Best Sustainable Lifestyle Swaps For Students

Over the years, the topic of sustainability has been dominant throughout social media. We have been diligently told thousands of times how to live a more sustainable life. Now, there are obvious changes we know we can make and perhaps already have. Switch to reusable water bottles, coffee cups, cutlery, straws, and grocery bags. Turn off the lights, don’t let the water run for too long when brushing your teeth or doing the dishes – the list goes on and on.

As students, living a more sustainable lifestyle is just one more thing that we have to worry about. A lot of the options out there take up a lot of our time and are increasingly expensive. But that’s not our reality. We all have a role to play in helping to create a better future. Here are some relevant and easy student-friendly suggestions that you can aim to practice in your life. And remember, you don’t have to do them all, just start small. Don’t stress on being perfect. A sustainable lifestyle should most importantly be enjoyable!

Eco-Friendly Personal Hygiene Products

When we really start to think about our morning and nighttime routines, the majority of products we use can be extremely harmful to the environment. Whether it’s a single-use product, covered in plastic, or a mainstream brand, you could consider switching some of your current products to more eco-friendly options. Here are some impactful alternatives to be mindful of: limit single-use razors, switch to bars of soap, shampoo, and conditioner, remove plastic toothbrushes, and consider investing in more eco-friendly products or brands. And of course, buy some fun reusable masks!

Eat Seasonal and Support Local

Eating seasonally and locally helps drive our community rather than supporting the global food system that affects the climate in so many negative ways. Not only do you receive healthier nutrients from local foods, but you better the economy as well. Be mindful of where your food comes from, even when shopping in major grocery stores. It’s now more important than ever to support our local farmers and businesses. There are many markets throughout Toronto, one being Ryerson’s very own urban farm!

ruurbanfarm Instagram
Reduce Textbooks

Our new online learning platform has made this sustainable lifestyle swap much easier. As students, it’s important to try and reduce the amount of textbooks and hard copies of books that we use during school. Consciously switching to electronic versions of any type of reading material and note taking is very beneficial towards the planet as we move forward in our studies.

Recycle and Compost

These two actions are especially undervalued. Many students lack the information on how to recycle and compost correctly and the majority of us don’t make the time to actually do these things. If properly organized, these two practices can make a huge difference in your life and in the world. If there are two easy and cheap ways to live more sustainably, they would be to properly start recycling and composting.

The Plastic Problem

We are dealing with so many other climate issues that plastics have been pushed to the background even though their negative impact on the planet is becoming increasingly worse. Be mindful of the products you buy that contain plastic and avoid single-use plastics at all costs. Consider educating yourself on this worldwide issue. Let’s all work together to try and avoid the plastics humans have produced that are slowly replacing the fish in our oceans.

There is so much pressure to live a perfectly sustainable life. So much so that it’s actually become less appealing to make an effort to do it. We are all hypocrites. We all splurge and get takeaway coffees every once in a while, we still buy things in plastic, we don’t compost because it takes up too much of our day, and we take long, hot showers in the depths of winter. And that’s okay. You can’t completely change your life in the blink of an eye. Just remember that no one is perfect. Not even Greta Thunberg. 


The most beneficial thing to practice, when it comes to sustainability, is mindfulness. Start with one simple thing, slow down, and find what works for you. And if you think one small change won’t make a difference? Know that it will.

Posted in Blog.