Living a plastic-free lifestyle in college may seem stressful at first. It involves a lot more than just tossing things in a recycling bin. But, there’s good news: at little to no cost, you can cut plastic out completely both in the dorms and on the go. Here are 10 easy tips to help you lead a healthier and more eco-friendly life throughout your college career!
1.) Give up bottled water.
Stop wasting money on multiple disposable bottles! Instead, save money (and the environment) by purchasing a convenient reusable water bottle. You can fill up your reusable bottle at over 60 hydration station locations on campus.
2.) Carry reusable shopping bags.
There’s nothing worse than carrying groceries in plastic bags across campus and having them tear en route. Buy some reusable (and durable) bags and be sure to always keep one with you!
3.) Buy in bulk and from bulk bins.
You’d be surprised with all the things you can make in a dorm room using a microwave and mug. Buy ingredients like pasta, rice, beans, nuts, granola, and countless others in bulk. Don’t forget to bring your own containers for purchase!
4.) Use natural cleaning cloths instead of plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges.
Look for sponges and scrubbers that aren’t made of plastic. Or if you’re a DIY expert, make rags from old clothing. You can also knit your own rags!
5.) Use bar soap instead of liquid soap.
It can take plastic bottles 450 to 1,000 years to biodegrade! Not to mention that more germs collect on plastic soap containers than bars of soap.
6.) Avoid buying new CD’s and DVD’s.
Listen, I understand that these are beginning to be a thing of the past, but a lot of people still use them regularly! Instead of buying CD’s, use Spotify for as low as $5 a month for students. Also use Netflix and Hulu for all of your television and movie needs.
7.) Avoid chewing gum.
Many people don’t realize that gum is made of synthetic rubber … also known as plastic.
8.) When going out to eat, avoid plastic straws.
Or if the idea of drinking straight from the cup doesn’t sound appealing, invest in reusable glass straws! Get 6 for as cheap as $14 on Amazon!
9.) Buy fresh fruit and veggies instead of single serve or plastic produce.
Not only is it healthier, but you’re avoiding a lot of unnecessary packaging. Bonus points if you reuse containers at your local farmers market!
10.) Bring your own container for takeout.
Save your server some time at the restaurant and bring your own container! Not only will you save time, but you’ll also avoid the dreaded Styrofoam to-go boxes. Those take 500 years to decompose!
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a more sustainable school year!