How to Live Sustainably: A Student Guide

A sustainable lifestyle is hard to achieve, especially as a college student, but it isn’t impossible. There are many different ways that students, specifically Temple students, can start their sustainability journey quite easily. Although my journey is still ongoing, I have found three tips that helped me start living sustainably while on campus, and hopefully, these tips will encourage other students to do the same.

One key tip to dramatically reduce one’s plastic waste is by using reusable kitchen items such as plates, cups, utensils and cloth napkins. This even applies to those who don’t have access to a kitchen. Swapping out disposable items for reusables items not only helped control the amount of single-use plastics I used, but also reduced my overall garbage trips. Additionally, I found using cloth napkins to be extremely helpful. Reusing the same 15 napkins throughout the semester dramatically curbed my use of paper napkins.

Another tip to help students lead more sustainable lives is to try using public transportation methods. Though it is convenient to have a personal vehicle, the negative effects of a car certainly outweigh convenience. Not only are cars harmful to the environment, but it is a lot more expensive to buy gas than it is to pay for public transportation.

My last tip for living more sustainably as a college student is to join the Office of Sustainability. Temple University has a great sustainability department that provides students with resources, knowledge, and fellowship with like-minded people. I have learned so much through guest speakers, and this department offers many opportunities for students to help improve the environment around them. Overall, this is a great resource for students who are interested in sustainability.

Deciding to go sustainable is a daunting decision for many students. More often than not, people just don’t know where to start. Hopefully, these three tips will spark an interest in college students to consider living a more sustainable lifestyle on campus. One doesn’t have to be a sustainability guru to make a difference, they just need to take the first step.

Constantine Van Sickle, Account Associate

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