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5 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Semester

As the impending doom of climate change weighs heavy on the whole world, many of us are striving to be more mindful of the way we live our day-to-day lives. However, for some college students being green stops at dumping your plastic bottle in a green recycling bin and whipping out your retractable metal straws into your Starbucks cups (save the turtles!). But, there are so many other ways to have a more eco-friendly semester! 


Reusable Shopping Bags 

You’ve heard of reusable straws. Now let me introduce you to reusable shopping bags! College calls for a lot of shopping whether you are walking through the aisles of Target for dorm decorations or purchasing school supplies. Instead of using plastic shopping bags that are offered to you, you can carry your own reusable shopping bag. Plastic bags take 10 years at the very least or to decompose. Yeah, that’s a long time! So why not keep a cute tote bag in your backpack so are always prepared when going on an impromptu shopping trip. 

Go Thrifting

We all want clothes from the new Forever 21 line or wear the latest trends that just dropped on Fashion Nova but fast fashion is one of the main contributors to pollution in the air. Instead of always shopping in fast fashion stores at the mall, go to your local thrift store and search for some cool, unique pieces to add to your wardrobe. 

Digital Planners 

Planners are essential for every college student to stay organized but buying a planner every year can contribute to a ton of paper waste and can also be expensive. To save some bucks and trees, use digital planners such as Google Calendar and iStudiez Pro. Both of these apps are free and are perfect to help keep a busy college student-organized and up to date on assignments. Google Calendar is great for planning your classes, meetings, and events. IStudiez Pro is also a gem for writing down assignments for classes and you can set up notifications for when they are due so you never miss an assignment for class. It’s an eco-friendly college student’s recipe for success!

All-Natural Air Fresheners 

Aerosol sprays such as Febreeze or Glade emit aerosol particles into the air which can be really harmful to the environment and to your own health. A great alternative for a clean-smelling house or dorm room is to have some plants! Plants can freshen up the air quality in your room. Also, adding some lavender and other dried flowers is aromatic which can leave some nice floral scents in your living space. Also, how much cuter would your living area be with a couple of plants and a mason jar full of lavender!

Don’t Purchase New Books 

This semester, try not to buy all new textbooks if it is not necessary. Buying all new textbooks is a waste of paper if you are never going to open the book again after taking that class. The first thing you should do is find out if your school’s library has the textbooks in stock. If that does not appeal to you then renting books is another alternative. Not only is it cheaper to rent books, but it also saves a lot of paper. You can even go as far as sharing books with your classmates to cut down on costs and help the environment. 

Hopefully, we gave you some new ideas on how to have an eco-friendly semester. Encourage your friends to try these tips too! You can even go as far as starting or joining a club on your school’s campus to expand your knowledge on climate change and promote sustainability. Be the change you want to see on your school’s campus and enjoy your eco-friendly semester! 

Nicole is a sophomore at Hofstra University majoring in Journalism with a minor in Creative Writing. She enjoys writing moody poems, adding clothes to her Depop cart and bringing up astrology in any and every conversation. Also, did she mention she is a scorpio?
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