When I graduate college, one of my main goals is to live the least wasteful life that I can. While I try to be very mindful and conscious of that now, it is definitely a bit harder to live a waste-free, primarily sustainable lifestyle when you’re a broke, busy college student! There are a few relatively easy ways you can make your life more sustainable, regardless of your income/amount of free time.
One of my favorite ways to live a more waste-free life is to replace the use of wasteful cleaning supplies, such as paper towels, with reusable things, such as towels and rags, that you can just wash instead of throwing away! Composting is also an extremely easy way to help reduce waste. I like to keep a “compost bucket” in my kitchen at home then dump it out into a much larger compost bin in my backyard when it fills up. This makes me feel much better about all the food scraps I produce, because now I can use them again and help make my garden better!
Another easy way to reduce your wasteful impact on the earth is to be very mindful while shopping. Obviously, you should use reusable bags while shopping. Keep a few in your car so you won’t forget them when you go to the store! I also don’t use plastic produce bags because I find them unnecessary. Also, try to shop in stores as much as you can instead of shopping online! (This is something I struggle with because I love online shopping!) Unfortunately, almost any time I order something online, even if it’s tiny, it comes in a box that is way too big for the item and also comes with way too much other packaging as well!
Be mindful of fast fashion, as well. This is also something I struggle with, because I just love clothes and keeping up with the latest trends! You can still do this, but definitely try to buy clothes that you can mix and match and wear for a very long time! Many stores that are popular with college students (Forever 21 is one that comes straight to mind) provide cheap, fast fashions in the latest trends that you will probably wear a few times and then forget about/never wear again, lose/throw away, sell or donate. Before you purchase something, imagine yourself wearing it a few years from now and ask yourself if you really do need it! Wants are very different from needs. I also try to reuse more than I recycle. While recycling may seem great, it really should be a last-resort option. Try reusing jars, cans, etc. for storage instead of just recycling them! This is a very easy way to reduce your waste.
As you can see, living a more sustainable life really isn’t as hard as it may seem! While going mostly waste-free may seem a bit extreme, you can get some really great tips from people who do live primarily waste-free lives that you can use in your everyday life! Trash is for Tossers is one of my absolute favorite blogs with lots of amazing tips from a woman who has been living an almost completely waste-free life for about five years now!