5 Easy Eco-Friendly Tips for the College Student

Overwhelmingly aware of the dangers of climate change, college students walk a fine line between convenience and harming the environment in increasingly irreparable ways. It can often feel like there is almost nothing the average college student can do. While large scale, fundamental changes in our society will require government and economic institutions to take action, here are five small things we can all do.

  1. 1. No More Body Wash!

    I am not advocating that we all stop showering or cleaning ourselves. I am a huge proponent of hygiene, but we can reduce our environmental impact by reducing our waste. Next time you are shopping for body wash, look at the soap options instead. Bars of soap are just as effective and can smell just as nice without the plastic container or the plastic microbeads many body washes come with. Plus, there are likely some great local businesses in your community that hand-make some really cool soaps.

  2. 2. Leave Plastic Grocery Bags at The Store

    For less than a dollar in most shops, you can buy reusable shopping bags. Leave them in your car or by the door, and you can do your part every time you go shopping by refusing plastic bags. Take this a step further and avoid unnecessary plastic bags like the ones available next to the vegetable section. You really don’t need to bag up any produce that you’re going to wash, especially if these already have a protective outer layer like avocados or bananas.

  3. 3. Go Thrifting 

    There are so many amazing finds to be had at your local thrift store. Not only are you shopping locally which reduces the environmental impact of buying something online from Amazon or another large company, but you are reusing clothes and keeping them out of landfills. 

  4. 4. Makeup Wipes, Shmakeup Wipes

    When you really think about how much waste you produce and money you spend buying cotton rounds or makeup wipes, the results can be staggering. I recently switched to reusable cotton makeup wipes. They absorb my makeup remover and remove all my mascara, glitter, and lipstick after a long night out. When I have used them two or three times, depending on how much makeup I was wearing, I throw them in with my laundry.

  5. 5. Shop Local

    I have mentioned this throughout the article, but this is such a big one that it deserves its own spot. Money is power and spending it in your community empowers small business owners, puts money back into your own community, and reduces the massive environmental impact of buying from huge corporations or buying online.