A Day in the life of a sustainable college student

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

Being sustainable in college can be hard, but making a few changes in your daily routine can have a big long-term impact. Here is an example of how we live our busy college lives while keeping the planet in mind!

8:00am: Wash my face and put on my zero-waste face lotion bar from lush. I make sure to use makeup and products from sustainable and cruelty-free companies.

9:00am: Make a smoothie or toast for breakfast to bring to class, or eat overnight oats before/in/after class that I made the night before in my mason jar with the spoon I keep in my backpack.

11:00am: Grab a coffee or tea in my reusable mug (and get a discount for it!), or sit at a coffee shop with one of their reusable mugs while I get some work done.

1:00pm: Grab lunch on campus and bring my own utensils to use if they don’t have reusable ones, or walk back to my apartment to cook something if I’m done with classes for the day.

2:00pm: On a day that I need to go grocery shopping, I bring produce bags to fill up with fruits and veggies, trail mix fixings, etc. (Pro tip: If your grocery store isn’t in walking distance, try to go before rush hour so you don’t have to sit in traffic for long and carpool with friends). Check out our Green Groceries post for more tips.

3:00pm: Do some more homework and bring a snack (some trail mix in a tupperware, some fruit, etc).

5/6:00 pm: Carpool with friends to yoga or go on a run or even just a quick walk! (Pro tip: if you don’t have time to get exercise in a busy day and you want to, try to walk more throughout the day – you’ll reduce carbon emissions from driving around and you get your heart rate up!)

7:00pm: Cook a yummy vegan dinner in my apartment and put leftovers in tupperware for lunch/dinner the next day! (Pro tip: if your veggies are nearing the end of their freshness, chop them all up and throw them in a pan with some seasoning – and keep them in your fridge as a pre-made snack or meal! You can also freeze food that will go bad and it will keep for (literally) ever. Or throw some in a smoothie/soup!)

8:00pm: On the days that I need to do laundry, I try to do it before 4pm and after 7pm, avoiding peak hours of energy consumption. (Pro tip: share loads with your roommates. Many schools charge for laundry and splitting the coast but doubling up on your loads is cheaper and more efficient).

9:00pm: Shower! I turn the water off after I shampoo and then apply conditioner and wash my body/shave without water (your conditioner has more time to sink in and you’re saving water!)

10:00pm: Make my overnight oats for the next morning if I have early classes.

11:00pm: Wind down & turn off all lights and unplug appliances that don’t need to charge/are unused during the night. (Pro tip: get a power strip that you can just flick of every night for your kitchen appliances, decorative lights, etc)

The bottom line: Getting into good habits takes practice, trial and error, and a little bit of commitment. But in the grand scheme of things, making a few minor adjustments in your lifestyle contributes to the conservation of the planet, and can also influence you those around you!

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