A College Student’s Guide to Living Sustainably

As college students, the idea of living sustainability is not always at the forefront of our minds, but it isn't as intimidating as it might seem. To help you guys out, I have compiled a list of easy and affordable hacks that you can incorporate your life to help you live more sustainably. Adapting just a few of these sustainable life hacks will help you reduce your global footprint, and make you feel good about helping the planet!


Use reusable bags while grocery shopping. Not only will you look like an absolute boss taking your reusable bags out at checkout, but you will also help minimize the amount of plastic bags sitting in landfills and floating in oceans while they take there sweet time decomposing.


Use a reusable water bottle. A similar idea -- you can save the environment over 1,000 years of decomposing just one of your plastic water bottles by simply using a reusable one. I can tell you that your single-use, plastic SmartWater bottle has nothing on your smarticle particles!


Shop at a thrift store. Save a little bit of money and the environment by checking out your local thrift shops -- a two for one! Now that’s what I’m talking about!


Go digital. Save trees by buying all of your textbooks online and take notes electronically. I know you won’t be able to vociferously flip through a textbook in class to impress the cutie sitting two desks away from you... but think of all the animals you'll save from habitat destruction!


Go meatless one day of the week. Eating meatless can reduce your global footprint and contribution to greenhouse gases, groundwater pollution, and destruction to land resources. So instead of meat, bring on the veggies! Lettuce turnip the beet because I’m rooting for you! That was nerdy, but I don’t carrot all. 


Cut down on your trash. This may feel like an obvious one, but we often don’t think about all the trash we produce day-to-day and what impact it has on the environment. Depending on how many people you live with, try limiting yourself to one trash bag every two weeks. 


Recycle. (Enough said).


Vote. I am a journalism major. However, I attended the syllabus day of one political science class at American University, so therefore I feel a great responsibility to encourage all of you to apply for an absentee ballot and vote. In case you haven't noticed, climate change is already on the cusp of becoming irreversible as temperatures and weather patterns become more erratic and extreme. The environment needs our help more than ever, so make your voice heard and elect policymakers who believe in climate change!


Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9