Sustainability. You’ve heard of it, right? People fall on various parts of the spectrum when it comes to their awareness and engagement in sustainability. And that is perfectly fine. My major is Conservation Biology so I would fall towards the more hyper-aware, active side of said spectrum. What about people who know sustainability is important but don’t know how to implement it in their daily lives? It’s not as intimidating as it seems, and I’m here to share ways to be more sustainable, especially if you are a broke college student like myself.
FIRST and foremost, I would like to give a disclaimer. It is not my nor your responsibility to combat climate change. Unless your name is Jeff Bezos, you should not carry the weight of climate degradation on your shoulders. Needless to say, I believe living a more sustainable life, even just slightly, can inspire others to do the same. Jeff aside, we still have power and agency over our own lives and future.
So to begin, being more sustainable does not mean throwing away all of your plastics or hoarding all of your plastics. It doesn’t mean you can’t shop at Shein, and it doesn’t mean you can’t use tampons. When I took my first conservation biology class, we were challenged to take one aspect or behavior in our lives and try to make it more sustainable—just one thing. In my case, coffee. At the time, my roommate and I had a Keurig with cute K-cups that spun on the little carrousel. Cute. Vibes. Purr. We also had cute disposable cups we took every morning. This was the one thing I decided to tackle. I decided to get a reusable, refillable k-cup. I also invested in an adorable travel mug. I don’t know, but something about a cute to-go mug makes my day better. Just tackling that one behavior, I was able to reduce our waste tremendously. The idea is to take it one step at a time. Take a moment to think…is there a way to do this to reduce the amount of trash? Or take an item before you throw it away and think… could I use this again for something else later?