Words like sustainability and environmentalism get spread around like wildfire. It’s not feasible for everyone to change overnight, but there are steps we should take.
Many people try to shop sustainably, recognizing and reducing the impact the products we buy make, but some might think it is only reserved for privileged folks.
Even the word environmentalism has become a status symbol, with the trend of eco-friendly products, like reusable straws and HydroFlasks taking over.
Moving over to a sustainable way of living doesn’t have to be a trend or just for the rich, it’s all about baby steps and starting out with what you already have at home.
We voice our concerns and wants with dollars and try to keep in mind: reuse, reduce, reuse and recycle.
There is a notion that being sustainable means having a large budget to be able to buy all these environmentally friendly products.
Newsflash: the average person doesn’t have enough money to buy all these “green” things.
Truthfully, the best way to live a sustainable life is to not buy new products and just use what we have at home. Buy second hand and buy new as a last resort.
As this trend becomes more popular, sustainability should be a mindset, not a lifestyle.
“A lot of people are doing small things because they see their peers doing it which is awesome and does benefit the environment in ways but is somewhat negligible because the big contributors to trash and pollution are industries, not consumers,” said industrial design major, Owen Clark.
People also have the tendency to buy all these sustainable items and end up with too many HydroFlasks, too many silicone straws and too many canvas bags that end up never getting used or put in the trash. Just buy what you need and if you’re stuck on making a decision, it’s probably best not to buy.
Some easy things most students already have at home is to bring reusable containers such as Tupperware, reusable bottles, utensils and reusable bags.
“Unfortunately, due to the demand of sustainability many of these industries have begun to greenwash on a large scale,” Clark said. “This both does nothing to better their carbon footprint and quells the push for reform. People just assume the companies are bettering themselves because they throw out buzzwords that are hardly even quantifiable.”