Living Room With Globe

8 Ways to Be Sustainable on a College Campus

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly hot topic on college campuses, as fears about global warming and humans' impact on the planet become more apparent. Changing your habits can seem like a daunting task, but here are six easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and be more sustainable on your college campus!

  1. 1. Recycle!

    Simple, but effective! With the increase in awareness of environmental issues, more and more public places have recycling bins. Having two trash cans in your room can make it easy to separate waste from plastic and paper products. Additionally, a lot of products can be used again in a different way! For example, instead of throwing out a plastic or glass container, you could wash it and use it again as a pencil or makeup brush holder!

  2. 2. Use reusable water bottles and coffee cups.

    Two Friends With Water Bottles

    The majority of waste in the ocean is plastic, so using reusable water bottles and coffee cups could significantly reduce the amount of waste put into the ocean. Additionally, using a reusable water bottle is cheaper than constantly purchasing single-use bottles. Many coffee shops will also give you a discount for bringing your own cup or mug! Here is a popular brand of reusable water bottles!

  3. 3. Use metal straws instead of single-use plastic straws.

    Iced Coffee In Hand

    Similarly to using a reusable water bottle, using a reusable straw can reduce the amount of plastic put into the ocean. In addition to the environmental benefit of metal straws, they look better than plastic straws too! Here is a set of four colorful metal straws to pique your interest!

  4. 4. Get reusable bags!

    Trader Joe'S Reusable Bag

    Another way to reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills and the ocean is to use reusable grocery bags (as opposed to plastic ones). Reusable bags can be purchased at many grocery stores, as well as online! Additionally, many stores only charge 5 or 10 cents for disposable bags if you do not bring your own reusable one. Many reusable bags are super compact and easy to throw in your backpack for when you need it. Here is a set of four super cute—and compact—reusable bags!

  5. 5. Use bar soap instead of body wash.

    Chandler Long Day

    Using bar soap instead of body wash is another way to reduce the amount of plastic in the environment. Scientists from the Institute of Environmental Engineering found that use of liquid soap results in 10 times more of a carbon footprint than bar soap—this is due to the amount of chemicals and plastic used to make and package the liquid soap.

  6. 6. Opt for an online version of a textbook rather than a paper copy.

    woman using laptop

    While this may not always be an option, opting to get an online version of a textbook rather than a paper copy can reduce the amount of paper used. It can also be a more cost-effective way to get required texts for classes!

  7. 7. Wash your laundry on cold and use more eco-friendly laundry products.

    Lindsay Thompson-Miami Laundry Posing Vintage Pensive

    Choosing to wash your laundry with cold water is an easy way to reduce the amount of electricity used by machine-washing your clothes. Heating hot water accounts for about 90 percent of the electricity used for one load of laundry. Additionally, waiting to do laundry until you have a full hamper can reduce the amount of water used by each load—and saves you money!

    Unfortunately, many laundry detergents come in single-use plastic, and much of that plastic doesn't get recycled and ends up in landfills. Using a more eco-friendly detergent, such as these laundry strips, or laundry tablets, helps reduce the amount of plastic getting dumped in landfills.

  8. 8. Go vegetarian for a few days each week!

    Vegetable Market with carrots, tomato, radish

    The meat production industry has a large impact on climate change, and it produces a lot of greenhouse gases that are detrimental to our global climate. Even cutting a small amount of meat or fish out of your diet can have a large impact on the environment. Going meatless for three or four days per week is an easy way to ease vegetarianism into your diet!

Being more environmentally friendly can be difficult on a college campus, but even integrating a couple of these tips into your lifestyle can have a large impact on the environment.

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