Making eco-friendly choices as a broke college student can be stressful and overwhelming. Nobody (hopefully) wants to intentionally harm the environment, but you’ve already got so many other things to grit your teeth about that saving the planet usually isn’t your top priority, plus did I mention the small detail of being BROKE…. lets be real here, going green can be expensive. You can relax though, by making greener choices. I’m not saying you have drop everything and buy a solar powered car, or that it is up to you and you alone to go out and save the rainforest. There are many relatively small things that you can do to help the environment, that won’t put a gigantic dent in your bank account.

biking

  • Leave your car in the driveway

In the spring and summer months, try to boycott your car for a few days of the week. There are plenty of different options for getting where you need to go. Walk, or ride your bike (added bonus there, exercise!), carpool with friends, or take the bus. This will lower your vehicle’s harmful emissions, and you’ll also be saving a ton of money on gas and you can’t complain about that.

travelmugs

  • Use your own mug

If frequenting coffee shops is part of your daily routine, you can make a greener choice by bringing your own mug instead, which cuts down on landfill garbage and littering.

shower2

  • Practice water preservation.

Keep your showers short, like, 5 minutes max, if possible. Also pay attention when you are showering, brushing your teeth, washing the dishes etc., at how much water you’re using. If you don’t actually need to the tap to be running, turn it off. You can save a ton of water by doing this.

greennom

  • Eat at home as much as possible and plan your meals out.

This will help you save money at the grocery store, and you’ll also waste less food. Since your planning your meals and cooking them at home, you should strive to use less pre-packaged foods, and use more organic fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, and grass-fed meats. This is healthier and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Buy generic brands and try shopping at the farmer’s market, or even grow your own vegetables and herbs.

compost

  • Use a Compost

If you do end up with leftovers, plan on reusing the food for another meal later on. Also, any food waste should go in a compost bin. Indoor composting is very easy and by using it you waste less food and contribute less to overflowing landfills.

light

  • Open the blinds, draw back the shades, turn off the lights!

Let the sun into your house, when the sun is out it is a great source of light and heat for your home. On that note, make a habit of turning the lights off whenever you leave a room. It will become second nature to you in no time.

sweatersss

 

  • Add or Subtract Layers accordingly.

Set your thermostat by the season. When it’s cold, add layers, when it’s hot, remove them. For instance at the moment it is unfortunately still winter, but you can save money on your heating bill, and also be more eco-friendly, by throwing on an extra sweater or adding a few more blankets to your bed.

laundryyy

  • Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you can fill them up, and use cold water if possible. Also, try to do the dishes/do your laundry during the evening or at night, and on the weekends, because electricity tends to be cheaper during these times.power
  • Plug any electronic equipment you use frequently (TV, stereo, computer, etc.) into a power bar that you can turn off when you go to bed, when you’re going out, and also when you don’t plan on using them for a specific amount of time. When you have something plugged in it is using energy, whether it is on or off. In fact, that can make up to 10 % of your energy bill.lightbulb (1)
  • Switch old light bulbs in your house for energy-efficient ones.

For more information on making green choices, or getting involved in environmental issues/awareness, check out BESA, a partnership between different environmental clubs at Brock as well as OPIRG! 🙂