The suffering of the environment has made us all think twice about our habits that hurt the Earth. Considering your busy college life and tight schedule, living green probably isn't at the top of your priorities. However, with some small changes to your lifestyle, you can live a more eco-friendly life.
As you will notice some of these tips will not only lead you to sustainability but it will also help you save some money. So, this is your chance to help the environment and unburden your wallet from unnecessary costs. Here are some ways of living green while you’re in college.
Always Carry a Water Bottle
Buying and disposing of plastic water bottles accumulates unimaginable amounts of plastic. At some point, the Earth won’t be able to handle that anymore. Stop throwing away plastic bottles by always carrying around your own water bottle.
Refill it with drinkable water on campus whenever you need it. In this way, you'll also save money since you won’t be buying several water bottles each day.
Use a Thermos for Coffee and Tea
Even if you are getting your to-go cup of coffee or tea in a local coffee shop or cafeteria, you don’t have to use paper cups. Hand the barista your thermos and ask them if they can fill the coffee in it.
Consider that people throw away 16 billion disposable coffee cups and 500 billion plastic cups every year. Fight against this devastating statistic by using a reusable thermos for coffee or tea.
Store Food in Mason Jars
Mason jars can be easily found and bought online. Maybe you already have some at home that you can bring to your dorm room or college apartment. The reason why you'll need them is that they are a good option for storing food.
You’ll no longer have the need to use plastic containers, bags, or styrofoam packaging for food storage. Mason jars are reusable and fit for storing both food and drinks.
While this should already be in your practice, in case you haven't already adopted recycling habits, this is the time to do it. When we recycle just one aluminum, we save enough energy that can keep the TV on for three hours. Yes, recycling is that effective.
Even if there is no recycling program within your campus, there is a solution. Sort out paper, bottles, and cans and once you collect enough, take it to the local recycling center.
Use a Tablet or Laptop for Note-Taking
In this era of technology, paper waste can easily be reduced. Forget about using notebooks and opt for taking notes on a tablet or a laptop. A tablet is especially handy since it doesn’t take much space and it isn’t heavy.
If you find your notes to be disorganized, turn to college academic writing services. Since you’ll have all your notes in a digital form, you can simply pass them along and let the professional writers put together readable study lessons.
Lower the Use of Power
Whenever you are leaving your dorm room or apartment, make sure that all the lights and electronic devices are off. There is no need to waste power while you aren't in the room. Not to mention the money you'll save by being mindful of the usage of electricity.
Another way to reduce watt usage is to use LED light bulbs instead of regular light bulbs. They are an energy-efficient and money-saving source of light. Since they are more durable, you won't have to worry about burned-out light bulbs every once in a while.
Walk or Ride a Bike
The path towards less pollution is using your feet or a bike for transportation. Not only will you be eco-friendly but you’ll also take care of your health. With all the obligations, socialization, and studying, you probably don’t have enough time for exercising. Well, riding a bike or walking can be a replacement for cardio exercises.
Check out the Craigslist to find some affordable and used bikes if you don't have the budget for a new one. The important thing is that you limit the use of a car and public transportation.
Use Reusable Bags for Shopping
Did you know that on average, one supermarket goes through 60,500,000 paper bags for one year? Help to reduce throwing paper bags away by purchasing a reusable shopping bag. You only need to purchase this bag once and you’ll be set for all future shopping sprees.
The reusable bag can also be used for any other type of shopping not just getting groceries. When you are purchasing clothes or shoes make sure that you have your reusable bag with you so that you don’t have to get yet another bag.
Purchase Green Products
Green products or sustainable products aim to maximize resource efficiency and reduce waste. If you can't find sustainable products in your local market you should check online. Some examples of green products are:
- local food
- control outlet or a power strip with an on/off switch
- reusable sandwich bag
- shampoo bar
- wool footwear
- clothes made out of recycled fabric
- stainless steel straws
- toilet paper out of recycled paper fibers, bamboo, or sugarcane
- toothbrush with a recycled handle
Ditch the Red Solo Cups
If you are a successful party host and you don’t want to break that habit but you want to minimize the plastic waste there is an alternative to red solo cups. Buy reusable plastic cups.
Washing them afterward might be a drag, but just think about all the waste that you will eliminate by not using the red solo cups. Using glass might not be the best idea for parties but you can at least use the reusable plastic.
Go Thrift Shopping
You must have noticed that fashion is quite versatile these days. Trends from the 80s and 90s are constantly coming back. So, why should you spend hundreds of dollars on clothes that can easily be found in thrift shops?
Thrift shopping reduces waste and the exploitation of raw materials needed for making new clothes. It might take some digging and trying out, but you’ll see that you’ll be able to find lots of great and fashionable pieces.
Another way to reduce waste is to donate clothes. Before you think about throwing a piece of clothing just think about how many people would be happy to have something to wear.
Donating clothes is so easy but so efficient. You can give your old clothes away to siblings, relatives, or to a charity, it is all up to you.
Find Pump Sprays
Taking care of the ozone layer means demands that you search for an alternative for aerosol sprays. Whether you use a hair spray or a dry shampoo, avoid the aerosol packaging.
Considering the number of beauty products out there, you'll be able to find pump sprays for any type of product. Just do some online research.
With a few changes such as these, you can make a huge contribution to the environment. Everything starts from the individual so once you adopt these habits, they can also reflect on people around you and encourage them to become more eco-friendly as well.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer and blogger. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is traveling and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experiences. Currently, she contributes to Essayguard.