Staying Sustainable in COVID-Era College

Lots of positives to report: My sister's cat, who's scared of everyone, approached me and let me pet her. I moved in to college. My dorm is clean and comfortable, my roommate is awesome and so is everyone I've met, people here are actually wearing masks and distancing. College classes are harder than high school ones and I enjoy the challenge.

Still, the day after move-in, I felt shaky and weepy and like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone. Which is silly. I'm just spacey and melodramatic and feeling a little freaked out about being away from home for real, about having to meet and connect with new people. As scary as it feels, I know that it's a blessing to be here.

So today, after getting breakfast with my roommate, I did a Kathryn Morgan ballet barre and turnout workout, then played guitar for an hour and a half. Then I changed my laptop background to a tile of Aragorn saying "havo dad, Legolas." Self-care at its finest. And things feel okay.

Staying Sustainable in COVID-Era College
The dining halls at Clemson are working hard to keep everything sanitary so we stay healthy (thank you!). This means a lot of single-use plastic. Every meal is served in Styrofoam to-go boxes, carried out in plastic bags, eaten with disposable plastic silverware, and washed down with water from plastic bottles. 

I'm not complaining. There's really no other way to efficiently nourish however many thousands of kids come through the dining halls each day. I greatly appreciate everything the staff at Clemson is doing for us. It's on us, the students, to make sustainable decisions. 
  • Styrofoam box
    I don't think there's a way around this, since that's what the food is served in. If anyone has an alternative, please let me know!
  • instead of plastic bags
    The first time I ate at the dining hall, I just carried everything myself. The second time, my hands were too full to carry it all so I accepted the plastic bag. I'm going to keep using that same bag instead of taking a new one every time. When it wears out, I'll use one of the reusable bags I brought. Perhaps a Blergh Bag!
  • instead of plasticware
    I managed to hawk an old set of silverware off my sister, whose house I stayed at for a few weeks before moving into the dorm. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a sister who lets you stay at her house and take her stuff, but if you are able to get a hold of some reusable silverware I encourage it! Some dorms here have small kitchens where you could wash your silverware, or you could wash it in the bathroom sink. You could also wash and reuse the plastic silverware from the dining hall.
  • instead of plastic bottles
    I brought a couple reusable bottles and I've been bringing one with me everywhere. Again, you could also just wash and reuse a plastic one! I used to do this all the time at home. If you're not going to reuse them, please recycle them!

I've definitely forgotten to do some of it several times, and some times it's just not possible. There's no way to be perfectly sustainable. I encourage you to consider you own situation, prioritize taking care of yourself, then look at taking care of the planet. Life's gonna go on if you use a plastic fork every once in a while. 

And if you have any other tips, let me know in the comments below, via email, or on Facebook or Instagram. xo

Latest flavors
Making the most of the last few days I would have access to a full kitchen for a long time, my sister and I made:

Orange-peach cheesecake with candied oranges and a honey crust. This was part of my mom's and my (and now my sister's) Chocolate Snowball challenge. Almost finished with all the cakes!

Hello Kitty owo pasta with brown butter, hazelnuts, sweet potato, kale, and parmesan. Used the rest of the pasta from my Big Kid Cuisines.

My roommate gifted me these pretty cookies from Whimsy Cookie Co!

Latest words
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. all you ever wanted to know about 19th-century France and more
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk & E.B. White. you have to know the rules before you can break them on your blog
  • Clemson Barnes and Nobles offered us complementary Wall Street Journal access. I just got it last night so I haven't read anything yet, but I'm interested to start since it has a more economic focus and a conservative leaning compared to the other news sources I've used recently.

Latest sounds
  • She Wrote That. Podcast with Charlotte Varnes and guest author Sasha Laurens
  • Muddy Waters. trying to get to know his music since it's iconic

If things feel freaky and you start likening yourself to a cheesy Bob Dylan song, I recommend finding a cheesier desktop background. It's hard to take yourself seriously that way.

Savo 'lass a lalaith,

Heather <3

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