Looking for money and time-saving ways to reduce your carbon footprint and promote sustainability? Wondering how to be more eco friendly as a student? Try these tips for green living on a tight budget.
A green lifestyle can get expensive but with these tips and recommendations, you can learn how to save money while still doing your part to live an eco-friendly lifestyle being a college student.
There are many eco-friendly ways for students to save money and time. One way is to carpool or use public transportation whenever possible. This can save money on gas and parking, and it also takes less time than driving alone. Using paper writing help is a good choice to make the learning process easier and save some time. Another way to save both money and time is to buy in bulk when possible. This can help to reduce the cost per item, and it also means that you have fewer trips to the store.
Table of Contents
How To Be More Eco Friendly As A Student
1. Save Money And Go Green With Shared Accommodation
Renting is not only a great way to conserve cash, but it’s also much more sustainable than living in a house. Since students as renters pool resources and space, less energy is wasted on apartment living than on house living. Plus, renters don’t have to bother with most utility, insurance, maintenance, and upkeep costs. The keys to finding an affordable, environmentally-friendly apartment are finding one that includes heat, energy-efficient appliances, and updated windows. Corner units are great for cross ventilation and window breezes in summer (so you don’t have to rely on air conditioning in the summer to keep you cool).
2. Go Green By Eating Fresh Foods
Just because you care about the environment doesn’t necessarily mean you can always afford to eat in ways that show it. Eating all organic foods can be expensive, especially when you’re living on a small scholarship. Luckily, an eco-friendly diet is a light on budget-busters like meats and processed foods and heavy on affordable, nutritious foods like beans, fruits, and vegetables. Even so, organic foods can still stretch a tight budget, so if you can’t afford to go all organic, be sure to buy foods with minimal packaging and, when possible, choose local.
You can also grow your garden. Vegetables and herbs like tomatoes, onions, green peppers, hot peppers, cilantro, basil, and dill that are great to cook with are prolific producers and incredibly easy to grow on your own.
3. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (And Bills) By Ditching The Car
One of the best ways you can positively impact the environment and save yourself a ton of money is by dumping your car. The average annual cost of keeping a car is around $6,000, so if you can swing it, get rid of that gas guzzler. If you want to be a more eco friendly student, instead of driving, choose to try walking, biking, carpooling, and public transportation. Not only will you help the environment and save a ton of money, but you’ll also probably lose a few pounds too.
4. Live Simply to Save Money
If you can resist the urge, stop buying things you don’t need. Everyone seems to think they have this one under wraps but somehow the shelves are still full of useless junk. So, stop buying things like bottled water, junk jewelry, energy drinks, and the latest iToys.
A nice rule of thumb is if you need to hold it in your hand for three minutes wondering if you need it, you probably don’t. Not only will you keep a lot of garbage from landfills, but you’ll also end up saving yourself some serious cash.
5. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle With Thrift Stores
Get thrifty. Just about anything you need as a student you can find at a thrift store. Not only are resale shops a practical way to incorporate “reduce, reuse, recycle” into your everyday life, but they’re also incredible when it comes to saving money. Whatever you need, you can probably find it cheap at a thrift store.
6. Save Money by Reducing Utility Bills
Get off the grid. Okay, you probably can’t entirely, but you probably can do quite a bit to cut down your energy consumption. Unplug electronics and appliances when you’re not using them, and turn off lights that you don’t need. Instead of using air conditioning in the summer, dress down and open your windows, and instead of cranking the heat in the winter, dress in layers indoors.
7. Cook in the Microwave
One of the best ways you can learn how to be a more eco friendly student is by learning how to cook in the microwave. Not only are microwaves between 3.5 and 4.8 times more energy efficient than traditional electric ovens, but they’re also at least four times as fast.
As a matter of fact, according to The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time, if everyone in North America used only microwaves for cooking for one year, they’d save as much energy as everyone on the entire continent of Africa uses for everything during that same time.
Sure, you probably don’t want to try and cook your Thanksgiving turkey in a microwave (at least not right away!), but day-to-day staples like pasta, rice, and vegetables work very well with microwave cooking. Don’t believe me? Try this perfect microwaveable rice recipe.
How to Cook Rice in the Microwave
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups water
- Rinse and soak rice in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain rice and place in a large microwaveable bowl.
- Add hot water and cook (uncovered) on high for 16 minutes.
- Let rice sit for an additional 3-5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
8. Work Out Smarter Not Harder
If you can’t cut out cardio workouts on electrical equipment, there’s always the option of cutting down the amount of time you spend on the equipment. Switch to interval training and you may find yourself healthier than before, in half the time. Here’s why: Studies have shown that interval training can maximize health benefits and weight loss in much less time than traditional cardio routines.
Also called high-intensity interval training, it involves intense bursts of energy that are short, cross-functional, and followed by brief rest periods. The idea is to push yourself to maximum exertion, rest, then push yourself again.
Interval training is so effective that people who use interval training eat up to 500 calories less per day than those who do regular cardio, and they burn more calories too. A great tip to be a more sustainable student advocate!
9. Shorten Your Shower to Save Water and Time
Okay, you already know that a bath is much more eco-friendly than a shower, but what do you do if you don’t have time for baths? If you’re stuck with a shower (or just enjoy it too much to give up!) there’s still something you can do to make up for it. Cut some time off your daily shower and you can make a huge difference in the amount of water you use.
For instance, for every two minutes you cut off your shower time each day, you can save more than ten gallons of water. Multiply that out for a year and that would mean saving 2,400 gallons of water – just for two minutes a day. Shorten your showers and you won’t just have more time to enjoy your day, you’ll save a small lake in your lifetime.
Simple Living is Green Living
In general, a simple lifestyle is a green student lifestyle. So, remember: the less you buy and waste, the more you’ll conserve and save!