My goal this year is to try and make my college apartment with my wonderful roommate as low waste as we can. Some of it is going to be more of a challenge than others, but I am up for it to try and make a positive impact this year.
1st Change: No Paper Towels
I think that my roommate and I probably went through our fair share of paper towels our first few years of college. I want to try and switch to being paperless, and I’m doing that by basically bringing a bunch of old hand towels that my family doesn’t use anymore to use instead. My mom has a notorious habit of putting old towels in drawers and never using them, so I don’t think she would be too upset if I took some off her hands. I also brought up this idea to my roommate before deciding to do it because I want her to feel comfortable in our apartment as well. She was surprisingly okay with it, but I also think she liked the idea that we wouldn’t have to spend money on paper towels anymore.
2nd Change: Rechargeable Batteries
We don’t really use batteries all that much unless it is for remote and game controllers, since most of our electronics come with chargers to begin with. However, even though we don’t consume a lot of batteries, I do think that it is important to still buy what little we do use responsibly. You can find the rechargeable battery packs and their chargers wherever there is a battery stand, and while they can cost you anywhere from $15-30, you get to recharge those batteries over and over again, so long as you don’t lose them. I’ve actually been meaning to make this swap myself for a long time, but it always just escapes my mind whenever I’m out at the store.
3rd Change: Drying Rack
I bought a space saving drying rack for me and my roommate to use this year for our towels, but also so I could hang dry some of my clothes in order to save on the amount of energy I use. It is a pretty small drying rack, but I could definitely use it for my more delicate and fussy clothing in the future.
4th Change: Reusable Dinnerware
This isn’t so much of a change for me and my roommate as we had reusable plates and bowls last year, but that hasn’t been true for all of our college careers. I’m very ashamed looking back at how many disposable plates and plastic forks and spoons we threw away all in the name of convenience. Luckily, my sister has an old dish set that she was looking to get rid of and has graciously given to me.
5th Change: Bar Hand Soap
We actually have our own bathroom this year instead of having a community one which is honestly a game changer for us. Since it is our own personal bathroom, that means that we have to be the ones to buy the soap and the toilet paper for it. I don’t think that I’m going to go so far as to buy sustainable toilet paper just yet, but I am going to have us washing our hands with bar soap and not liquid soap if I can help it. I’ve said it about a hundred times on this blog, but bar soap uses much less packaging than liquid and is just better in my opinion.
6th Change: Reusing
I feel like a lot of people get in the habit of wanting to get all new things every year they are in college, but after three years, you basically already have everything that you need to live comfortably away from home. My roommate and I reuse almost everything we’ve used in the past, like our bedding and our towels. I know that I could probably use a new mattress topper and sheet set since mine are pretty well worn, but I only have one year left of needing anything that will fit a Twin XL bed, so why would I?
7th Change: DIYs
A lot of the new stuff in our apartment this year that we wanted more than we needed (like my plant shelf) we’ve been trying to make ourselves as much as possible. I really want to try my hand at making a lot of the tings that I need this year, like household cleaners. I’m even looking into getting some clay from the craft stores in town and maybe making my own plant pots for when mine eventually outgrow their current ones. I take pride in the things I make and I know that when I make them that they are exactly how I want them to be. So for a lot of my new wants, I’m going to see if it would even be feasible for me to make them myself before going out and buying them.