We all know how important it is to be environmentally conscious and try to reduce our harm on the environment as much as possible. Though sometimes, as a college student, the impact our daily lives have on the environment may not always be a priority. Sometimes you have to go with the most convenient way of shopping or dining out which may not be the most environmentally sustainable option. Additionally, we are currently in the middle of a global pandemic where most businesses are having to provide more disposable and single-use items in order to try and stop the spread of germs. All of these factors make it harder to be a sustainable consumer, but it is still possible to be kind to the planet while being safe! Here are five reusable items you can switch to to be more sustainable.
- Reusable Shopping Bags
One major switch that will drastically lower the amount of plastic you use is switching to reusable shopping bags instead of using the single-use plastic bags that most stores provide. According to biologicaldiversity.org, Americans typically use 100 billion plastic bags a year. Reusable bags are generally pretty cheap and easy to find, making them one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable.
- Reusable Masks
Since we are in a pandemic, we are always wearing masks. However, going through single-use masks every day can get expensive and produces a lot of waste. Reusable cloth masks are just as protective as disposable ones and can be cheaper since you are not constantly buying disposable masks. You can also wash your cloth masks after each use so you are protected from germs and preventing “maskne” or face mask acne!
- Reusable Straws and Silverware
A majority of dining establishments are using disposable straws and silverware to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, you can opt to buy your own reusable straws and silverware and bring them with you whenever you choose to eat out! Simply tell whoever is serving you that they do not need to provide you with a straw or silverware and you are good to go!
- Reusable Napkins and Paper Towels
Personally, we use a lot of disposable household items in our home. However, we are trying to be more environmentally conscious with our paper products and overall household necessities. One switch we made that significantly lowered the amount of trash we produced was using reusable paper towels and napkins. It was such an easy swap for us and we definitely noticed a difference in how much waste we produce. If you do not want to purchase reusable paper products, no worries! Cut up any old t-shirts you no longer wear and those can be used as well!
- Reusable Makeup Pads
Makeup wipes are not only bad for your skin, they are bad for the environment too! Investing in reusable makeup pads help reduce the waste you produce and end up saving you money in the long run because you can just buy makeup remover and use only want you need on your pad instead of using wipes every single day.
Sustainability doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or change the way you live your life! Sometimes we have days where we create more trash than others and that is okay! Any sustainable practice is good practice! With these swaps, you can be a little kinder to the planet and spend your money more consciously.