How to Become a More Eco-Friendly Tulanian

As climate change continues to pose as a threat to our planet, we must begin to think about ways in which we, as individuals, can help the environment. Even though change does not occur overnight, there are a few actions that we can each perform in our everyday lives to promote eco-friendly living. Here are a few below:

 

1. Identify which items you dispose the most, and think of ways in which you can decrease the load of your waste.

Every time I step behind my dorm and see the loads of trash, it disgusts to think of how much waste college students are disposing. Seeing all of this makes me want to lessen my load of trash, and, in order to do this, I identify which items in my trash can I have used the most. For example, I noticed that La Croix cans and makeup wipes occupied most of my trash, so I started looking for eco-friendly alternates to these items. Instead of purchasing drinks that are stored in bottles or cans, I now use a Swell water bottle so I no longer have to through away hundreds of empty aluminum cans and plastic bottles. And as for the makeup wipes, I try to use a facial cleanser that will last for months instead of singular wipes so that I am not throwing away wipes every single day.

2. Avoid purchasing foods that are packaged in plastic.

Similarly to my advice above, food packing can occupy a large space in your trash can. Instead of purchasing processed snacks, try to purchase more fruits that don't come in plastic containers. I personally love guacamole, but hate the plastic tubs that it comes in. As a solution, I now buy avocados and make my own guacamole, which is both healthier and better for the environment.

3. Try to not order food, and instead, actually go out to restaurants.

I know this is a toughie, as, after a long day of classes, there is nothing else I would rather do than Door Dash Chinese food to my dorm. But when I started thinking about the amounts of plastic bags, utensils, and to-go containers that I've thrown away after ordering food, I've been less inclined to order food to my dorm. However, rather than sitting in your dorm room and eating to-go food, make an effort to walk or share an Uber with friends to a local restaurant so you can avoid the trash and extra delivery fee.

4. Turn off the lights and unplug electronics when they are not in use.

This is by far the easiest thing you can do to live more sustainably. Simply turn off the lights in your dorm whenever you do not need them, and unplug all of your devices whenever they do not need to be plugged. Doing so will conserve more energy.

5. Follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

As much as I love al pastor tacos, I cannot deny that our environment has taken a huge toll due to the meat industry. Even though it may be extremely hard to eliminate meat from your diet, take baby steps into transforming your diet. For instance, first go pescetarian. Then, if you feel ready, completely stop eating all forms of meat. 

6. Wear brands that value sustainability

The fashion industry has also been responsible for the pitfalls of environment. However, there are brands which prioritize conservation efforts and sustainability. Two of my favorites are Patagonia and Reformation, which sell different styles of clothing but aim to preserve our planet.

 

Although we may think that individuals do not have the power to completely change the world, changing destructive habits can have a positive impact. Through simply making the smallest changes to your lifestyle, you can help create and cultivate change.