5 Ways to be More Sustainable in College

Sustainability may seem like a nice idea, but harder in practice — like making your bed everyday or training for a 10K. 

In reality, there are plenty of simple steps we can take as college students to start treating our planet with the respect it deserves. 

1. Shop second-hand clothing

Did you know nearly 100 million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills each year? Not only is thrifting your clothes a trendy way to find pieces no one else will have, but it also helps end the cycle of fast fashion. If you’re into online shopping, apps like Depop can be a great way to find some new pieces without contributing to the global waste problem.

Credit: Pinterest

2. Switch to reusable items

It’s 2021. Please stop using plastic water bottles. There are quite literally hundreds of options for cute reusable water bottles right now. You can’t go wrong with a Hydroflask — I use mine so often it’s essentially a third arm at this point. 

Credit: Pinterest

Reusable dishes, containers, and napkins are also simple switches you can easily make in a dorm. 

Another reusable item to consider purchasing is your own reusable grocery bags. I love these ones from Baggu — they’re inexpensive and come in a ton of fun prints. 

Some of my other favorite sustainable products are reusable makeup removing wipes and makeup removing pads

3. Unplug your devices at night

Even while our devices aren’t in use, they utilize valuable energy. This is a phenomenon called phantom power. Even something as simple as unplugging your computer charger while you’re not using it can make a positive impact over time.

4. Eat less meat

Believe it or not, reducing your meat consumption can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Meat alternatives have come such a long way in recent years. Try Trader Joe’s tofu — your taste buds and Mother Earth will thank you for it. 

Credit: Pinterest

5. Avoid products that endanger wildlife

I recently watched the Seaspiracy documentary on Netflix and was blown away by how much fishing companies are getting away with while still marketing themselves as environmentally conscious and sustainable. As consumers it’s important to read up on where our products come from. Our power is in our consumer dollars, and our planet deserves ethical consumption.

These are just a few ideas to kickstart your sustainability efforts to keep in mind not only on Earth Day but everyday. There are many more ways to contribute to protecting our planet, and we look forward to exploring them with you. 

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