There are many ways for students to incorporate more sustainable items into their daily lives. Climate change and environmental sustainability have become huge issues in recent years and is very important. To combat this problem, there have become more and more companies that create sustainable products. Also, these sustainable options have become more readily available and less expensive because it's a good way to become more eco-friendly. Here is a list of 7 sustainable products that won't break the bank and you can use in your daily life.
1. Re-useable water bottles
Ditch the plastic for stainless-steel water bottles. Many of these can keep the contents inside hot or cold. For long periods of time (especially helpful in summer). Hydro flask are popular but I have found they are very expensive. I've found that Target, Kmart and Cotton On have alternatives. These are very similar, which are just as good if not better. Also, a good thing about stainless steel water bottles is you can decorate them with stickers or little drawings to add your own personal touch.
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These nasty plastic disposable items end up taking up room in landfill and also are microplastics in our oceans. A more biodegradable option is bamboo toothbrushes. They have organic bristles and some have charcoal in them for an extra white smile. "But they all look the same. What happens if I use my housemates?". No worries, both kinds of toothbrushes, plastic or bamboo, have noticeable features to tell who is who. Such as colored bristles or engraved numbers. But if it is still of concern, you can put a sticker or try a ribbon around the base of your own. If you already have an electric toothbrush, they have now come out with de-tacable heads.
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Most students need coffee to fuel them through late night study sessions and early classes. Keep-cups are an awesome way to reduce waste and also, depending on what coffee shop you go to, you can get a couple of cents off your drink. Keep-cups are also handy for going on roadtrips and also or packing lunches (you can pack soup in them and it will stay warm). They have many different options for materials, from plastic, glass or metal and they aren't super expensive. Just like the waterbottle section, there are also alternatives at Target, Kmart, ect. . Personally, I like the metal ones because they keep your drink warmer for longer and also don't break as easily as glass. Don't fear avid iced-latte drinkers. They are also AWESOME for keeping your iced coffee cold throughout the day. Also, they hold just as much if not more than the plastic cups they offer at the shop.
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We see plastic straws everywhere, in our iced coffee offered at bars. But it's no secret that they are terrible for the environment and marine life. Metal, Siliocon and glass straws are all rising in popularity and are a must (because the cardboard ones get so soggy). I love using metal straws, as I have said before. They are hard to break as well, because they are super easy to clean. I like the telescopic metal straws because they are small and can fit on your key ring or in your bag. There are so many more sustainable options out there for straws and you just have to find the right one for you.
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5. Shopping bags
This is such a big one. I hate it when you've got a trolley full of shopping and then you have no grocery bags. Buying plastic ones (yes they are reusable) is just a waste of plastic. Earthfriendly options such as tote bags or even better, yet you can make your own out of older fabric or shirts. There are plenty of places where you can buy environmentally friendly shopping bags at the shop itself or online. I have found buying ones that roll up is easy to keep in your backpack or car. My other favorite is one that can be attached to our keys. Simple yet effective in making sure you always have a shopping bag with you.
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6. Food containers and food wraps.
I love using these. They are so useful and also cost-effective. Re-usable lunch containers made of glass or stainless steel are a good way to reduce your waste as well as good for the environment. Personally, I like glass containers because you can heat them up in the microwave and also keep them well in the fridge or freezer. There are plenty of alternatives that aren't super expensive and also work really well. Food wraps this is a new one. Food wraps are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap. They can be made out of many different materials, such as wax, mesh or plant-based materials. Awesome at keeping fruit and veges fresh.
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7. Beauty products and personal care items
With over 80 billion plastic bottles being disposed of shampoo and conditioners alone, things like environmentally conscious packaging are super important.Buying beauty products from environmentally-aware companies. Such as LUSH is a good way to reduce waste. Other products such as solid shampoo bars and conditioners are an effective way to reduce packaging. Everything from lotion to shampoo comes in a bar form, lasting 2 to 5 times longer than its bottled counterparts. Self-care items such as cotton/cloth reusable pads. I know that pads and tampons are expensive, but period underwear is a good alternative and cost effective in the long run. Also, no nasty plastics and also unnecessary rubbish.
Overall, starting to incorporate environmentally friendly products is a good way to reduce unneeded waste as well as help the longevity of the planet. I hope this list has given you atleast one item you can start using daily or even list one you are already using to make a difference. If there is something that I missed out or a product that is super sustainable, I have missed let me know on my Instagram.