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5 Easy Ways to be More Sustainable!

We are constantly reminded that the earth is dying on social media. It can be overwhelming at times, especially when you don’t know what you can do to help. Here are five simple ways to implement changes in your lifestyle and be more environmentally conscious!

Bring your reusable bag to shop at every store!

Many consumers have started bringing their own bags to grocery stores, and in Boston, some stores even charge extra if you ask for a paper or plastic bag. But why stop there? Bring your reusable bags to clothing stores and drugstores too! If it’s a small item, you can make a small difference just by opting to carry it instead of asking for a bag.

Bring your reusable cup! And straws, and utensils!

My best friend from home (shoutout Lauren) is a sustainability queen. Reusable cups in coffee shops and aluminum straws in restaurants have become much more popular, but Lauren was the first one to tell me she carries her own set of utensils with her to limit her use of plastic even further. Bringing a reusable cup with you whenever you get coffee, and using a reusable water bottle every day is a great place to start ensuring you’re doing your part. And, if you don’t want to buy a $15 cup from Starbucks, mason jars work too!

Eat local and seasonal fruits and vegetables!

This one is harder to do in college since the dining hall tends to dictate what you eat, but if you live off-campus, paying attention to what’s in season can limit greenhouse gases, which is a huge help to the climate!

Thrift Shopping!

In my opinion, this is the most fun way to start being more sustainable. It feels like such an accomplishment when you find a unique item to add to your wardrobe, and it feels good to know you’re choosing to reduce waste instead of buying something new from a fast-fashion chain. Living in Boston even gives us access to fashionable thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange, which is right in Allston! Donating clothes helps too!

Walk if and when you can!

Boston has been deemed one of the most “walkable” cities. Walking to your destination in the city with your friends can be half the fun anyway, so next time think twice before you call an Uber!

These are just five ways to start paying attention to how you are individually impacting the environment. If you want to start small, you can just focus on one change at first and build up sustainable habits over time. Anything helps! Don’t beat yourself up if you forget your cup or you eat out-of-season fruit once in a while. Give yourself credit for trying your best to make a difference in this world.


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Meaghan Merriman is a junior studying Behavior & Health in Sargent College at Boston University. She is an Event Coordinator for CHAARG and a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.
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