I like to live in my optimist bubble and think that the people who believe that global warming is a myth have somehow fell off the planet and gone extinct. Now that that’s out of the way, there is this negative connotation that being healthy weighs heavy on your pocket but that’s actually not true when it comes to being healthy to the planet. After reading this I hope to make you believe that being student and helping the Earth is actually a budget friendly process. In honour of Earth Day, here are some ways to defeat the ‘green costs green’ stereotype as a student, all year round:
1. Invest in your own coffee cup/bottle
I’ve actually started giving my friends dirty looks for buying a plastic water bottle, I mean that was so 5 years ago. Fashion trends have revolutionized the ugly thermos bottle to colourful customizable ones for protein shakes, fancy lemon waters, and teas. Water bottle self-branding is a thing now so join the bandwagon. You are not only reducing the paper cup use but also saving so much by making your own tea or coffee. Most coffee shops will gladly fill your cup directly and offer a cheaper rate for filling reusable mugs.
2. Second hand is not second best
Being on the receiving end of my sister’s hand-me-downs has taught me to appreciate items that no longer shrink in the wash and come for free. It’s always a good idea to check out your local garage sales, thrift shops, and your parent’s basement before making a purchase. You’re not creating more waste, you’re saving money, and you might even bring a 90s trend back. Chances are, when you’re done with the item, they’ll probably buy it back.
3. Turn offs are turn ons
By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14 per year. If you don’t want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work, or boot up while you’re pouring your morning cup ‘o joe.
4. Leave it to dry
Just like your annoying ex you left high and dry, treat your laundry the same. If it’s raining or cold out, get a door hook, an elastic laundry line or line up all the chairs. Your wardrobe will maintain colour and fit, not to mention you’ll save money. Plus your favourite t-shirt will last longer!
5. Let your fingers do the walking
It’s the age of the internet, so I’m sure there are sources to get your books and readings online. If not, try Kijiji or ask to buy previous year’s books. You can do all your banking, note taking, and even e-ticket purchases online as well where possible. Don’t need to print it? Don’t.
6. Share a shower… With your toothbrush?
Instead of taking off your makeup or shaving your legs separately, do it all at once in the shower. You’ll save water, it’s pretty simple and time saving. Perfect for lazy personalities like me.
7. Commute (get cars off the roads)
I’m sure a lot of us already got this down but just in case, because riding a bike or skating or taking transit makes such a big difference, it’s important to reiterate.
8. Don’t eat greens… Eat all the colours
We live in a multicultural environment so it’s only suitable to appreciate and be inclusive to all the reds, yellows, blues, and greens cuisine too. Your local farmer’s market can help.
Be good to the Earth, we’ve only got one. Happy Earth Day, Ryerson!