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6 Ways To Be More Environmentally Conscious As A College Student

As a college student, you might think that going green will be really difficult, but this is far from the truth. Being environmentally conscious simply requires you to be more mindful of your actions, which can be done in easy and budget-friendly ways. These simple efforts, while seemingly small, can make a huge difference in your environmental impact.

Use a reusable water bottle 
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First, invest in a reusable water bottle to reduce your plastic consumption. This doesn’t have to be something pricey such as a Yeti or Hydroflask, as it can literally be any kind of water bottle that you like. Reducing your plastic waste is important because, on a large scale, it can help reduce your carbon footprint and alleviate the burden on landfills and bodies of water. Using a reusable water bottle can also be more cost-effective in the long run than regularly buying plastic bottles. 

Reduce your meat consumption

Second, try to reduce your meat consumption by participating in “Meatless Mondays” or something similar. Cutting down your meat consumption at least once a week can make a huge difference in your personal greenhouse gas emission levels. Basically, try to aim for meals that are lower in the food chain by substituting away from red meats and predatory fishes. Nowadays, there are so many healthy and delicious meatless options to choose from!

Go thrift shopping

Next, go on more thrift trips! Second-hand shopping helps reduce textile waste, as well as energy and water usage. And, the best part is that thrifting is super fun! Especially if you’re in LA, there are so many fun thrift locations that you can hit up with your friends to have fun while being environmentally friendly.

Walk, bike or carpool

Another tip is to walk or ride a bike when possible. Switching to these alternatives from other modes of transportation results in fewer emissions that are released into the atmosphere. Walking and biking is also a great way to get some exercise in so you can stay fit and healthy at the same time. Also, if you’re going really far distances, opt for public transport or ride-sharing options instead of going in your own personal car.

Use a reusable shopping bag

The next tip is to use a reusable shopping bag when you go shopping for groceries or anything else. Reusable shopping bags help reduce your single-use plastic consumption and will help ocean conservation efforts. At the same time, you can save some money by using reusable bags, since a lot of stores are now charging extra to provide you with a plastic bag. 

Monitor your printing levels and paper consumption

Especially for busy college students, paper consumption is something to be aware of. While you’re studying for midterms or finals, sometimes it can be easy to lose track of how many papers you’re using for your notes but this is something that definitely adds up in the long run. Instead of constantly printing more papers, try to opt for digital ways to store your notes and class documents. If you have a tablet or laptop, this can definitely be a more environmentally friendly option to take your notes, as they don’t require any additional paper. If not, no worries! Try to instead just be more conscious of your paper activity by using recycled paper and having your notes double-sided.

These 6 tips are just a few examples of all the easy ways you can improve your impact on the environment as a college student. The options are endless and now it’s just up to you to find which tips work the best for you and your lifestyle.

Anya is a first-year economics major at UCLA and is a feature-writer for Her Campus. When she's not writing, she loves to scuba dive, go makeup shopping, and indulge in black sesame ice cream. She's obsessed with Disney movies and will 100% cry when watching Finding Nemo.
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