How to be environmentally friendly whilst at university?

11 April 2024

Undergraduate student, Inès Denize, shares how small changes can make you a more environmentally friendly student. 

Who said being environmentally conscious and being a student were incompatible? After living on my own for four years, I can guarantee that you do not need a lot of resources, just some willingness and effort! In this article, I will show you how to be more sustainable without breaking the bank. Here is my advice for lowering your environmental footprint:

First, to combat food waste, I recommend shopping in the reduced section or buying products that are expiring. You can easily freeze meat, fish, or bread to prevent them from being discarded. This will allow you to save money and occasionally discover new recipes! Another option is the Too Good to Go app, where you can save products from restaurants, cafés, and supermarkets for a discounted price.reduced to clear food aisle

Some of you probably already know this - but avoid using plastic film, aluminium foil, baking or parchment paper. There are easy ways to replace them! For instance, you can invest in food containers or use baking trays and moulds, which are all reusable and will limit waste.

Try to eat seasonal products as much as possible. Of course, you can afford the occasional mango or avocado but try to find out about the seasonality of foods, which will also taste better because they will not have been artificially processed.

It may sound trivial but - try to recycle and educate yourself on how to do this properly. I have been in many homes that do not recycle out of laziness or simply not knowing what products to put in the recycling bin.

Put in the effort, I know we are all tired and looking for convenience at the end of the day, but if you are willing to put in a little more effort, try to avoid buying pre-prepared food in plastic containers, get as much fruit and vegetables in bulk as possible, avoid unnecessary packaging, and bring your reusable bags. This will have a significant effect on your waste consumption.

Eating fish and meat can have a significant impact on the environment, so why not try reducing your consumption (even by a small amount!) as it will make a difference. If you are concerned about your protein intake, there are numerous plant-based protein options to choose from. Be open-minded and try vegetarian or vegan options; they may surprise you!

We are all aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, and there are simple steps you can take to change your buying habits. If you go through your wardrobe, I am sure you will find clothing that you no longer wear, so why not ask if any of your friends want it? If not, you can sell your clothes online on Depop or Vinted to make a profit! If you want to buy something, always look at these apps first or visit your local charity shop; you might even find unique items!

Last but not least, bring your reusable cup or mug to university; if you are used to purchasing beverages on campus, now is the time to transition to a reusable cup. Not only will you save money by getting a discount on your drink, but you will also significantly reduce your waste!

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