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How To: Live Sustainably as a College Student

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

Living sustainably is often associated with being wealthy, it doesn’t have to be like that!

As college students living in an urban environment, it’s up to us to be more sustainable. But this doesn’t mean students need to completely change their lifestyle or buy expensive, sustainable products. Here’s a list of smaller ways students can look to be more sustainable in their lives. 

  • Buy Reusable Products

Think about it. That Hydroflask you just bought might seem incredibly expensive now, but think of how much plastic you waste when buying bottled water. Ultimately, it comes down to a lifetime of money being spent on a product, or a one-time purchase of the reusable product.

  • Donations and Thrifting

Donating and thrifting clothes is one of the easiest, and most fun ways to contribute to sustainability. When you’re bored of your old clothes, but they’re still intact, take them to donation sites that will accept them. Oftentimes, you can also receive a credit for the amount you bring in, and then you’re free to shop too.

  • Prepare Your Own Meals

Coming from personal experience, dining halls lead to food waste. I could not tell you how much food I threw out my freshman year because I hated it. By making your own food, you can guarantee you’ll like it and actually eat it rather than wasting it.

  • Save Energy

Saving energy is so simple, yet it’s often overlooked. Remember to turn your lights off when you leave the room and use energy-efficient light bulbs. 

  • Opt for Second Hand

Buying reusable products doesn’t have to be limited to clothes. At Temple, second-hand books are available to students every semester. Not only are they cheaper, but they’re also good for the environment as the books are being recycled by you and other students.

Living sustainably doesn’t have to completely change your life. It can be about making small changes to your daily routine. But, students have to make the effort to be conscious about their environment. 

Julia is a national writer at Her Campus, where she mainly covers mental health, wellness, and all things relating to Gen Z. Prior to becoming a national writer, Julia was the wellness intern for Her Campus. Outside of Her Campus, Julia is a managing editor at The Temple News, Temple University's independent student-run paper. She's also the Co-Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Temple University, where she oversees content for all sections of the website. Julia is also a student intern at the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting, where she works on the data desk and is assisting her editor in building a database. She has previously interned at The American Prospect. In her free time, Julia enjoys going to the beach as much as possible, watching reality TV (specifically Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules), and editing stories.