Ever since I’ve come to Rotterdam, living in an eco-friendly manner has become a big part of my life. I feel excited about the idea of going green to help the environment and I hope to help people feel this way too. I understand that it can be difficult to completely change your lifestyle, so I am going to point out some simple ways to incorporate sustainability and eco friendliness to your life!
- Firstly, buy a reusable water bottle. Not only will this prevent you from purchasing a dozen plastic bottles but it’ll make your life a lot easier and lead to more water consumption.
- I know meat is delicious! I don’t know if I can ever completely cut it out of my life. Since I can’t completely go meat free, I try to go vegetarian every once in a while. For example, one week with no chicken/beef and mostly greens, and I actually feel pretty great about myself after that.
- Say no to plastic bags! Do you know the amount of plastic bags that find their way into the ocean and trap animals? Cloth bags are pretty in these days. Invest in them and take them with you every time you go grocery shopping! The bags don’t take up much space and can normally fold into a very small size. A plus point is they look great too!
- Instead of purchasing paper cups everytime you want coffee, buy a personal coffee cup that you can take around with you. Oh, and did you know that Starbucks at Erasmus University Rotterdam gives you a discount if you bring your own cup? If you’re a frequent coffee drinker, this may save you a lot of money too.
- Try shopping at local markets with fresh fruits and vegetables instead of only purchasing from grocery stores. Lucky for your Rotterdam residents, there’s a market outside Markthal every Tuesday and Sunday where you can get fresh fruits, veggies, flowers and lots of other items. Can you imagine getting a kilo of grapes for 1 euro?
- Everyone loves shopping right? But there’s no need to shop at big brands all the time. Go to thrift or vintage stores once in a while, where you can honestly find great clothes. Erasmus Sustainability Hub often organizes clothing swaps where you can exchange your clothes in return for others. Not only does this mean getting rid of the clothes you are sick of wearing, but it also means new clothes!
- If you’re ever looking to get rid of clothes, furniture or even jewellery try looking for someone you could donate it to instead of throwing it out. Your trash may be someone else’s treasure!
- Last but not least, try to switch off the lights every time you’re not using it. It’s a small step towards consuming energy, but it really can make a big difference.
I really hope these tips encourage you to be more eco-friendly. Most of these tips benefit you as well as the environment so I guess that leaves no reason not to go green!
By Sana Sardar