Sustainable spending can be a selfish act


Teagan Kimbro, Columnist

Sustainability, a word that is heard now more than ever, generally is perceived as an abstract cause. However, as a student, sustainability efforts are easy and will directly benefit you in ways that aren’t abstract. For example, purchasing from bulk bins on average saves the customer 56 percent. Depending on the purchase, this may only save a few cents, but the average college student, according to, spends $80-120 on groceries per month bringing the savings up to $67 dollars. Switching to buying bulk saves money and furthermore reduces the amount of packaging significantly. Each bulk item purchased is packaging that isn’t used, especially if you begin bringing your own reusable packaging to the store. Researchers at Portland State found that if all Americans made this switch it could save tens of millions pounds of waste from landfills, on top of the $67 saved per by individuals per month.

Not only do small and eco-friendly changes benefit your wallet, but they will improve your health. In the warmer months, choosing to ride a bike rather than a car can improve concentration in school, save money, and increase your well being while reducing gas emissions. From even the outskirts of Ellensburg, bike rides to campus take less than 20 minutes. This ultimately makes for 40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day while subtracting travel time. Increasing exercise has proven to improve concentration and mental clarity, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, help with weight loss and the list continues on, according to the American Intercontinental University. Furthermore, students who exercise regularly have a higher GPA than those who don’t, according to Mike McKenzie, PhD, chair of exercise physiology sports medicine at Winston-Salem State University. If none of that sounds appealing, just think about how much time could be saved by not looking for parking.

Sustainability not only has selfish outcomes, but it can have selfish motivations. According to State of Global Air, a child born today will live 20 months less than adults today due to global air quality decreasing alone. There are also concerns regarding flooding, heat, and natural disasters if action is not taken. Choosing to be aware of one’s environmental impact, ultimately is one of the most selfish things someone can do in order to help prevent some of these issues. Although sustainability isn’t something to overwhelm anyone with. It cannot be solved by one individual. It can be helped through small actions such as buying in bulk or riding a bike. In the long run, it will help a greater purpose, but as students, often our lives can’t and shouldn’t revolve around worrying about sustainability. However, small and sustainable changes impact the world’s health, but more importantly, your own well being.