Reusable food packaging surrounding brown paper bag with green Recycle symbol

5 Secret Weapons for Living Sustainably on a College Campus

Being environmentally friendly on campus is possible with a few simple swaps. Here are five sustainability must-haves every student should know about.

The transition from home to dorm life can be tricky for several reasons. If you’re passionate about living sustainably and protecting the environment, finding ways to fit these interests into your new lifestyle can be challenging at first. But don’t worry—there are many ways that dorm and sustainable living can coincide. In no particular order, here are my top five sustainability must-haves for college students that you can invest in now.

1. Reusable water bottles

The idea of reusable water bottles has grown in popularity since late 2019 with the start of the Hydro Flask trend, and for good reason. Avoiding single-use water bottles helps reduce plastic waste and is much more cost-effective. With limitless reusable water bottle vendors and designs to choose from, you’re bound to find one that works perfectly for you. Take it a step further and personalize your bottle with your very own collection of colorful stickers that speak to your interests. Fill it up at any drinking fountain on campus and you’re good to go!

Related: A List of the Most Important Things to Bring to College

2. Shampoo and conditioner bars

When I first heard about shampoo and conditioner in the form of bars rather than bottled liquid, I was skeptical. But after doing a bit of research, I now understand the hype! The soap bar method eliminates unnecessary plastic packaging in favor of a more environmentally friendly alternative. The cost is about the same as bottled soap, and these bars can be found at most grocery stores, including Target. 

3. EcoBricks

Got any single-use plastic lying around? I definitely do! EcoBricks are the perfect way to put that plastic to use, and the process is simple. Start with a two-liter plastic container (something like an orange juice jug works great), then collect smaller, unrecyclable pieces of plastic inside of it. Make sure you pack it down as tight as possible until the container is full. You’ll end up with a sort of plastic brick (thus the name), which you can then decide to use for a project of your own or donate for someone else to put to good use. You can find more information on drop-off points near you with a quick web search. 

Related: Top 5 Ways to Be Green and More Sustainable on Your Campus

4. Zero-waste products

Another great, easy way to be environmentally conscious in your everyday life as a college student is to carry zero-waste products with you wherever you go. Keep a metal straw in your backpack for an impromptu Frappuccino break mid-study. Consider stashing reusable bamboo utensils in your tote for when your friends want to grab something to eat before your next class. You could even bring along some sandwich-sized silicon bags to replace a one-time-use to-go box. All of these are easy switches and make a big difference!

5. Beeswax wrap

If you’re a broke, frugal college student, you’re no stranger to aluminum foil and plastic wrap to store every last bit of food possible to hold you over from one grocery trip to the next. Beeswax wrap is a great, reusable alternative to single-use wrap. And as an added bonus: They’re pretty! As beeswax wrap is growing in popularity, you have the pick of the litter as far as where you can get it from. One of my favorite companies for beeswax wrap is LilyBee Wrap. I recommend starting with their Lost Lid Set, which includes five beautifully designed wraps for any small storage and preservation purposes. 

Related: Majors and Careers for Those Who Want to Help the Earth

Living in a dorm doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your environmentally conscious lifestyle. I hope these five secret weapons give you a starting place for your new model of sustainability. Remember, this is just the beginning! If you’re passionate about incorporating sustainability into your college experience, be sure to do your own research and find what works best for you. 

Looking for a school that cares about the environment as much as you do? Check out these 10 Colleges That Went Green Before It Was Cool.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Hailey Myers

Hailey Myers is a homeschooled high school student from California. She's been drawn to literature and creative activities from a young age and is ecstatic to share what she knows with fellow students. 

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Heaven Johnson

Heaven Johnson

Back to School Scholarship Winner, High School Class of 2023

I’d like to thank everyone on the CollegeXpress team for their generosity. Not only have I been awarded this scholarship, but CollegeXpress makes it easier to apply and gives amazing tips for schools and scholarships. I am extremely grateful as this will help with my schooling and allow me to be able to enter into the field I’ve been dreaming of all my life. 

Damian Rangel

Damian Rangel

September 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me tackle college expenses, which will allow me to put more of my time and effort into my studies without the need of worrying as much about finances.

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with Bold.org for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

Fabiola Rodriguez

Fabiola Rodriguez

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me on my journey to get to the school of my first choice by showing me all the options I have. I didn’t know of the College of Southern Nevada until I went on this website, and it helped me look for other choices and compare what colleges would be right for me.

Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Pace University - Westchester

Pleasantville, NY

Union University

Jackson, TN