Living Green on a Budget

Living sustainably on a budget is often viewed as a big hurdle, or even deemed impossible. If you are keeping up with the news at all, the headlines can seem scary and extremely daunting. Climate change is impacting everyone’s future, no matter who you are, or where you live. While the issue of climate change can get much deeper, there are small steps any individual can practice to ensure sustainable living on a daily basis.

 

As a college student, buying organic and eco-friendly products can take a hard hit to the bank account. It’s hard to make drastic changes all at once like altering your diet, replacing your makeup, and giving up your iced coffee that comes in a plastic cup every morning. Despite these challenges, it’s important to take care of the Earth we all inhabit, even if done in small steps. Here are a few tips for practicing a sustainable lifestyle that eventually the planet and your wallet will thank you for (yes, you can save money too!)

Ditch the plastic

You probably hear this tip a lot and it can get pretty annoying when someone constantly hounds you for your plastic footprint. When I roll out of bed for an early class, the first thing I want is an iced coffee. You definitely don’t have to change this part of your morning routine, but there are ways to reduce your waste along the way. An easy start is to invest in a reusable straw, ask for a paper one, or don’t use one at all. I have seen a recent surge in cafés offering metal straws for purchase for as low as $1. Some coffee spots will even give you a discount for bringing your own reusable mug. I recently purchased one for iced coffee from Amazon and I use it almost every day. 

Commute with public transportation

It’s totally tempting to call your friend with a car on campus or order an Uber when you have someplace to be, but public transportation and biking can really cut down on your emissions. While public transportation isn’t always the most timely option, you can become an expert if you make the time to do so. This is also a great way to get to know the nearby towns, while simultaneously saving on gas money. If you are living in a town that doesn’t offer this type of transportation, carpooling is the next best option.

Watch the water

Water is a precious resource that everyone needs to survive. To start, shave a few minutes off your shower routine, turn the faucet off when you brush your teeth, and try to wait until you have a full load of laundry before heading to the laundry room (this will save you money too!)

 

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