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Climate change is an ongoing and important issue in today’s society, and it’s crucial we all do our bit to become more sustainable and lower our carbon footprint.
Whilst university life is hectic, and your schedule may be super busy, there are a few easy things and everyday swaps you can make to help the planet.
There is also a common misconception that being more environmentally friendly comes at a price and something a student budget does not permit. However, there are many ways you can help do your bit without having to spend anything and even ways sustainability can save you money!
Here are some easy sustainability tips to become more sustainable whilst at university:
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If you commute to university, try swapping to a more environmentally sustainable mode of transport such as cycling or getting the bus to work.
Think about if you could walk somewhere instead of taking transport, this will not only save you money, but is a great way to exercise and have sometime for yourself. Put on your favorite podcast, and enjoy exploring new areas around your university!
If you’re looking for a new podcast, we’ve put together a list of the best podcasts for graduates!
Where you can, try to avoid printing off essays and papers and instead read them online.
Most universities will offer papers online, and this is a great way to reduce paper waste and also save you time and energy printing!
Eating meat-free alternatives and giving up meat for one day a week, is a great way to lower your weekly consumption of meat during the entire year and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
Eating less meat will also help you save a few more pennies and is a great way to try out new recipes! Looking for more budgeting tips at university? Check out our blog for some top money saving tips for students!
To reduce food waste, it’s a good idea to plan your meals each week and only buy what you need. Cooking with your housemates is a great way to help reduce your food waste and to also save on food costs.
Recycling at university may not be your number one priority, but it’s really important to make sure you are recycling where you can. Make sure to look up where you nearest bins/recycling centre is and which days these are collected.
Living in university accommodation or student housing you’re unlikely to have a compost bin. ShareWaste is a great website where you can find local people in your area willing to share their compost bin!
There are many small changes and things you can do to be more sustainable when it comes to shopping. Here are some of the top ways to be more eco-friendly when shopping:
Before you buy an item, consider the ’30 wears test’ – a campaign set up by Environmentalist Livia Firth. She suggests every time we buy something to ask ourselves ‘Will I wear it a minimum 30 times?’, this helps buy clothes that you are likely to keep for longer.
Buying clothes second-hand shops such as charity shops and sites such as Depop and Vinted, are great ways of buying pre-loved clothes. These are often much cheaper ways of buying clothes, and you help upcycle clothes that may otherwise go to waste.
It’s also a good idea to do a little investigating into how sustainable the brands you love are. Being sustainable isn’t just about the actions we can take, but it’s also about educating ourselves on what brands are doing, where they source their materials and how sustainable their production process is.
This will then allow you to make more informed decisions when shopping and choose more sustainable options.
Another top sustainability tip is to put your heating on a timer, rather than having it on all day. This prevents wasting heat when you're not in.
Whilst student houses are notorious for being cold, try to only put the heating on at crucial times such as first thing in the morning and before you go to bed.
An obvious tip – but a good one nevertheless, is to also turn off lights and other electrical equipment when you’re not using them, this will also really help cut down the costs of your electricity bills when you move to a student house.
A large part of being sustainable, is encouraging others to do so and educating people. Join a university society and club that promotes sustainability and take part in an initiatives and activities they’re organising.
This is also a great way to meet new and like-minded people. For more tips on joining a society, check out our blog on why you should join a society and how to find your perfect one.
Small changes really do make all the difference when it comes to being more sustainable and helping reduce the impact of climate change.
Whilst you may think sustainability comes at a cost and is hard to do, in reality there are so many easy changes to make which can actually save you money! Be sure to implement some of the above tips and help reduce your cardon-foot print and create a greener world.
Raya is a graduate from London and her interests include writing, promoting gender equality, and cookery.