One of the biggest lifestyle changes I’ve made since becoming a college student would definitely be trying to be more environmentally conscious. From limiting water to trying to incorporate more and more reusable products into my daily routines, I have made a serious effort to erase my carbon footprint.
The first thing that can help you be environmentally friendly is one of the easier things to change: limiting water usage.
Water conservation has been a issue in Southern California for as long as I can imagine. Because of this, I know loads of tips that helps use less water. Some examples are
- taking shorter showers (try limiting showers to seven minutes or less!)
- turning off the tap when brushing your teeth and not rinsing
- buying a water filter that cleans tap water and turns it to drinking water
When I first started conserving water, it seemed daunting. However, after a period of time, it became second nature to take shorter showers, turn off the tap when not actively using it, and filtering my water. Doing these few things can save hundreds of gallons a year.
The next way to be friendly to the environment is to limit the use of plastic. This is just like conserving water: once you’re used to it, it doesn’t seem as hard.
Since I spent the first year of college living in a dorm, I’ve seen all the hacks for living in a single room with no personal kitchen/bathroom. One of those hacks is to buy plastic utensils so that I wouldn’t have to wash a fork or spoon after every meal. While I admit to doing this my freshman year, I saw firsthand how wasteful it was. My sophomore year, I lived in a suite with a kitchen so I made sure to use my utensils and wash them afterwards to avoid using the amount of plastic I used last year.
Another way to cut down on plastic is to limit the amount of products that come in plastic packaging. When shopping, if you’re looking for any type of item, try to buy it in bulk versus in individual packaging. Not only are you cutting down on the amount of plastic you’re using, you are most likely saving money because buying in bulk is cheaper than buying one at a time.
The third way to help save the environment kind of ties the first two examples together: invest in reusable products.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I purchased a Hydroflask my freshman year and have been using it ever since. It has been one of my best buys because I have drank perhaps fifteen plastic water bottles in the past two years. Compared to my high school days, that is night and day.
Around my campus, there are fill-up stations for reusable water bottles and it actually tells you how many plastic water bottles you avoided using! It’s an amazing way to see the immediate effect you’ve made.
Other reusable and eco-friendly products are items such as chopsticks, straws, shopping bags, makeup remover pads, and dryer sheets (not reusable, but compostable)! All of these items are affordable and under $20, which is within the budget for most people. Just getting these alternatives and limiting your usage of the unnecessary every day items, you can make a big impact on the environment.
The last thing that you can do for the environment is to be mindful of your energy consumption.
I used to be notorious for leaving lights on in a room even when I leave. It was probably the hardest habit to break because I’m so used to not having to think about electricity or energy usage.
It’s as simple as turning off a light switch when you leave the room. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, especially if you’re rushing off to class, but there are so many benefits to being conscious. Not only will you limit the usage of energy, you are lowering your electric bill and saving money.
I hope these ideas helped you and will help save the environment! If everyone works together, we can begin erasing our carbon footprint.
Thanks so much for reading!