Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: Ways to Go Green on Your Own

Even when I was younger and global warming and the environment seemed to be a much more distant problem, I was still constantly told by adults to “go green” and “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” As a kid, my idea of using the three R’s was making a guitar out of the tissue box my mom was going to throw away.

Now that the environment is in a much more rapid decline and I’ve started to hear things like, “Don’t you want the earth to be safe for your great great great grandchildren,” it makes me think of ways I can contribute. But I’m just a college kid and it can seem like there’s nothing huge I can do that’s going to make an impact. But recycling water bottles and buying from environmentally friendly companies, like this list I’ve compiled here, is a small step forward:

Drumi: The Foot Powered Washing Machine

The first product I’ve come across is still in its fundraising stages, but it has raised more than enough funds, so I’m hoping the actual product will be out in due time. It’s called Drumi and it’s a small washing machine that’s powered by using a foot pedal. It only takes 5-10 minutes per load (even though the loads are definitely going to be smaller) and it uses 80% less water than normal washing machines. That’s definitely handy for people with small apartments or dorm rooms and it definitely beats the rush of having to wait for washing machines on Sunday when everyone in the dorm building is doing laundry at the same time.


This product takes the three R’s to a whole new level. Sprout makes pencils that can be used just like normal pencils, and then when the pencil becomes too short to use anymore, you plant it and it grows into a flower or other plant. Imagine using a pencil to take notes in a literature class and then a couple of months later it’s growing into flowers, fruits, or herbs. They even make colored pencils. Those adult coloring books will definitely be brighter with these sustainable tools.


A little different from the previous products, Tentree doesn’t make its products sustainable, but every product purchased is still making a difference. For each product purchased on their website, Tentree plants ten trees somewhere in the world where trees are needed. It often targets areas that were devastated by forest fires, so that their environment can be rebuilt. Their website is very interactive and there’s even a map that shows where the trees have been planted so you can see which areas you’re helping with each purchase.

Seventh Generation

You might have seen this line of products when you’re shopping for cleaning products. Seventh Generation is a line of cleaning products that are made entirely from plants. Not only are they sustainable, but it’s also safe around pets and children because you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals. They also don’t test on animals, so it’s safe for animals even before you purchase it.

If you’re anything like me and often wonder what to do about the slowly declining environment around you, it’s best to start small. If course, these are not the only eco-friendly companies out there, but it’s definitely a list that can get you started.

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