‘Sustainability’ seems to be a pretty big buzzword at the moment, and while it would be ideal if we could all buy new solar panels, or make all our landlords switch to clean energy, it’s prooobably not gonna happen overnight. But the great news is it’s not about being perfect, it’s just about making some simple, daily changes as students which can end up making a pretty big difference!
Listed below are a few of the small changes you and your housemates can make, but try and take these as inspiration to think of more changes you can make of your own too 🙂
Sharing is caring
One of my greatest fears in life is realising, too late, that the loo roll next to me has run out. If such is the case for you too, why not team up with your housemates and all pitch in to buy bulk loo roll at the beginning of the year? WhoGivesaCrap not only create environmentally friendly toilet paper delivered to your door (so you can avoid the absolute panic that is running out of loo roll), but also donate 50% of their profits to building toilets all around the world! I love this company – the whole process is super easy, and they somehow manage to make you feel like you’re doing good for the world by sitting on your own toilet. Quite impressive.
Did you know 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging? If you’re looking for a cheap, organic, plastic free alternative to your weekly Tesco’s food shop, I highly recommend checking out VegBoxPeople. These guys deliver organic, local fruit and veg to collection points around University every week for you to pick up and share with your housemates! Make sure you check out their website for prices and subscription details, but this is a really great way to reduce your waste, support your local farmers and get creative with new seasonal veggies every week. What’s not to love!
Small switch ups
Life’s all about the little things – a statement which is particularly true when it comes to creating a sustainable student house. Here are just a few things you and your housemates can can easily switch up:
- ‘EcoEgg’ Laundry egg – An eco-friendly, money-saving alternative to washing detergent (which you can easily find on Amazon).
- Soap and shampoo – try switching the plastic bottles in your shower to soap and shampoo bars – Lush make some beaut shampoo bars, and soap bars can pretty much be found at any supermarket.
- Other bathroom switch ups – include metal razors and bamboo toothbrushes, which I’m sure we all know about, but are a useful reminder nonetheless.
- BeesWax Wraps – A great alternative to clingfilm, these wraps are perfect for you and your housemates to store fridge food, or wrap your lunch in.
- Want Not Waste – For more ideas, take a look at the University’s very own zero waste shop, who sell everything from package free food to WhoGivesaCrap!
Give it, don’t bin it!
When it comes to move out time (sorry to mention this so early in the year!), make sure your perfectly usable belongings don’t end up in a landfill, but instead go to a new home!
GiveItDontBinIt donate your old clothes, books, electricals and unopened, non-perishable food to charity to help those in need. They work on and off campus with collection points around the city, so check out the link above to see what, and where you can donate your old belongings at the end of the year. Try and organise donation bags for you and your house in the last couple of weeks before leaving, so you all have time to sort through what you want to donate, and you can even have a cheeky sift through your housemates unwanted clothes first (guilty).
Alternatively, you could organise a clothes swap with your house or close friends before you all leave for the summer, or simply donate to a charity shop near you! There are so many around who would love donations of any kind. Plus, it always feels good knowing your unwanted belongings are going to a good cause!
As mentioned earlier, these are only a few of the many ways you and your housemates can make your house a more eco-friendly place to live, with pretty minimal effort. If you’d like to find out more, check out my other blog, 4 ways to be more sustainable and save money, or My Manchester News for more tips and tricks!