Hello! Since you're reading this, you're probably a college student on a tight budget, but still, want to help make a contribution to helping the environment. I'm just like one of you guys then, an environmentally conscious student who wants to try and help make a difference. So, from me to you, here are a few ways you too can help the environment, and they're all either free or pretty cheap!
"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to tread lightly on the Earth as its other creatures do."
1. Use reusable cups and straws!
This is one of the easiest ways that you can help make a BIG difference! By doing this, you'll eliminate so many plastic water bottles that are going to be used once and then tossed aside, from ending up in our oceans and landfills. There are so many places you can buy them, and there are so many, super cute ones to very simple ones.
2. Invest in reusable totes!
Say no to those grocery store plastic bags, because you're probably just going to toss them aside once you get home anyway and never use them! Many stores these days are offering an alternative to these bags, they're cute, reusable bags that are relatively cheap, around 99 cents at many stores, and you can use them for EVERYTHING! They have so many different designs so you can make sure you grab a super cute one and keep it in your car!
3. Say no to receipts!
Many stores today offer the option to say no to receipts when you make a purchase, or offer digital copies of your receipt. Start saying no to the paper receipts and get a digital copy of your receipt if you really need it! :-)
4. Buy in bulk!
This tip can not only save the environment, but also save your wallet! Many stores offer deals or better prices when you buy good or food in larger quantities! For example, try buying large tubs of yogurt instead of individual single-serve cups of yogurt. By doing so, you'll get more bang for your buck AND you'll create less plastic waste! Plus, you'll save money on gas driving to and from the store all the time to go get more!
5. Unplug from the world!
This is something that is free to do, and it's also going to help the environment and keep a few bucks in your wallet! Did you know that electronics you keep plugged in all the time are still using energy even when you aren't using them? They actually use a lot too! SO, try just unplugging your desk lamp or your phone charger when you aren't using them. It may not be a big difference, but if every person on the Earth did just this one little thing, then we'd save SO much energy!
6. Try to buy for quality, not price!
Tired of spending money on folders and binders for school that you just toss into the trash at the end of the year? Try buying higher quality products that last longer than just a school year! It's super easy to find durable folders and binders that last longer than the year. I've had the same Five Star 3-ring binders for three years and it still looks brand new and I love them! I really do think it's worth the investment to not have to worry about replacing half your school supplies every year. Try doing the same for desk or office supplies, don't get dinky or disposable tools. Durable and sturdy supplies might cost more at first, but can last for tens of years!
7. Go digital when you're studying!
Take advantage of public libraries or computer labs from universities! Try making the switch to digital notes and study guides rather than making so many paper flashcards and printing out study guides. Considering how many college students there are in there world, if we all went paperless, it would save SO many trees every year!
8. Use the best lighting, natural sunlight!
Try opening the windows in your home, or even just opening the curtains for a day! :-) The fresh air feels amazing and naturally freshens your home of odors, plus the sunlight can naturally warm your home! So, turn down the A/C or the heat for a day, and open the curtains and windows!
9. Reduce, reuse, and re-purpose!
Don't just throw away those glass bottles after you finish your drink! Instead, paint them and make them cute little vases for some flowers! Got some old t-shirts you were gonna throw out? Make them into cleaning rags instead! Empty shipping boxes? Paint them or decorate them into cute storage bins for under your bed or in your closet! (Or a cute new photo opportunity for your cat) :-)
10. Nobody likes a litterbug!
Nobody likes a litterbug, and nobody enjoys picking up after a litterbug either! Help prevent the soil from being contaminated and just pick up a few pieces of trash off the sidewalk or off the side of the road. This can prevent animals from eating it or prevent it from breaking down into the soil. Every little bit from a cigarette butt to styrofoam packing peanuts, to a plastic bag.
"The Earth is a free place and worth fighting for." -Ernest Hemingway
Now, these are just a few of the many ways that you can help plastic waste and eliminate energy waste. These tips can help everyone save just a little bit of energy and money, and with numbers, a little bit can go a long way! If everyone just did a little bit to help save the environment, we wouldn't be in as bad of a situation as we are right now. Encourage your friends to do the little things, because a billion people doing one small thing, makes a BIG difference! You never know who you might inspiring!
~ Alicia B~