RGU alumna Marisa shares 5 ways you can live greener at university.
In this blog post, I am sharing 5 ways you can live greener both on campus, and at your student accommodation. There are obviously a lot more ways to be environmentally friendly than the ones mentioned below, but these are some simple things you can do to
reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment.
1. Use reusable lunch boxes and water bottles
Whether you’re going to class, the gym or just out and about, taking a reusable water bottle with you instead of buying one each time will help cut down on plastic as well as save you money. The same applies to coffee mugs, as many cafes offer a discount to those who bring their own reusable coffee mugs in order to reduce waste. Another great option is to incorporate making your own hot drink into your morning routine, and bringing it with you when you set out for the day. As a student, one of the main ways I saved money was by cooking at home and taking my own lunch with me to campus in my favourite reusable lunchbox. That way I saved money and reduced my plastic usage.
2. Recycle and compost
There are many reasons why recycling and composting are important. By doing so, it helps to decrease landfill, save energy, conserve raw materials, and of course protect the environment. You can easily compost your kitchen scraps including vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, eggshells and more. At the university campus, there are bins clearly marked with what needs to be recycled which makes it easier to know what item goes where. Look out for RGU’s Vegware containers that are completely compostable!
*Top tip: freeze your vegetable scraps to make a delicious homemade veggie broth at a later date!
3.Take the bus
Using public transport instead of a car can save you a lot of money as well as reduce your carbon footprint. It also makes your journey to class each day less stressful as you can just sit back and relax and let someone else do the driving. You also won’t have to worry about parking! First Bus provides bus services all around the city, including to both universities, parks, the beach as well as many picturesque neighbourhoods. You can get one of their flexible tickets such as a day, month, semester or year ticket, or one of their First Day Ticket Bundles of 5, 10 and 15 days of travel. There are many ways to pay including; contactless card payment, Apple Pay, Tap & Cap or you can pay through the First Bus App where everything is stored in your phone. Whether you are going to campus, doing a day trip or going food shopping, taking the bus has many benefits for you and the environment.
4.Donate clothes to charity shops
If you are at uni, you probably have to sort out your clothes and pack for going back to university each semester. This is a great time to see what you don’t want anymore and donate it to a charity shop. 350,000 tonnes of used but still wearable clothes end up in landfill each year in the UK. By donating instead, you can prevent your clothes ending up in landfill as well as help raise money for a good cause.
Top tip: Shopping secondhand is also much more sustainable, as it does not support fast fashion. Head to your local charity shop and you will find some unique bargains!
5.Cook more vegan/vegetarian meals
The meat and dairy industries create 7.1 gigatons of greenhouse gases every year. That is 14.5% of the total man-made emissions. Cooking more vegetarian and vegan meals can be healthier and save you money as well as reduce your carbon footprint. It can also give you the opportunity to try some new tasty recipes with ingredients that you might not have thought of before. Buying loose fruit and vegetables from local shops instead of prepackaged ones from superstores is more eco friendly and is also a great way to support more small independent businesses. It also allows you to buy just what you need and therefore save money and avoid wasting food.
What other ways can you live greener? Comment down below.