Practicing zero waste is a great way to help the planet. The whole point of zero waste is to reduce the amount of trash and non-reusable items we clutter the planet with. If you aren’t already practicing zero waste, you can start right now while you’re in college. Here are a few helpful tips to help you start living a life of zero waste in college.
1. Carry a water bottle
Carrying a water bottle is one of the easiest ways to practice zero waste in college. Instead of buying a bottle of water anytime you’re thirsty, you can just fill up the bottle that you carry with you. Doing this helps eliminate the amount of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills. Yes, you can recycle water bottles, but plastic can only be reused so many times. After that the plastic ends up in landfills. Also, not everyone recycles. Carrying a water bottle also saves you money. What college student doesn’t love saving money?
2. Ditch the t-shirts
Just about every college event has a t-shirt to go along with it. But do you really need every single one of those t-shirts? Probably not. You’ll most definitely grow out of some of the shirts, and those can be donated. However, the ones that are damaged will most likely end up in a landfill somewhere. However, a good way to practice zero waste in college is to simply not buy every single shirt. Try to limit yourself to only buying the ones for events that you really want to remember.
3. Say goodbye to fast fashion (when you can)
The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors of waste. Fast fashion is even worse because they produce so much stuff everyday just to keep up with the trends. You can help reduce supporting this wasteful production by shopping secondhand. Don’t worry, thrifting isn’t as bad as you might assume. Fashion repeats itself, so you’ll always find on-trend items, and you can easily wash your thrifted items if you’re concerned about germs.
4. Go digital
Going digital is another great way to practice zero waste in college. The best way to do that is to buy digital versions of your textbooks instead of the physical copy. This is pretty easy since most books are available as e-books these days. Another way to go digital is to stop buying notebooks for notes. Take your notes on your laptop instead.
5. Get into composting
Composting is a great way of practicing zero waste in college because it’s a way to keep food scraps from rotting in landfills. Instead of throwing out your left over food, you’re reusing them to help enrich the soil. What better way to help the planet than to give back what it gave you.
6. By your snacks in bulk
Buying your snack, or any type of food, in bulk helps cut down on adding food packaging to landfills. Not all companies use recyclable materials to package there products. Or, if they do, sometimes we forever to recycle and throw it in the trash instead. However if you shop in bulk, most places will allow you to bring your own reusable backs to put your food in. Also, buying in bulk allows you to buy more for less, so it’s basically a win-win.
7. Carry reusable utensils
How often do you use plastic utensils when eating out? Very often. Food courts and carry-out services give you plastic forks, and although most sit down restaurants have real cutlery, they still give you plastic straws. However, you can practice zero waste in college by not accepting these items and instead carry your own. There are so many place that sell reusable utensil sets, so you’ll have no problem getting your hands on some.
8. Say no to free stuff
People are always giving free stuff out on campus. A way to practice zero waste in college is to simply say no to any of the free stuff that you don’t need. If you’re constantly taking free stuff that you don’t need, you’re also constantly throwing stuff away. Some of that stuff is most likely ending up in landfills.
9. Create a sustainable shower caddy
Another way to practice zero waste in college is to be more conscious of what you use in your shower. There are a number of show items, like loofahs, razors, and soap, that are being created in a sustainable way. The point is to create more products that we regularly use, that will create less waste These products can be found through a simple Google search.
Recycling is the ultimate baby step to practicing zero waste, especially in college. Everyone can recycle if we just take the time to do so properly.