brighter, the better.

3. Plaid/Checkered Print

Tons of celebrities are stepping out in plaid, especially checkered print tops. Even flannel crops and button ups are great pieces to showcase that plaid. It’s a great trend this season, but it is also so casual it will look effortless!

For The Guys:

1. Bermuda Shorts

They’re back and they’re everywhere already! During fashion week, there were several designers who had their models show off stylish Bermuda shorts! Stay within pastels and light colors this spring, and you’ll be sure to catch some eyes!

2. Khaki Suits

I absolutely love this. Whether it’s for work, date night, or a beautiful spring wedding, you’ll look extremely dapper in a Khaki suit this year.

3. Washed Out Jeans

This season, the lighter the better! You will emit a “chilling at the beach” vibe and you’ll be rocking comfortable pants throughout the day!

Hopefully these top styles will give you a jumpstart on your spring attire! To get more inspiration and ideas, I definitely suggest scrolling around Pinterest. But beware of the Pinterest addiction!

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Simple, Harmless, & Funny April Fool’s Day Pranks

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Funny Internet Stuff - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

April is just a few days away, and we all know what the first day of April is – April Fool’s Day! What better way to celebrate the beginning of spring with a little bit of light humor? It’s a great time to punk your roommate, classmate, and other friends and family! In case you were in need of any simple funny ideas, I have compiled a list of harmless pranks perfect for April Fool’s Day:

1. Tied Up

Grab a bunch of rubber bands and wrap them around your prankee’s cell phone when they aren’t looking. Then call them and watch as they struggle to take the rubber bands off one by one to answer the call.

2. Cursor Gone Crazy

Attach a wireless mouse to your prankee’s laptop. Then head to a desk or other nearby spot and wiggle it once they start trying to work. You decide how long you want them to go crazy.

3. Messy Drinker

Poke a few tiny unnoticeable holes close to the lip of a drinking cup or beverage can. When your prankee goes to take a sip of their drink, watch as the liquid will dribble out of their cup.

4. Wet and Wild

Find someone who has one of those sinks with the water hose spray on the side. Wrap a rubber band around the spray handle and they will get a very wet surprise when they turn on the sink!

5. Lather and Rinse

Paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish and leave it in the shower for your unsuspecting prankee. Their shower make take a little longer than usual!

6. Messy Hands

This one is one of my favorites! Put a dab of Vaseline (I like to use liquid soap instead) under a door handle. Their hand will slip right off for a funny gooey mess.

7. All Strung Up

Sneak into your prankee’s room and sew one long string through several of their underwear or socks. When they go to take out a pair, they’ll be surprised to see a chain reaction!

8. Delicious Snack

Replace all the yummy white filling in Oreos with white toothpaste. Offer them up to your prankee and prepare to cringe as they get a mouthful of mint!

Just remember to keep all pranks safe. Do not do anything that would physically or emotionally hurt anyone involved and remember to keep jokes light, simple, and funny!

Do you have any go-to April Fool’s Day pranks? Share them with us in the comments! In the meantime, check out this ultimate prank college students played on their professor:

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How To Ace Group Projects

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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BookRenter Blogger Biography Cameron Tranchemontagne

Some people love working in groups – it comes naturally to them and they are happy to collaborate with, or manage, a team towards the completion of a common goal. For others, working on group projects can be the most frustrating, infuriating, annoying, and/or confounding principles of higher education. Class assignment groups are mixed with students that have unique points of view and methods to approaching tasks. Often times, people working together in groups (by assignment or even by choice) may not agree on everything and may have difficulty working together as a team.

Here is some advice on how to make the best out of your next team project:

1. Assign Roles

Everyone in the group should do a fair share of the work, but how do you know who should do what? Divide up the project tasks so that each group member has at least one responsibility. I recommend letting everyone choose their own roles since each member will have a better idea of their own strengths and weaknesses, which will result in a happier experience and overall better outcome. If there is a certain task that nobody wants to be assigned to, try breaking that task up into smaller parts for everyone to complete together, or perhaps excuse whoever takes the role from doing as much as everyone else. Assigning group duties will ensure everyone is pulling their own weight and working together towards completion.

2. Coordinate

Conflicts can easily happen when trying to schedule a meeting time between several college students. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to find a time between everyone’s classes, work, activities, and social life (wait, do those exist in college?), but a great way to find out everyone’s availability is to compare schedules on websites such as Doodle. Be sure to schedule at least the next group meeting (if not all of them) before departing, otherwise it will be hard enough just trying to coordinate with everyone not face-to-face. Speaking of coordinating; be sure to establish the most reliable form of communication.

3. Communicate

Constant and frequent communication is key. If there isn’t clear communication between team members, problems happen. Once, I ended up researching the same stuff as my group partner and we had to ask for an extension. Another time, a team member didn’t even know he was in our group because he was absent the day groups were assigned and nobody let him know. On more than one occasion, my groups have had fundamental disagreements about the main thesis of our presentation. Get my point? Headaches like these can easily be avoided if communication is kept through each member of the group. Teams cannot function efficiently without communication. Everyone should have a way of contacting each group member (email, phone number, etc.). I suggest creating a contact sheet for everyone to have. Don’t be the group that gets left stranded on presentation day because the team member responsible for bringing in the finished product is nowhere to be found, and no one has his/her phone number.

 4. Collaborate Online

Collaborate together online outside of meetings to continue working on the project. Email works, but may be the slowest and not the most effective method for group projects. Facebook has become a great place for people to link up and join group pages to share ideas and files. I like to use Google Drive whenever I am working in a group project. Google Drive is just like Microsoft Suite software, except it is all free and stored online in The Cloud.  Google Drive can be used for word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, maps, and more through downloadable apps. Why use email to send files back and forth when everyone can work remotely on the same file at the same time, live! I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already because you can even see who has contributed to what sections of the file. And this is a perfect way to work on the project without having to have everyone get together. All work can be assessed at any time, from any location with internet.

Group projects are not always easy, but working together as a team is a life skill necessary for college and beyond.  It will come easier with more practice and with time, you will be an expert on how to work as a team.

What do you do to ace your team projects? Share with us in a comment below!

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