Sponsored by Brita
As a college student, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Who knew that your first real taste of freedom would mean so much juggling? Between meeting deadlines, trying to eat healthy(ish) and exercise, working part-time, and balancing a jam-packed social calendar, you’re just about as time-strapped as you are cash-strapped. So, how do you even begin to think about adding sustainable habits into the mix? We’ll let you in on a secret: it’s easier than you think!
Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to practice sustainability in college without having to exert extra effort or spend extra cash. Making a few seriously simple eco-conscious swaps to your daily routine can make a big difference. The best part? Most of these switches can help you optimize your time and your bank account too. Here, 7 purchases to get you started:
Bicycle. Finding parking on campus can be a nightmare (especially if you’ve pulled up barely five minutes before class), plus parking permits, maintenance, insurance and gas can do major damage to a tight budget. Leaving your car off campus and biking instead can go a long way in helping you cut costs, saving time and drastically slashing your environmental impact (sayonara to CO2 emissions!). You can zip between classes or downtown to meet friends without having to worry about parking or paying for gas. Most campuses are well-equipped with (free!) bike parking and some even offer free bike repair services and special workshops that teach you how to do repairs on your own. It requires a bit of investment up front, but it’s a purchase that will serve you long after you graduate. Promise.
Civia Lowry Step-Thru (from $399)
Reusable Water Bottle. Staying hydrated is key for staying healthy and on top of your academic game, but buying bottles at the student center every day is pricey. What’s more is that all those plastic bottles are wreaking havoc on our planet. Set yourself up for success by stashing a reusable bottle in your bag to take to the library or class and refill it throughout the day. Even if your campus isn’t equipped with filtered water stations, you can still kick your disposable habit by opting for a reusable receptacle with a built-in filter. This BPA-free option from Brita makes hydration hassle-free by reducing the taste and odor of chlorine, as well as other contaminants typically found in tap water. You can fill up at any tap and still have great-tasting water.
Stasher Bags. The practicalities of packing your lunch and keeping snacks stashed in your bag quickly become clear when you’re rushing between classes or spending late nights at the library, primarily because reusable glass food containers are great, but they can be heavy or awkward to tote around when you’re already weighed down by books and a laptop. These reusable silicone food storage bags are the ideal alternative for carrying on-the-go eats. They’re super lightweight, won’t take up a ton of space in your bag, plus they eliminate the need for disposable plastic baggies. An added bonus: they’re microwave and oven-safe, which makes reheating leftovers super easy.
Recycled Notebooks. Taking your notes on your laptop is the best way to reduce the amount of paper you use, but if you prefer taking an old-school approach or if you just seem to brainstorm better with a pen and paper, notebooks made from recycled materials are the next best thing. This sleek hardcover notebook earns major points for style and sustainability–it’s made from stone repurposed from mining and construction industry waste without water, trees, bleach or acids.
Reusable To-Go Cup. Your morning cup of joe is one of the easiest places to make a big impact with minimal effort. Billions of disposable coffee cups find their way into the bin every year, and most coffee cups aren’t recyclable because they’re coated in plastic. Carrying your own cup can reduce the amount of cups that wind up in landfill and could even score you a sweet discount on your favorite brew if your local coffee shop offers such an incentive. And if they don’t yet, suggest it!
Keepcup Longplay Coral ($28)
Water Filtration Pitcher. Recycling programs might be widespread, but 70 percent of single-use plastic bottles aren’t recycled. That’s *a lot* of plastic. And while many students end up stocking up on bottled water to combat the unpleasant taste of water in on-campus housing, sipping water from a filtration pitcher instead of a bottle can actually save up to 1,800 single-use plastic bottles a year, plus some of that hard-earned cash. This 5-cup pitcher fits easily in small refrigerators and can free up valuable square footage that would otherwise be occupied by bottled water, which is key, since space is at a premium when you’re living in a dorm or a shared apartment.
Brita Soho Water Pitcher ($26.99)
Foldable Reusable Bags. Remembering to actually use your reusable bags is a lot easier when you always have them on hand. These colorful recycled nylon bags are ultra-convenient–they fold into a flat 5″x5″ pouch so you can take them wherever you go and they’re super roomy, holding 2-3 plastic grocery bags worth of stuff. Plus, cute, right?
Baggu Standard Baggu ($12)
The editors at SheFinds wrote this post on behalf of Brita and received compensation as part of our agreement.