4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Live More Sustainably

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about going green? Is it buying a hybrid car? Growing your own food? Or installing solar panels? If so, you are not alone. Sometimes, people tend to associate the terms “going green” and “living sustainably” with actions that cost large amounts of money or take up precious spans of time. For these reasons, we may be hesitant to live more environmentally friendly.

Purchasing energy efficient appliances and low gas mileage automobiles are great ways to live greener; but for busy college students who are living on a budget, these choices may not be feasible at the time. Here’s the good news: There are a multitude of ways that you can start living a greener lifestyle that are time sensitive and budget-friendly.

  1. Ditch the bottled water

glass of water and a water bottle

Though it may seem easy and convenient, the manufacturing of plastic bottles consumes immense amounts of energy. Once disposed, plastic bottles are subject to polluting water bodies and piling up in landfills. So instead of buying bottle of water from the campus cafe, save money and reduce waste by purchasing a reusable water bottle.

  1. Adjust your residential thermostat when no one is home

Person adjusting a thermostat


Anybody home? If not, think about adjusting your thermostat before leaving. Here are some ways to reduce household energy consumption and your electric bill!

  • Set your thermostat fan switch to “auto” to save energy. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air running constantly.
  • In the summer, raise the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees to save on energy used to power the A/C.
  • In the winter, lower your thermostat by a few degrees to reduce energy for heating.

For more household tips, check out Duke Energy’s 100 Ways to Save Energy at Home

  1.  Go digital

Be green keep it on the screen

Taking advantage of technology can be an effective way to go green in the classroom. Before printing off those umpteen pages of PowerPoint slides for your next lecture, bring your laptop to class and access your notes online.

  1. Get Involved!

Greening cream & crimson

Participating in sustainability events allows you to share your green habits and learn new ones too! Indiana University participates in programs such as Recyclemania and the IU Energy Challenge that create opportunities for students making their lives greener, while doing the same for IU.

Avril Carter
Avril Carter

Year of graduation: May 2016

Degree and Major: Masters of Environmental Science - Water Resources concentration

Student Organizations/Extra-Curricular Activities: Graduate Assistant for SPEA Undergraduate Office

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