I encourage my friends to be more eco-friendly (without bombarding them, of course) by throwing out a suggestion of using a reusable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic one or bringing a collapsible, reusable straw when we go out. Hauling around a water bottle can be inconvenient, so in high school, my friends and I bought matching water bottles and decorated them. My favorite is an orange bottle with a green cap--it looks like a fat carrot. I think it is much easier to remember to bring a water bottle with you when it is special and personalized.
Personally, I carry around a few reusable products, even if it might look silly to someone else. When I go to campus or go on a trip, I always have my reusable water bottle, chopsticks, silverware, and straw. They are so small, so why not bring them with me? I also have found that thrift shopping is much more eco-friendly than buying new clothes. The clothing industry uses an enormous amount of water and is a dangerous source of water contamination, as well as creating 16 million tons of waste in US landfills alone. Thrift shopping means less new clothing is produced and it keeps that clothing out of landfills. Thrifting isn’t just more eco-friendly, it's more fun than shopping online or in a mall. I like finding old pieces and putting them to use again.
Keeping the environment clean has always been a soft spot for me. I always notice how much trash there is. I get annoyed when I see trash sitting next to a trash bin or when I see random trash on a highway or in the middle of nowhere. It is saddening to read articles stating how trash has destroyed some of our ecosystems. Trash is inevitable but it needs to be handled correctly and can be reduced in so many ways.