How can I live more sustainably as a UGA student in Athens?

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With the threat of global warming and climate change looming over our heads, living eco-friendly and being sustainable sound like good ideas. People who can afford it have switched to using solar power and driving electric cars, but for many UGA students living in Athens, it's difficult to live sustainably because it can get so expensive. So, here are a few reminders and suggestions for when you move into your Athens apartment to help you live more environmentally conscious on a friendly budget. 

Not Everything Needs to Be New 

When you're buying clothes, consider making purchases at thrift stores and other places where you can buy gently used clothing. On average, an item of clothing is only worn seven times before it gets thrown out and goes straight to a landfill. So, instead of using fast-fashion brands, like Shein and Romwe, head to your local Goodwill where you can find trendy clothes at a fair price while also limiting the amount of clothing that gets trashed. In a similar fashion, when you decide to clear out your closet for a fresh start, don't dispose of the clothes that can potentially be worn again; either donate them or give them to someone you know will use them.

Turn Off the Lights!

When you're a college student living off-campus at UGA, you're bound to save money in the little ways that you can. It can be as simple as turning off the lights when you're not in the room. Not only will this help reduce your monthly utility costs but also effectively contributes to sustainable living. Same with electronic items; unplug them if you're not using them which is also a good safety tip to prevent short-circuiting. Also, take shorter showers! We all know how good it feels to stand under a warm stream of water for more than a few minutes, but have you ever thought about just how much water is being wasted? Even washing your clothes in cooler temperatures can have a great effect and prolongs the life of your clothing. If you have roommates, be sure to give them these little tips because, in the long run, doing these little things can have a large impact on your carbon footprint.

Upcycle More

Paper towels are so last year! Instead of going through rolls of paper towels each month, start using microfiber cloths or old t-shirts as rags to clean countertops and other messy surfaces. In your Athens student apartment, you'll most likely be living with multiple people, meaning that the shared spaces (like the kitchen) will be in need of frequent cleaning. This can lead to a large amount of waste if you're always using Clorox wipes and paper towels to clean up spills and crumbs. Instead, switch to using cloths and cleaning spray so you can throw the used rags in the wash and reuse them again instead of unnecessarily throwing them out. 

Channel Your Inner DIYer

When you move into your new off-campus apartment, you're going to want to decorate the place and add a lot of personality. With a furnished apartment, you won't need to worry about buying a couch or coffee table but if you're moving into a place where you're responsible for buying all the necessities, choosing to DIY them is a wallet-friendly alternative. You may find a promising table or bookshelf at a yard sale for cheap which you can then paint and redecorate as you wish. Similarly, find creative ways to make decorative items for your apartment. There's really nothing that a can of paint and a hot glue gun can't achieve!  

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of or any of our advertising partners.