How to reduce your carbon footprint (as students)

In light of taking an environment class this semester, I’m sharing simple tips we (as students!) can reduce our carbon footprint as well as some pertinent lessons I’ve learned from the class.

  • Food
    • Change the way you eat, by consuming food in line with the food pyramid: believe it or not eating less meat makes a bigger difference than driving around cars! Meat emits methane, a gas which traps a lot more heat than carbon dioxide. Fun fact: Meat production receives a lot more federal subsidies than vegetables yet federal nutrition recommendations suggests that we should eat more of vegetables and grains (major irony).
    • A fuzzy representation of federal subsidies meat production receives

      Eat enough food and avoid wasting. This means putting enough food on your plate that you know you can finish. When you can’t, keep the leftovers for another time (also a money saving tip instead of chucking it away).

    • Grocery shopping: bring your own bags and if you have extra money, purchase produce bags so you can load up fruits and vegetables without using single use plastic provided at the supermarket.
  • Clothing
    • Wash your clothes in cold water: this helps the clothes last longer and reduces energy from heating up water.
    • Avoid fast fashion: they don’t last long and some of the trendy pieces are only meant to last a season.
    • Think in the long term when buying new clothes, will I still like this piece? Can it withstand the test of time?
  • Shopping
    • If you’re shopping on Amazon and don’t need your things immediately, you can opt for Amazon Day Delivery. This groups your items together and delivers them all on the same day and reduces packaging waste.
    • Buy less stuff: buy what you really need and opt for used items when you need something. E.g. if you need a new winter coat, Patagonia now sells used and repaired winter gear at a reduced price (great way to save money).
    • Bring your own reusable bag everywhere.
    • Support environmentally responsible companies.
  • Donations (if you have cash to spare)
    • If you do have extra cash to spare, consider donating to environmental NGOs
    • Purchase carbon offsets to offset air travel or any sort of travel. ( Money received is redirected to investing in renewable energy, reforestation and energy efficiency projects.


senior studying economics + psychology. occasional writer, ambivert, and can be found in coffee shops

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