I would like to believe that most people want to be environmentally-friendly, however, it can be extremely difficult when you don’t know how to start. The prevalent use of plastic and harmful chemicals is a huge problem in today’s society and our environment continues to suffer from it.
Do you want to make an impact in the world around you but are too overwhelmed by the amount of work that should be done? Don’t despair. Start off with a few simple steps that are not too much work and not too costly. Here are some tips and products to help you do your part in saving the environment, even if you are a broke college student.
Take electronic notes or purchase reusable notebooks:
If simply typing out your notes works for you then using Microsoft Word or Google Docs is a great way to eliminate wasteful paper, keep you organized, and keep up with the instructor more efficiently when they begin to speak too quickly for even the most advanced penmanship skills. However, if you are more of a visual learner and enjoy writing or drawing things out, simply make the switch to reusable notebooks. These bad boys are just like a regular notebook except without the paper. Just make your usual marks with a special pen and then send those notes to yourself on a digital platform. Therefore, you get the best of both worlds and you actually save money by not purchasing paper notebooks every year!
Click here for some reusable notebooks from Staples.
Purchase bamboo pens and pencils:
Help reduce plastic by switching from mechanical pens and pencils to bamboo writing utensils. These pencils are better for the environment and are extremely aesthetically-pleasing. Click here for a set of a bamboo pen and pencil.
Make overall eco-conscious purchases for school or office supplies:
It’s easy to overlook the amount of plastic in office supplies but once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Always remember to make eco-conscious decisions and support companies who do so as well. Onyx and Green provide an array of environmentally-friendly supplies such as planners, sticky-notes, push pins, erasers, and so many more!
Purchase reusable food and drink containers:
One of the easiest ways to reduce our plastic-use in college is to buy reusable containers and bottles. Who knows how many Starbucks cups or plastic to-go boxes us, college kids have thrown away over the years? Probably an insane amount. Purchasing reusable containers may be a bit inconvenient when you have to carry it around and then wash it out at the end of the day (the horror), but it is so much better than introducing more and more plastic into the environment. Keep an eye out at your local stores or click here for Walmart’s selection of reusable lunch boxes/bags, sandwich/snack bags, bottles, and grocery bags.
Purchase organic and cruelty-free clothing brands:
Because what’s more fashionable than natural, organic, and recycled clothing? You have to wear clothes every day so why not use it as an opportunity and platform to improve the environment and promote eco-conscious decisions. Below are five great brands to check out that are both stylish and eco-friendly.
Purchase organic, cruelty-free, and recycled makeup brands:
Feel beautiful on the inside and out by purchasing organic makeup with recycled packaging. Although some of these makeup brands may be a little more pricey than the average drugstore cosmetics, your skin and environment will thank you for making the shift! Below are a few companies that have dedicated themselves to improving cosmetics and the environment.
Purchase bar shampoo, conditioner, and body wash:
Replace those half-empty bottles in your shower with environmentally-friendly barred soaps. These soaps get the job done just as well and will help eliminate the amount of plastic containers that end up in the oceans. Simply drench your hair and either rub the bar through your hair or lather your hands with the soap and then run your fingers through your hair.
Purchase eco-friendly laundry detergents:
Alas, as college students we must do our own laundry. One way to make laundry days more exciting is to make the switch from harmful, chemical-filled detergents to organic laundry detergents. You and your clothes will shine brights with these eco-friendly products.
Purchase bamboo fiber cloths:
Ditch the Clorox wipes and paper towels for natural bamboo fiber cloths. Bamboo cloths are machine-washable, recyclable, and anti-bacterial. Combine these cloths with organic cleaning supplies for an overall healthier living environment.
Purchase organic cleaning supplies:
Your college dorm room or apartment will experience a LOT of spills and messes so be prepared with eco-friendly cleaning supplies! These various products will be just as effective, if not more, than other popular brands.
Purchase a bamboo toothbrush:
Last but not least, make the switch from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush. This switch is a great way to decrease the millions of plastic toothbrushes that end up all around the world.
Purchase glass soap dispensers:
Turn your bathroom into a Pinterest board lookalike by substituting plastic hand soaps for stylish glass dispensers. You’ll save money by buying soap in bulk and will have an overall more sophisticated looking bathroom.
Purchase wooden clothes hangers:
Switch out those flimsy plastic hangers for elegant wooden hangers. Transform your closet into a chic Anthropologie rack while decreasing your use of plastic.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article and for furthering your effort to be environmentally-friendly. There are so many small steps we can individually take to improve not only our own lives, but also the life of our environment. Remember to always make eco-conscious decisions and promote a healthier lifestyle to friends and family.