How to be More Sustainable


Lettuce and onions regrowing in the Tice family’s kitchen. Photo provided by Maryanne Tice

Abigail Tice, Editor

Radishes, onions, and broccoli sprout in the Tice household. Photo provided by Maryanne Tice

Many people are under the impression that in order to live a sustainable life, one must completely uproot their way of living. But that’s not the case at all! Here are a few easy ways that you can gradually transition into being more sustainable for little to no cost.

One thing that my family just recently started doing is plant propagation. With our leftover lettuce, onions, and green onions, we put them in a glass jar of water in a sunny area and wait for them to regenerate. This is a really good way to save money on produce at the grocery store–plus, it’s fun to watch them grow.

Another simple thing that my family does to help reduce waste in our household is maintaining our compost bin. We put things like banana peels, eggshells, and other leftover fruits and veggies in our compost container and add them to our larger pile in the backyard when it gets full. The compost is a great way to help fertilize your soil and grow healthy plants by composing organic solids wastes that would usually end up in landfills.

A super simple way to reduce waste in your bathroom is to replace your bottled shampoo and conditioner with bar versions of each. You can find things like this online but my family’s personal favorite comes from a shop on Etsy called NaturisticBath. This Etsy shop sells so many different flavors that you can choose from. Along with reducing your use of plastic, buying bar shampoo and conditioner helps smaller businesses stay afloat.

Royal Memphis Velasco ’22 shares how she lives her life more sustainably, “I started buying bar shampoo and conditioner to help the production of plastic waste. I also use my HydroFlask everyday to limit my use of plastic water bottles.”

She later shared what she thinks it means to be sustainable, “To me, being sustainable means that you are aware of your impact on the environment and how all the little things matter.”

Of course there are always the “basic” things that you can do in your house like turning off lights and faucets when they’re not in use, but if you want to take a step further than doing just that then the above mentioned ideas are a great way to start.

If you would like to learn more about how to reform your life to be more sustainable, you can follow the account @reform_and_sustain managed by my environment and sustainability student sister Emma Tice ’13. Reform and sustain is a grassroots organization dedicated to documenting testimonies of nature preservation, personal wellness, and commitment to enriching our communities.

Emma claims that her goal for this account is to, “showcase different examples of people living sustainably. It provides a space for inspiration, especially to those who feel very new to the concept of sustainability. I want everyone to feel like they’re able to contribute to help the environment in their own way.”