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Sustainability is all about living a life that is conducive to the well-being of yourself, others, and the planet. Every time we shop, be it groceries, clothes, or home goods, we contribute to the climate crisis in one way or another. Here are some thrifty ways to revise your shopping habits!

Upcycle your clothes.

Upcycling is the best way to combat fast fashion. By not ordering or shopping for new clothes, you are helping to combat the many issues that relate to climate in the fashion industry. Instead, take old clothes that you know and love, and make them new! You could paint an old pair of jeans, cut a cute crop top out of your old t-shirt, or embroider a fun pattern onto a hoodie!

Borrow from a friend's closet. 

Everyone knows all the best clothes are in your roommate’s closet. Instead of shopping for clothes, shoes, perfume, or even hair accessories, take a trip to your mom’s/sister’s/roommate’s closet! Simply not shopping is the best way to aid in the climate crisis driven by the fashion industry.


Is this item really ready for the trash? Pause for a minute and think of the other ways it can be used! A jar of jam or pasta sauce can be washed and used as cute water cups. Your old notebooks certainly have paper left over, use them for another class or project. Reuse your paper and plastic shopping bags as trash liners in your home or bring them back to the grocery store! Think before sending your everyday items to the dump.

Buy secondhand.

If you must go and buy something new, buy it secondhand. You can buy secondhand furniture at GoodWill or on Facebook Marketplace. You can shop for clothes at any thrift or vintage store in your area! Kitchenware and home good items are also a stable of local Goodwills and Salvation Armies everywhere! Buying secondhand is not only sustainable, but also trendy and fun!


If you need it, you can probably make it for yourself! This can range from growing your own herbs in your home to avoid plastic waste at the grocery store, to buying fabric to make your own shirt to match the one you saw on Shein! There are so many ways to use DIY methods to fight climate change.

We all know these actions will not solve the problem of climate change, but taking steps to live more sustainably will not cause more damage, and can even be fun and financially rewarding! The next time you compile a list to head to the store, consider the ways in which you might be contributing to the current climate crisis and how you can do small things to challenge the ways you consume.

Alia Davis

CU Boulder '23

Alia is the Director of Outreach and a writer for Her Campus CU Boulder. She is a third year student majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology. When she isn't writing articles, she can typically be spotted on a run, watching Wes Anderson films, or re-reading Dune.
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