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Our generation is witness to an undeniable burden, climate change. Greenhouse gases flood our atmosphere, sea levels are rising, polar caps are melting, and the rainforests are burning. It can’t be ignored that these effects are a result in major part to large corporations and their use of non-clean energy and lack of environmentally conscious practices. However, as a consumer, we have an obligation to make a small difference in our own energy and waste we create. So if we can, why not take measures into our own hands to make our own routines and belongings more sustainable?

A big part of adding sustainability in your life is reducing plastic. This can start with something we do everyday, drinking water!

Instead of continuously drinking out of plastic water bottles, opt for a BPA free plastic or aluminum water bottle that you can refill. Though most plastic water bottles are recyclable, numerous plastic water bottles end up in the trash every day. You can also buy a personal BRITA filter to filter your tap water to ensure you can get the most purified water in the comfort of your own dorm. You can order one on Amazon!

As an alternative to a lot of plastic packaged toiletries, you can use soap bars that are packaged in paper.

Now, many small businesses even make shampoo and conditioner bars in addition to just normal body soap. I purchased these items from a shop on Etsy, where there are many options to choose from!

Be mindful that your hair might go through a transition period in getting used to these products! Not only this, but there are many different cleansing soap bars for your face that you can use. African black soap is a popular option, and you can also order one from CeraVe.

It can be a challenge to make your beauty regimine completely zero waste, and mine definitely isn’t entirely zero waste, as I have a few favorite products that I rely on. However, why not try some alternatives if it means creating less plastic waste?

To avoid disposable razors that create a lot of excess plastic that ends up in the trash, you have a few different alternative options.

One easier alternative is buying a reusable handle, and buying separate razor cartridges. I personally use the Billie razor, which comes with a subscription service for razor cartridges that you personally customize. You can order one here.

It gives me a super close shave, plus the razor itself is super cute. Another even more environmentally conscious alternative that avoids plastic razor cartridges entirely are metal safety razors. Plain, single razor blades are changed when the blade gets dull (careful, they’re sharp!). Now, there can be a big learning curve with this one. I’ve tried safety razors, and they personally weren’t for me, but I think it’s worth a shot! Some people say they prefer safety razors over you regular, run of the mill razor.

Use microfiber towels with your personal makeup remover instead of makeup wipes and/or cotton pads to take off your makeup.

You can pour some micellar water or oil into the towel, and wipe away. You’d be surprised, with a little rubbing of castille soap and a throw in the wash, the towels completely transform from being makeup ridden, to squeaky clean and soft

There are a looot more zero waste products where these options came from.

Eco-paper packaged makeup, and even lotion bars are available for purchase from small businesses, and Etsy is a great outlet for these eco-friendly products.

Avoid fast fashion.

So many clothes are trashed every day, and large fashion corporations not only rely on cheap labour in foreign countries, but they waste so much water and fabrics in mass producing their clothes. Thrifting or shopping secondhand eliminates your own personal demand for these mass produced clothing items.

Seems self explanatory, but remember to recycle!

Become knowledgeable about what specific plastics are taken by your nearest recycling facility, and make sure you are actively separating your trash from recycling in your dorm/living space.

I hope some of these tips inspire you to make your life more sustainable! The little differences we make in our own lives can create a chain reaction and lead to a determined effort in saving the planet.

Ali Friedberg

Jefferson '23

I'm Ali and I'm a psychology/occupational therapy student. Lover of cheesecake, old music, and self care?
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