Trader Joe'S Reusable Bag

15 Ways to be More Sustainable while in College

You may not have your own place yet, and even if you do, it may be under strict ruling from your landlord. But even if you can’t turn your entire place as green as you’d like, here’s some quick and easy changes you can make to your life to be more sustainable.

  1. 1. Grow your own herbs

    It’s super easy and takes up very little space to start your own herb garden. Just get a small trough or a few pots/mugs and plant seeds or already grown plants that you use in your cooking. You’ll be more sustainable and also be able to flex every time your friends come over to eat.

  2. 2. Compost your food and yard waste

    You can compost easily by putting scraps in the freezer to prevent smells from coating your whole kitchen, then just find a compost bin (there’s ton on campus) or create your own area in your yard once the bin fills up!

  3. 3. Make sure you are actually recycling correctly

    To ensure that your recyclables are actually being reused, you have to make sure that you’re doing everything correctly. Plastics must be labeled 1 through 7 on their packaging, food must be washed off entirely from containers, and you can’t recycle small items like bottle caps. Be sure to look up recycling regulations in your area to make sure you’re not adding more waste!

  4. 4. Stop accepting plastic bags

    It’s so easy and so cheap to buy reusable bags and implement them into your life. Just make sure you always have one or two in your bag or car, and you’ll never be caught at a store without them. Plus you can find some VERY cute ones online.

  5. 5. Shop at thrift stores

    Young woman looking at different racks of clothes at a store.

    Not only is second hand shopping super cute and hip right now, but it’s also very environmentally friendly! Clothing waste makes up a HUGE portion of the planet’s garbage, and thrifting styles can help prevent more textile waste from being produced. Plus, shopping is always much more fun when a bargain is involved.

  6. 6. Switch out for more sustainable products

    It’s not only sustainable, but also super financially beneficial to stop wasting money on one time use products! There are tons of options online to buy greener products like reusable ear swabs and cotton pads, wooden toothbrushes and even paper towels!

  7. 7. Turn off your lights and electronics more frequently

    We know we all forget sometimes, but it can be super environmentally friendly to be conscious about turning off your lights and unplugging electronics when you’re not using them. Try to be more aware of what you have plugged in!

  8. 8. Take shorter showers

    One super fun and easy way to be more conscious of your shower times is to create a five or ten minute playlist of your favorite shower jams, and then make sure you clean yourself before the music ends!

  9. 9. Choose the elevator over the stairs

    Not only are you saving electricity, but every time you’re getting ten steps closer to those built legs of your dreams.

  10. 10. Walk more, drive less

    Photo of young brunette woman wearing a backpack and walking down a street alone shot from behind

    Especially if you’re in such a beautiful and compact city such as Athens (or more specifically, on UGA’s campus), try to walk more instead of making a million 5 minute drives each week. The walk to the dining hall is not THAT far, you’re just being lazy.

  11. 11. Quit buying bottled water

    It’s 2020. That is so 2000 of you. C’mon, you can get a super cute reusable bottle from TJ Maxx for like ten dollars. Grow up.

  12. 12. Start DIYing more

    Whether it’s a fun craft project or revamping some old clothes, creating stuff yourself (especially with old materials you already have) is a great way to be more sustainable.

  13. 13. Get your receipts emailed instead of printed

    If you really ever need to see that receipt again, you are much more likely to find it in your inbox than the bottom of your purse. Be honest.

  14. 14. Take notes on your computer or phone

    Not only will your notes be more organized and easy to find specific terms, but they’ll be more sustainable too!

  15. 15. Use a reusable straw

    You can literally get them with little keychain holders to clip to your bag, there is no excuse.

No one is asking you to drop everything and live in the woods, 100% zero waste. But the last thing 2020 needs is a complete environmental shut down. Do your part, even if it starts small.