Five Sustainable Back To School Tips

Morning! It’s time for your first 9 a.m. of the school year. You’re rushing to get ready, pack your bag, and get to class in time to snag a good seat. It’s too late to make your morning coffee, but you want that satisfying sip of iced coffee through your morning lecture. So, you buy one on your way to class. Now think of how many plastic coffee cups you’ve mindlessly gone through. 

This year my goal is to be more conscious of the products I consume. As many coffee shops are cutting out plastic straws, I began to think of how many plastic cups I have consumed over the years. We put so little thought into the common objects we use each day and their effect on the earth. So here are five tips I am trying to incorporate into college life to be more sustainable.


  1. 1. Get a Tumbler for your iced coffee addiction

    Carry it around with you on campus and when you need your afternoon coffee pick up, ask the barista to put it in your reusable cup. Starbucks even gives you a discount on your drink when you bring your own cup. This is the one I got, cute and affordable: Iced Coffee Tumbler  

  2. 2. Bring your own reusable grocery bags

    Trader Joes has them for 99 cents! This is a super easy way to reduce waste. The biggest challenge is remembering them. Keep extra in your car, or make a point of hanging them somewhere so you’ll always be reminded to grab them before leaving to get groceries.  

  3. 3. Opt for shampoo bars

    They don’t use plastic bottles, last longer, and they’re made with better ingredients that most shampoos.  

  4. 4. Switch out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one

    Plastic toothbrushes aren’t recyclable and can get stuck in machinery. One billion toothbrushes are thrown out in the United States alone each year. Think of all the waste that creates.  

  5. 5. Consider using more eco-friendly period products

    A person will go through about 11,000 pads or tampons in their life. This creates an insane amount of plastic waste. Menstrual cups are a great alternative that will not only reduce waste, but also are more convenient and healthy! They can be left in for up to 12 hours so you can go on with your busy day and save the earth while you’re at it.