Your Guide to Living More Eco-Friendly


As we know, being more environmentally conscious is becoming more popular, and people are getting more familiar with what is harmful to the environment. Being an Environmental Science major, I am loving how people are changing a few of their ways to prevent pollution to the air, water, and land. Here I’ve listed some easy ways to help the environment for those who are not sure where to start. If more people made these easy and quick changes to their everyday life, it would be very beneficial to our deteriorating ecosystem.

  1. 1. Use a reef-safe sunscreen.

    For those who live by the beach or love visiting the beach like myself, reef-safe sunscreen brands are the way to go. Oceans are the lungs of the planet, so it's important to keep the living marine plants and aquatic fish healthy. Some sunscreen ingredients to avoid are petrolatum, oxybenzone, and octinoxate. A few great brands to purchase from are Olita, Raw Elements, and Babo Botanicals

  2. 2. Use reusable cotton pads.

    Rather than taking off my makeup or wiping my face with a one-use cleansing wipe, I have started using reusable cotton pads. There are some really affordable ones on Amazon, but I have also made a few with old t-shirts simply but cutting them up into small squares!

  3. 3. Take advantage of thrift stores.

    At thrift stores, you can find lots of really good clothes. It might take a little longer to find high-quality items, but it's always nice to know that this was not a fast fashion purchase and will typically cost way less than its original price. The fashion industry is the second-largest water polluter in the world so buying a few pieces of clothing at a thrift store is a great way to reduce the number of toxic chemicals entering our oceans and waterways.

  4. 4. Invest in a reusable water bottle.

    This is one of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of plastic you are using every day. It amazes me how much I still see others using one-use plastic bottles, but there are many water bottle brands for everyone's budget, including Contigo, Nalgene, Camelbak, and Hydro Flask.

  5. 5. Rinse out your recyclables.

    When recycling your plastics, it is important to just give the containers a quick rinse to get rid of the large amounts of food leftover. Doing this ensures that the recycling load actually gets processed correctly.

  6. 6. Use reusable cloths during meals.

    A quick change I made while eating my meals was using reusable kitchen cloth napkins rather than napkins. This not only saves you money but lasts much longer as you simply put the cloth napkins in the washer once done using them. Lots of websites like Amazon have many options, but Marley’s Monsters also have great choices with different patterns!

  7. 7. Purchase LED lights.

    Today, most apartments and homes have made the switch to LED lights, yet it is still surprising how many Incandescent, CFL, and Halogen light bulbs are still around. Making the change will reduce the CO₂ emissions and use less energy, saving you money in the long run as they last much longer than other light bulbs. 

My last tip is to just educate yourself! If you're planning on purchasing something, look up eco-friendly options for that item. Before throwing something out, think about whether it can be recycled or not. There are lots of great websites online about how you can do your part in reducing your carbon and ecological footprint!