Most people are now consciously making an effort to be more eco-friendly in their everyday life, and today’s student population is more environmentally aware than ever. If you’re looking for ways to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly, we’ve got some top tips in this article on how you can be more eco-friendly at university.
Avoid bottled water
Plastic bottles are one of the most common contributors to landfill on the planet. It’s estimated that the global population buys one million single-use bottles per minute, many of which will end up in landfill. There’s a really simple solution to reducing your use of plastic water bottles, and that’s to use a single reusable bottle. Not only will it heavily reduce your plastic usage, it will also save you money.
Reduce how much you print
Printing is at certain times a necessity at university and in those situations, it can’t be avoided. However, you should try to be conscious about whether it’s necessary to print something. Whilst it can be useful, printing can have a hugely negative environmental impact. Considering that technology is so readily available today, there are plenty of digital ways of storing and accessing university work, so there really is no excuse for printing if you are able to use a digital alternative. Cutting down on your paper usage is a small but necessary step towards reducing deforestation.
Consider your food choices
Whilst fast food can be convenient, the industry has a significant detrimental impact on the environment. One way of being more eco-friendly is to consider your food choices carefully and try to avoid processed food where possible. If everyone aims to eat more natural foods which originate from the ground or trees, it could act as a massive step towards a greener future. Examples of foods that are typically eco-friendly include potatoes, oranges, nuts, lentils, broccoli, and beans. These foods are all rich in nutrients whilst also being natural.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
The best method of being eco-friendly whilst at university is to follow the ‘three Rs’: reduce, reuse and recycle! Following these processes will help to save energy, reduce your carbon footprint, minimise pollution, and protect natural resources. Here are some examples of how you can follow the three R’s whilst at university:
- Invest in solar-powered items – such as lamps and watches.
- Unsubscribe to mailings or ask to go online only wherever possible. This will opt you out of unwanted physical junk mail.
- Avoid using battery powered-products. If it’s impossible to avoid, get some rechargeable batteries.
- If you have a car, try to avoid doing short journeys which could be accomplished by walking or via public transport.
- Keep hold of any carrier bags from shops and reuse them whenever you go again. You can also use carrier bags as bin liners.
- Buy second hand clothing
- Try and repair broken items instead of jumping to replace them with new ones.
- Pass on old textbooks to new students. This can usually be done via your faculty or through some societies.
- Ensure you are actively using recycling facilities such as bottle banks and clothing banks.
- Buy products that come in recyclable packaging instead of single-use packaging.
- Purchase stationery that is recyclable.
Consider some eco-friendly home improvements
It’s also worth considering if there are any home improvements you can make to ensure you are being more eco-friendly. Common eco-friendly home improvements include the following:
- Using energy efficient lightbulbs (this will also help to lower your utility bills)
- Reduce water wastage and ensure there are no leaking / running taps.
- To avoid using the heating during winter months, wear extra layers and wrap up warm. (Although be sure to use your common sense, sometimes you will need to use the central heating).
- Try to use natural cleaning products such as vinegar, citric acid, and bicarbonate of soda.
Turn off lights and electrical appliances when not in use
One common mistake made by many students is leaving the lights and electrical appliances on whilst they are not in use. Every time you leave the house, ensure the lights are turned off and you’ve unplugged all electrical appliances you were using. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but it will also save money on your utility bills!