The people who choose higher education often go through a transformation. They move away from home to a dorm, make new friends, and have a brand new busy schedule. It’s an exciting time of one’s life because of all the newness and finally being able to study what you love.
However, student life can be expensive and environmentally damaging if you don’t learn to organize correctly. On top of having to pay for food, rent, and other expenses, you might contribute to pollution. But what if there were some ways you could make your student life more eco-friendly and less expensive?
A lot of environmentally conscious methods circle around using less. Therefore, your budget might benefit from them as well. So, here are five ways you can make your student lifestyle more environmentally and financially sustainable.
1. Solve the food dilemma
When we think about college life, we might associate students with junk food and other easy-to-prepare meals. But whether a multi-million chain restaurant makes it or it’s a microwave meal, junk food isn’t healthy, sustainable, or cheap.
The meals contain additives, artificial aromas, and a high quantity of fats and sugars. Also, they are made in recycled oil that gets boiled over and over again with pieces of burned remains.
Moreover, the food comes from unsustainable agriculture and farming and is wasted in large quantities.
Lastly, fast food isn’t as cheap as it seems. The actual meal price is far lower than what you’re paying because they want to make a significant profit. Also, if you spend ten dollars a day (average) for a meal, that’s 70 dollars weekly. In 10 days, you’ll have paid a hundred dollars for only ten meals.
Instead of doing that, you could use that same money to triple your food. The secret is to plan your food. Sure, it’s not easy to cook, but you can find easy recipes online that you can prepare in a few minutes.
For instance, try to cook rice with vegetables for three meals. You can eat one of the portions today while saving the other two meals for later or tomorrow. You can pack your lunch instead of running to the first fast food available. This way, you save time and avoid being “hangry.”
During the weekend, save an hour of your day to look for recipes and list the ingredients. Then, buy only what you need. If you have any leftovers, you can try to repurpose them or share them with roommates. Lastly, try to compost the rest of your waste.
2. Do some things manually
Some things are better done in a traditional way to avoid waste. For instance, you can air dry your clothes. This means setting up a rack for hangers above your bathtub or on the balcony. The clothes will last longer, dry perfectly smooth, and you’ll reduce the use of electricity (drier and iron).
You can even invest in a manual washing machine that allows you to wash you clothes with less water and faster. All you need to do is to bike or stir it manually, and your clothes will tumble like in a regular washing machine.
Another tip is to chop your food or eat fruits instead of using a blender to cut or make a smoothie. Moreover, you can use a broom or a manual tool to clean rather than using a vacuum.
3. Try to use less electricity
We previously touched on how to do things manually, but what about the times you need to use electricity? Of course, you can’t live in medieval times and suffer for the sake of nature and your budget. Nonetheless, you can try to reduce the waste of electricity and use it only when needed.
For instance, turn off your laptop after you write an assignment, buy an essay UK, or finish a project. This will help your battery last longer and will reduce the energy used.
Next, you can unplug all the stand-by devices which still use electricity when they’re not off.
Moreover, don’t use your heating devices and systems as soon as you get cold. Try to layer clothes and blankets and move your desk away from windows and doors. You can also insulate your windows and doors by filling the gaps. When you don’t need to work separately in a room, try to gather with your roommates in the same room to preserve natural heat.
Recycling is an obvious thing to do when trying to be more environmentally-friendly. Nonetheless, it’s a great tip to save some money too.
Instead of buying disposable cups and plates, try buying things that will last longer and reuse what you can. Also, try sorting your waste according to the bins when taking the trash out. Or you can throw your waste in different reusable bags.
Next, when you buy new clothes, you can try vintage shops or second-hand stores. This way, you help the planet and save a few bucks.
5. Fix your room
If your tap is broken, try to fix it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might waste surprisingly large quantities in a year.
Other faulty things, such as a window that won’t close properly, might overwork your air conditioner or let the cold in during the winter.
If you wish to save money and help the environment try:
- Solving the food dilemma
- Doing things manually
- Using less electricity
- Fixing your room