3 Tips on How to Reduce Waste as a College Student
Taking care of yourself is not the only skill that you should master while studying in college because, as an adult, you should also learn more about how to take care of the planet and your environment. One of the ways to contribute to eco-friendly life is to learn how to reduce waste and implement our easy tips in your everyday routine. So, let’s get started.
Let’s Address the Problem
As you probably know, the problem of waste and ocean pollution is one of the most severe nowadays. However, it’s one of those issues that can be solved with a little help from each one of us. Great results are achieved with small steps, for example, with more and more people turning to conscious consumption and waste management.
However, many people can agree that living on campus and on a student budget sometimes can limit an opportunity of living a more eco-friendly life. For example, biodegradable trash bags are more expensive, as well as other similar products. However, you can still do a lot even if you don’t have much money to spend. What’s even better – you can save some!
Tip #1: Mind Your Purchases
Have you heard of fast fashion – a phenomenon in modern society where we have lots of cheap clothes available on the market with fashion trends changing a few times through one season? That results in many clothes being bought only to be thrown away in less than a year. However, clothes are not something like a paper towel – they should not be viewed as consumables with a very short lifespan.
Cheap trendy clothes don’t live long because of the material that is used in the process of production. They quickly fade and tear, but what’s even worse – they have you on the hook of buying more and changing your wardrobe according to fashion trends. One day you buy a pair of heel shoes, and the next day you wake up to learn that this shape of the heel is not trendy anymore. Does it feel bad? We are sure it does.
All of the piles of clothes that were thrown away grow day by day, harming the air we breathe. Making sure you buy what you really need, learning more about conscious consumption is the way to reduce the number of clothes you get rid of.
It’s not only about fashion items, however. With the development of online shopping, more and more goods are purchased mindlessly, which also only helps these items to end up in the pile of garbage without a single use. So always think before buying something and consider getting an item from another person if it’s something that can be reused – like college textbooks, for example, as it will be a much cheaper and eco-friendly option.
Tip #2: Avoid Disposable Tableware
So, many students don’t have much time or opportunities to wash their dishes, and that’s why they are using disposable dishes instead. We agree – it’s pretty convenient but in no way good for our ecosystem. The amount of trash that this tableware results in is enormous. It’s also made of plastic which is not biodegradable and is harmful to nature.
As you probably notice, the problem of plastic straws is now also mentioned in the media worldwide. Scientists encourage people to stop using plastic straws and switch to paper straws or the option which is even better – personal glass or metal straws that can be reused for many-many times. Of course, it’s not that convenient to take your water bottle and your straw with you wherever you go, but we all can get used to it with time and avoid using plastic so much in our daily lives.
So, when it comes to things that we use every day and which can make a large portion of waste that we produce, coffee cups, straws, water bottles, and disposable dishes are the ones that can be easily replaced with a much eco-friendlier option – a personal reusable straw, thermos or a thermo cup, stainless silverware, reusable plastic or glass water bottle.
Tips #3: Recycle and Reuse More
Being more conscious about your possessions is one of the ways that really can help you reduce waste without any problems. Get good use of each of the items that you have, and even when they no longer look nice, you can still repurpose them according to your needs.
For example, you can tear your old shirt apart if you are not going to wear it anymore and have a cleaning cloth without throwing your shirt away. You can also use boxes in which your mail or online orders are delivered to store your belongings on campus. By the way, check out the list of essential things that you will definitely need while living in a dorm room.
Minimize the use of plastic bags and bring your shopper with you when you are going to the supermarket. Plastic bags are all over the planet nowadays and can be found on the beaches of the most distant inhabitant islands as well.
So, to reduce waste as a student, you don’t have to put much effort or time. What you really need is to avoid purchasing items that you will rarely or never use, make sure you minimize the number of disposable dishes and straws in your life, and also make sure you use the item that you already have wisely. You can always donate things that you no longer need instead of throwing them away or even sell some online. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to start living a more eco-friendly life, so let’s start today!