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10 Ways To Be Environmentally Conscious in College

Picture this: You go to your local coffee shop twice a week to get your favorite iced coffee to power through your study sessions. After three months of coffee runs, you have now used 24 straws and cups. These single-use plastics could take up to 200 years to decompose. Instead of quitting coffee runs altogether, you could choose to use reusable cups and straws. As the world’s population grows larger, we must consider the environment in our daily lives. Keep reading to find out 10 easy ways to be environmentally conscious in college!

Reusable straws

Help prevent harm to wildlife by purchasing reusable straws. They come in all different types and colors! If you're ever without your reusable straw, asking for no straw works just as well to reduce waste. #savetheturtles

Water filters & reusable water bottles

Did you know that over two million plastic bottles are used every hour? Instead of buying single-use bottled waters at the store, filter your tap water and carry it in a reusable bottle. By investing in a good water filter and bottle now, you'll be saving your money on the bottled waters you would've bought in the future.

Reusable shopping bags

Start a reusable bag collection to bring with you when you shop! In addition to being environmentally friendly, these bags are stronger and can hold more groceries than a standard plastic bag.

Using public transportation

Help the environment (and your wallet) by taking advantage of your local shuttle service. Many universities have several shuttles on and off-campus that run to popular destinations.

Thrift shopping

While buying supplies for your new apartment or dorm, it's always a good idea to check out local thrift stores. This will help save money as well as give used goods a new home. You may even find a fun D.I.Y. project to start!

Changing your diet

One of the most impactful things you can do to help the environment is to change your diet to include more greens and less meat. The meat industry largely contributes to water pollution, global warming and the spread of illnesses. Participating in “Meatless Monday” is a great way to raise awareness without going vegetarian or vegan.


Keep an eye out for recycling bins on campus! Many universities recycle paper, cardboard, plastics #1-7, aluminum cans and more.

Using technology instead of paper products

Instead of buying three to four notebooks per semester, try doing your work exclusively on your laptop or tablet. Did you know that 14% of deforestation is due to paper goods? Help cut this percentage down and digitize your work!


Gather your friends and volunteer for a local community clean-up! Being environmentally conscious is not only about creating new habits, but also about correcting what has already been done.

Shopping sustainable brands

Support the environment by swapping your current products for new, environmentally friendly ones. Love Beauty and Planet is a great brand for buying hair care, laundry and body products. All of their bottles are made from recycled plastics! Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day sells cleaning products that are all-natural and smell amazing! Use your purchasing power to support environmentally responsible brands.

Although these ideas won't be an instant fix for the environment, they can provide a way for you to contribute to the care of our planet. A little effort each day will go a long way in ensuring a cleaner tomorrow!

Lacy is currently a sophomore at the University of Central Florida studying information technology. Although born in Florida, her favorite place to be is Washington, D.C. She loves trying new places, cooking, and getting outside. She is passionate about caring for the environment and helping others. When she's not in front of a screen, she is getting coffee or volunteering. You can keep up with her on Instagram @lacybrookeh.
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