Living sustainably can help you SAVE money. The University of Michigan is a world leader in sustainability practices and research, and we can give you the tools and knowledge to make sustainable choices that save the earth and your bank account!
Now that you live off campus, you have to buy your own food! When shopping, remember that vegetables and fruit are less expensive and more sustainable than meats. Did you know it takes more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to produce 366 heads of lettuce? To save money and resources, you might consider going plant based or eating more local produce. Read "Where to Grab Your Groceries" for more information on local, sustainable food shopping options in Ann Arbor.
Cutting Down Your Utility Bills
Utilities can be a sneaky expense, especially if you are frequently using energy eaters like chargers and appliances. Wasted energy is wasted money, so be sure to turn off the lights and unplug appliances that aren’t in use. You can save by investing in a power strip with an on/off switch. If you turn it off when it’s not in use, you’ll save money on electricity. When doing laundry, think about washing your clothes in cold water. They get just as clean, they keep their shape longer, and the difference in energy cost will add up. Frequently changing your thermostat is also an extra cost. Think about natural (and free) ways to heat and cool your home. Open the blinds when the sun is shining or seal windows and doors closed to trap heat in the winter!
Reuse and Recycle
Recycling helps us build a sustainable community. Try to recycle more than just paper, bottles, and boxes! Consider buying or donating clothing and furniture at second-hand stores. This can save you a ton of money while helping the recycling process. Composting is another great way to recycle and reduce food waste. Invest in a $25 compost cart from the city of Ann Arbor, and use your compost to grow fresh veggies and herbs. Learn more about what you can recycle from Recycle Ann Arbor.
Environmentally Friendly Transportation
Sharing a ride with your friends and fellow students can reduce transportation waste. Save time on parking by taking the Blue Bus to class. TheRide also has convenient stops around campus. Lyft Line and UberPool are both ride sharing options when you’re looking for a cost-effective way to get to campus. For more information on free and sustainable transportation in and around Ann Arbor, read "Getting Around the Campus and Town".
For more information on living sustainably visit the U-M Sustainability Website.
-Contributed by Jada Toledo, U-M Sustainability