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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cincinnati chapter.



Being sustainable isn’t always easy, especially when you’re on a tight budget. It can also be very difficult to stray away from convenience in favor of a low waste option. 

I’m here to tell you that there is a solution! These methods aren’t going to singlehandedly save the planet, but they’re important stepping stones to living an environmentally friendly life. Getting takeout from a fast food place or grabbing Starbucks on the way to class can be a go-to, but it creates a lot of waste. Here’s how to make these easy options more sustainable! 

1.) Get a reusable water bottle! This is such an easy one! Did you know that humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total? To make matters worse, only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. Practically everyone has a water bottle these days! Avoiding plastic water bottle waste is an incredibly easy way to decrease your plastic usage. 

2.) Meatless Mondays The agriculture industry produces a profound amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and that’s no good! Doing Meatless Mondays (or even more days a week) also helps decrease your carbon footprint. 

3.) Reusable plastic utensils/containers We’ve all heard this one. Metal straws are a huge trend. While buying a metal straw isn’t going to save the planet, you as an individual can really cut down on your single- use plastic consumption by getting reusable straws and utensils! Buying a reusable mug/cup can also save a lot of plastic waste and money. Many places are happy to fill your personal mug, and at some places it’s even cheaper! 

4.) Go thrift shopping! Buying second-hand as much as possible is a great way to avoid supporting the fast fashion industry and corporations that have environmentally detrimental practices. When you buy second-hand, you reduce landfill waste and your carbon footprint. 

As I mentioned before, these habits are not going to save the planet or completely get rid of your carbon footprint. You’ll probably mess up—I know I do—but don’t be to 

hard on yourself. Regardless, these habits genuinely help, and they’re great ways to transition into a low or zero waste lifestyle. These options are cheap, convenient, and accessible—exactly what us college students need!

Katherine Donaghy

Cincinnati '24

Katherine is a Fine Arts major at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Program. She loves art, music, the environment, and staying up to date on current events.
Emma Segrest

Cincinnati '22

Emma is a current Creative Writing and Journalism major at the University of Cincinnati and works as the Editorial Captain for Her Campus UC. When she is not writing she can be found reading Jane Austen or tending to her plants.