Education. It was a key pillar in my family home growing up. My parents were raised in the beautiful country of Ghana with a high value on education. They instilled that value into my sisters and I. A quote I heard hundreds of time:
“Education is the only thing no one can take away from you.”
Like the real MVPs my parents are they put in work, work, work to make sure my sisters and I had the best education possible. We had personal tutors, went to educational centers, and even moved neighborhoods in pursuit of better schools. I am forever grateful for what my parents instilled in me and blessed to be on track to have my Master degree in 2019. Although, they really want at a Ph.D. like any true African parents would I can confidently say I’m done for sure but maybe you little sis!
Graduate School. A new chapter of my life I started last year. I’m currently pursuing a Master in Public Policy (MPP) with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. Essentially I’m learning how to make the world better through policy creation, implementation, and evaluation. It’s been truly insightful so far and has allowed me to meet some incredible people and grow in my knowledge.
Fall Semester begins in just a few short days. Yay! I will have new classes, professors, and classmates. This semester I want to continue to incorporate my New Year’s Resolutions into this new semester. The main one I want to focus on and kill it, like an African woman killing a fly with one try, is replacing bad habits with good habits.
So I asked myself how can I emulate a more minimalist and zerowaste lifestyle while being a student? Here are a few ideas I came up with and will practice this school year.
Go paperless: Now I know this will be the hardest part for me. I like taking notes. Old school style. Notebooks. Pencils. The works. I remember the days of handwritten notes and the planning that used to go into sneaking the note over to your friend across the room. Those days are long gone and seemed to have swooped up note-taking in a notebook with it. Without a doubt, I know I will miss hand writing my notes for a while but this semester I am going to transition to typing my notes on Google Docs. It will be a great benefit to be able to access my notes wherever I can access Internet.Always bring food: Food is the most important thing of the day I would argue. I have yet to have a good day that didn’t include food. As a young adult I can honestly say I know myself pretty well and this girl gets “(h)angry” if I don’t get an adequate amount of food. With that being said, to cut back on my plastic consumption, save some money, and my chances to get hangry I will be bringing my own lunch and snacks to school.
Always bring a bottle: I will bringing my own bottle (BMOB) every day to campus whether this is for water, a smoothie, or tea in the cold months. This will 1) help me drink more water 2) eliminate buying plastic drinks 3) save me money. The pros clearly outweigh the only con of having to carry a bottle around.Only bring one bag: I will just be bringing one bag to and from campus. I used to have a purse and a backpack but it quickly became too much and more responsibilities than I cared for. Moving forward, I will have everything I need for school in my one backpack. This backpack will also be lighter because most days I will just be carrying my laptop, charger, food, water bottle, personal essential items.I’m going to be honest with you guys, I am not looking forward to trying all these sustainable steps. I am not looking forward to this but I am more excited about the end result. I will be a minimalist and zerowaste student helping out Mama Earth. That’s a enough to fuel me through this journey.
How are you incorporating minimalism and zerowaste into your school year?