Trying to be ‘sustainable’ often seems like a lot more effort than it’s worth. With everything else to think about at University, this whole ‘environmental sustainability’ malarky often seems like a nice idea, but a bit too out of reach for many students. But the truth is the environment really should be higher up in our priority list. We all know the harms of plastic pollution, resource depletion and all the other nasties that harm human life and the environment. So why aren’t we aiming to do more to tackle it starting in our own cities, homes and universities?
The great thing is, we can start to make a difference by just taking a few simple measures, and the even BETTER news is we can save money at the same time! To help you out, I’ve listed my favourite (super easy) tips to becoming a little more ‘green-minded’ in your everyday Uni life, but why don’t you see if you can come up with your own too?
Switching to reusable grocery bags is probably the easiest and simplest way to reduce the amount of waste you create every week. Think about how many plastic bags get thrown away every time people go shopping?! Answer: It’s a lot. To save the 5p plastic bag charge (and the environment while you’re at it) make sure to pop an extra reusable bag in every backpack and handbag you regularly use. This way you’ll never forget to take one when grocery shopping, and a sturdy bag won’t break on you like a plastic bag sometimes can. Simple but effective!
Apparently only 1 in 400 coffee cups get recycled in the UK and worldwide, 14 billion are thrown away EVERY YEAR! These numbers are crazy, especially considering how easy the problem is to solve. Next time you’re on your way to get your daily caffeine kick, consider buying a reusable mug. I got mine from Starbucks for a pound, and now every time I use it in store I also get 25p off whatever drink I order. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up over time and stops me wasting takeaway cups every time. The University of Manchester have also started selling reusable mugs which give you money off anytime you buy drinks around Uni, so it’s definitely worth investing in one to save you those extra pennies! Like your reusable bags, try to keep the mug on hand so you can use it anytime.
Charity shopping is my FAVOURITE. Not only is it a great way to try out different pieces without breaking the bank, chazzer shopping is also triple sustainable. Buying second hand means fewer clothes are sold and hence produced, clothes are kept out of the landfill and your money goes to small businesses and charities. What’s not to love! I’ve found some fab finds over the past few years, so if you’d like a little ‘slow fashion’ inspo, you can check out my Instagram, ThriftDiary, or other great sustainable fashion pages like Fash_Rev Happy shopping!
Pardon the pun- had to get one in somewhere…But seriously, straws do suck. The UK is actually trying to ban plastic straws completely, but we still have a long way to go. Plastic straws contain BPA so can’t be recycled and can never fully biodegrade, and the worst part is the majority of them are used only once before being thrown away. If you have to use a straw try and opt for a metal or paper one, otherwise try and go without.
Even though some of these may seem really obvious, it’s still a great reminder that every little helps. And of course these aren’t the only things we can do! Why not try walking or biking to Uni whenever you can, cutting down on your meal deals, or even just trying to recycle more? 🙂