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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.

Did you know that the United States only holds five percent of the world’s population, but we throw away enough plastic bottles in a week to circle the earth five times? We actually throw away the most waste in the world, contributing to 40 percent of the world’s trash.

Even worse, the average college student produces 640 pounds of trash a year, with a the majority of it being from disposable cups and paper.

If these few facts alone don’t change your mind about using sustainable products, maybe these will!

Did you know that by recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to power a TV for three hours? A plastic bag from the grocery store is usually only used for 12 minutes, but it takes over a thousand years to decompose.  

Switching from plastic bottles to metal bottles and from plastic bags to canvas not only saves the environment, but saves you money in the long run.

We all have to do our part to save the world we live in. Here are easy, and inexpensive ways, to start saving the earth one step at a time!

Metal Straws

Super easy, super portable, and super easy to switch too. They come in multiple sizes from cocktail straws to oversized tumblers. And they come in cute designs, like hearts, and cute colors, like rose gold!

Most of the time, you can find metal straws for under $10 and they come in small and large packs, meaning you and all your friends can share!

Canvas Grocery Bags

Most places sell reusable bags for 99 cents. Other stores might try to rip you off with a $4 price tag, but places like Walmart, Target, and TJ Maxx sell theirs for 99 cents apiece.

The great thing about these is that most of them have soft siding, meaning you can fold it up and slip it into your bag, purse, etc. As a forgetful person myself, I always keep one folded up in my purse, because even if the rest of them are shoved between the seats of my car and I look right at them when I grab my purse, I forget.

Slip something on them…machine washable. Cute designs…you know it! Long lasting…definitely!

Metal Water Bottles

Anyone else LOVE cold water? This will not only save the environment, but it keeps your drinks ICE COLD even after several hours in the hot sun. Just like the bags and straws, you can get them in cute designs and all different shapes and sizes!

These are simple ways to start your journey of becoming environmentally friendly. You might not be ready to go to stores where you fill your own mason jars with products. Or ready to ride your bike everywhere to save emissions. Waste-free life might be daunting now, but reducing your waste is a great place to start.

As Earth Month ends, don’t let your conscious slip from ways of saving the environment! It’s a lot easier to start than you think!

Alyssa Guzman is a Siena College Class of 2021 alumna. During her time at Siena, she Double Majored in English and Communications Journalism with a minor in Writing and Communications.