There are so many challenges to living sustainably when you are in college because of the limited resources you have here rather than at home. But here are a few things you can change in your daily life that would make a huge difference in the long run. It also promotes the minimalist lifestyle!
1. Turn off the faucets when not in use
Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save eight gallons of water each day. Take showers regularly and baths for the less common days you need to cleanse. There is currently not an efficient way for water to be recycled in this country so for the meantime, we must conserve as much as we can.
2. Bring your own reusable water bottle
Some may be expensive but you would never go back to buying or trying to find plastic ones for the rest of your life. The larger the portion of the bottle, the more water I seem to drink, keeping me constantly hydrated. There are many beautifully designed bottles and so many different ones to fit your criteria (ie., mouth opening size) for the perfect bottle.
3. Carry around tote or sturdy bags
If you know you are going to buy groceries, get clothes that you left at your friend's place, give someone a gift, return something to a friend, etc., bring your own tote, cloth, or brown bag to store it in!
4. Carry your own utensils
Since the place I get my food is packaged, I try my best to avoid plastic utensils. I carry a spoon, chopsticks, fork, and my own stainless steel straw in a Furoshiki (Japanese cloth used to wrap thing such as Bento Boxes).
5. Invest in a stainless steel straw
We love sipping on our straws for our drinks so investing in a stainless steel one saves us from denying plastic ones. If you do invest, don't forget to get the ones with a pipe cleaner! Easy and accessible!
6. Switch liquid detergent for laundry powder
To reduce my use of plastic I went for an alternative to the huge Tide or Arm & Hammer plastic tubs, I bought powdered detergent! The company I purchased from was "Meliora Cleaning Products." I also replaced dryer sheet with wool dryer balls that can be reused more than 100 times!
7. Learn to love walks and bike rides
For a healthier lifestyle, learn to appreciate walks (and bike rides!) See all the beauty that surrounds you. If you can walk somewhere, do it. Chances are when you're in college, it's hard to balance exercise in your daily routine.
8. Invest in a plant-based bamboo toothbrush
These brushes (and packaging) are compostable and does a job well done. I own the "Spring Organic Bamboo Toothbrushes" which comes in a set of 5!
9. Buy a ceramic reusable mug for your daily Starbucks intake
I head to the Starbucks occasionally here on my campus so I bring this reusable ceramic cup (super cute) that comes with a lid and ask to have my cups in there.
10. Plan efficiently (there is no time to be disorganized)
One of the most important aspects that make these steps easier is to plan. If you are planning on buying groceries today, then you can bring all the bags you need necessary. If you do not plan on doing that, there is no use in carrying too many bags. If you know you are going out to eat with friends, there is no use in bringing utensils.