Being at university is when a lot of us start to find the things we are passionate about, whether that’s feminism, baking, or perhaps even caring for the environment. So if that’s you, you might be finding ways to be more environmentally friendly at university, and we’ve got all the answers for you.
1. Reduce the amount of printing you do
Whilst there are definitely times you need to print at university, a lot of the time you can get away without it. Printing at places like universities and work can have a big impact on carbon footprints and other eco statistics. It is estimated that 17% of everything printed becomes waste, and we have so many alternatives to printing now like Docs, Notes, Word and fancy note-taking apps like these.
2. Invest in a reusable water bottle
We’ve all been there, a long lecture, or a long walk to campus, and you find yourself feeling parched. So you pop to the Londis or Budgens and buy a bottle of smart water. But if you do that every time you have a lecture, 4 days a week, 9 months a year… that’s a lot of plastic. And we all know that plastic is not great for the world. At the moment, Forbes estimates that the global population buys one million plastic bottles every minute. So save money, and the planet, and fill up a bottle at home.
3. Change up your house
It is really easy to make your home a little bit more eco-friendly, you can just make little changes here and there that make enough of a difference for not only you to feel better, but also to help the environment. Why not try and replace your lightbulbs with energy-efficient options like LED lightbulbs? Or you could use natural cleaning products like vinegar, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda to save money and the environment. You can also wear extra layers to keep yourself warm rather than use your heating, and make your own compost from the kitchen scraps rather than leave them to landfill.
4. Go meatless for some meals
It’s not a secret that the global population’s meat consumption is one of the factors leading us further into climate change. Whether it be the methane from the cattle farms, the space being created by deforestation for farming, or the fumes created in the lengthy travelling that meat takes from field to shelf. So if you’re looking for ways to be more eco-friendly at uni, try swapping out your meat for alternatives like Quorn, tofu or lentils. You could even just do this once a week – maybe a Meatless Monday?
5. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
We’ve all heard it, it was plastered all over our primary school walls. But the three Rs really do help when it comes to finding easy ways to be more eco-friendly. Whilst at uni, you can:
- Reduce your post waste by signing up for paperless options and letting the MPS know you don’t want tabloids/magazines.
- Reduce your battery usage. Buy rechargeable things, or things that plug into the mains (and yes, that includes your fairy lights).
- Reduce your electricity and gas usage. You can turn off plugs when they’re not being used, make sure you don’t leave things on standby, and you can ask your landlord for a smart meter to keep an eye on your usage.
- Reuse old textbooks by buying them on eBay or Facebook marketplace, rather than order brand new ones.
- Reuse carrier bags and invest in tote bags for your shopping.
- Recycle your stationery when it gives out.
- Recycle your food waste into compost
6. Help the bees
If you have any garden space in your student house or even a windowsill, buy some plants that bees love. Not only will this help improve your mind, but it will provide great places for bees to pollinate. They particularly like plants like foxglove, comfrey and hollyhock.