5 Easy Ways to Be Greener This Year
2016 was, without a doubt, a bad year for the environment. On record as the hottest year on earth, 2016 saw ice sheets melting, the Arctic continuing to warm, and coral reefs dying. If you've already given up on going to Ratner every morning and are looking for a New Year's resolution that'll help you and the earth, consider adopting a few of these MODA-approved lifestyle changes.
1. Swap your plastic water bottle habit in favor of a reusable one
From Ratner to the Reg, these water bottles will keep you hydrated and fashionable wherever you go. Plastic water bottles are horrible for the environment, fill landfills, and simply aren't as cute as these alternatives.
2. Go vegetarian or vegan a few days a week
In the dining hall, being vegetarian is difficult. Being vegan is practically unimaginable. But swapping out meat, dairy, or eggs a few times a week isn't overwhelmingly impossible - even swapping a bagel with cream cheese for a bagel with peanut butter is a step in the right direction! Animal by-products, meat especially, produce lots of greenhouse gases and are very water intensive. Just substituting a veggie patty or doubling up on beans a few times a week can help make a difference.
3. Shop at thrift and consignment stores in favor of department stores
If you're in the market for a new party dress or a plain grey shirt, consider checking out a thrift store (such as Crossroads Trading Co. or Buffalo Exchange) for a fashion steal. Plus, if you go vintage, you'll rarely have to worry about owning the same sweet denim jacket that you have. You can even earn some cash selling your old clothes to these companies! The average American throws away 70 pounds (!!) of clothes a year so take a step that's easy on the environment and your wallet!
4. Use reusable bags instead of taking plastic or paper
Instead of being one of the hundreds of people walking around on campus with a Treasure Island or Hyde Park Produce, add some style to your weekly grocery shopping trip and pick up a small foldable reusable bag - like Baggu's reusable bag! It's small enough to fit in the pocket of your backpack so you never have to worry about remembering to bring it with you.
5. Eat locally and in season!
Instead of buying imported Chilean strawberries, try local fruit like apples from Indiana! The gas used to travel the distance from the farm to your plate can really add up. Not to mention that buying out of season tends to lead to lower quality fruit, since the fruit is picked before it's ripe in order to make it to another part of the country without going bad.
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