Simple Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly: College Student Edition

Between classes, homework, studying, learning how to do “adult”, and the numerous stressors that come with being a college student, the last thing many of us worry about is saving the planet! It seems like a pretty big task, and much scarier than the essay you are rushing to get done by midnight. I’ll even admit that I could be doing much more, which is why one of my goals for 2020 is to start becoming more consciously aware of the products I’m using, and how it impacts the environment. While going vegan and buying organic toilet paper might not be in the wheelhouse for most college students, many companies are introducing extremely simple eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products that are very affordable (because you should be able to help our planet without breaking the bank). Here are some simple ways to be a little more kind to our planet!

Reusable Bags 

Cheap, simple, and now you don’t have to have an entire cabinet full of plastic grocery bags that you will never use! While these are commonly used for carrying groceries, many clothing brand companies are starting to implement a small plastic bag fee to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags. You can find these at stores like Homegoods, or they come in inexpensive bundles on Amazon. 

Reusable Snack Bags & Straws 

Small plastic ziplock bags and straws have contributed a heavy amount to negative impacts on the environment, and they need to go. You can find packs of stainless steel straws that will last for years on Amazon or common stores like Target for less than $10, as well as paper sandwich bags or reusable zip-lock snack bags. 

Makeup Remover Pads 

Very few makeup wipes are biodegradable, which means the chemicals in them severely harm the environment. Reusable makeup pads have become increasingly popular in the beauty industry. A pack of them range from $8-$15 and can be rewashed and used for up to two years, which if you wear makeup every day will end up saving you so much money as opposed to buying a pack of 20 wipes for $10 each month! They are softer on your skin, cheap, and can easily be cleaned in the washing machine along with clothes.  

Unpaper Towels 

On the topic of simple, alternative, one time purchases that will save you money, reusable (cloth) "unpaper" towels are inexpensive, a great solution as opposed to going through an entire paper towel roll every 1 or 2 weeks, and can easily be washed and reused. You can find these on Amazon, Target, or most grocery stores carry them. 

Reusable Water Bottles

I will admit I used to be the worst about plastic water bottles, but they easily have one of the worst impacts on the environment, and are such a waste of money! You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy a $50 Hydroflask, but there are similar knock offs or stainless steel water bottles on Amazon for $15-$20. So instead of buying a new pack of plastic ones each week that you’ll drink half of and leave in various places, one of the simplest things you can do to be more environmentally conscious is investing in a nice reusable water bottle. One way I got myself to implement this into my life is buying fun stickers to decorate my water bottle with because you can still have some fun while helping the planet?! 

While these are very small steps to a much bigger problem that needs to be fixed, every step counts, and a small contribution can go a long way. Save yourself money and simultaneously help the planet with these simple eco-friendly alternatives!