Don’t get me wrong, when I think of eco-friendly ways to live and products to use in my everyday life, I see dollar signs and as a college student myself, I am always trying to spend the least amount of money I can 100% of the time. Truthfully though, a lot of sustainable products end up saving you money in the long run!
So what are some easy and cheap ways to save not only your bank account but the Earth as well?
- Reusable Water Bottles
Reusable water bottles are probably the easiest way to stop the use of single-use plastic. According to container-recyling.org, more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day. The option of buying reusable water bottles that will last you years is in so many store aisles ranging from so many different prices! Abby Tardibono, a student at SNU is a user of reusable water bottles herself. “I started using one because I was tired of buying plastic water bottles from the store. I like it now because all I have to do is refill it and it’s so much easier to keep track of instead of wasting plastic.” Tardibona says.
- Buying in Bulk With Reusable Storage Bags
Again with the single-use plastic. It’s just so crazy how much we use it every day. Going to the grocery store, with every item you purchase, just for its packaging to be thrown away once you are done with it. Reusable storage bags cancel out that problem! Although some of these storage bags can be pricey, Sister Collective sells a set of 12 for $32.00. Yes, that is more expensive than just buying a pack of Ziploc bags, but with these, you are getting multiple sizes and only have to purchase once. Don’t want to spend the money on these bags? Old jars work too. Then you can take your container to grocery stores like Sprouts and WinCo and buy in bulk and won’t be purchasing wasteful packaging. A bonus because you will usually get better quality food as well!
- Reusable Shopping bags
This is an easy one. Simply using reusable bags when shopping or if an item is small enough, not using a bag at all. I know we all have collected reusable bags. A lot of the time they just magically appear in our possession. So if you have them, why not use them! Keep them in your car or hang them by the door so you won’t forget it on your way out. I never leave the house without one. An employee at Trader Joe’s in Nichols Hills says that although they don’t see a crazy amount of reusable bags being used by customers, they do feel like the use of them is becoming more popular. They always encourage customers to bring bags from home!
These are just three easy ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle for an affordable price. But there are so many other ways as well. It’s not also swapping out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one, buying from expensive sustainable clothing brands, or spending extra on eco-friendly hygiene products. Being mindful of the waste you make and small investments you can make to save money, in the long run, can go a long way. So, reduce, reuse, and recycle!