It’s no secret that the earth is suffering from the impacts of climate change. Everyone wants to do their bit and make a difference to the planet, but it can seem near impossible as a student. Eco-friendly products can often be expensive and inaccessible, and you might doubt whether your efforts will even have an impact.
We’re here to show you that living sustainably at university is not impossible! By making small adjustments to your daily routine, you can practise sustainability whilst living in student accommodation. Keep reading to find out more…
Reduce energy consumption
One of the easiest ways to live sustainably at university is to reduce the amount of energy you use! This doesn’t take much effort at all, and will help you to save money on your energy bills.
- Make sure to turn off lights when you aren’t using them or after leaving a room. You could also consider switching to LED light bulbs, which are more energy-efficient and longer-lasting than traditional ones!
- Unplug and switch off electronics when they aren’t in use.
- Avoid using the tumble dryer- opt for air drying your clothes!
- Remind your flatmates to do the same!
Be vigilant with your recycling
Recycling helps to divert waste from landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Make sure that you know which materials can and cannot be recycled in your area, and take time to properly sort your waste. Read the packaging on your rubbish carefully to check for recyclable materials, so you don’t throw something that could be recycled into the general waste by accident!
Reduce water usage
Water is precious, so we should do our best to conserve it. There are a few things that you can do to save on water.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the tap whilst you brush your teeth.
- Report any leaks or dripping taps to your landlord or student accommodation maintenance service.
Use eco-friendly products when possible
Unfortunately, some eco-friendly brands might not fit within a student budget. Thankfully, many companies are making the switch towards sustainability. Look out for products that use less plastic and more sustainable ingredients!
If you live near a zero waste shop, take a look inside. Here you’ll find the items that you use everyday, such as rice, washing detergent and cereal- but without packaging!
Buy second hand
Buying second hand is a great way to reduce waste and save money at the same time. Look for second hand or clothing, furniture, and appliances instead of buying new items. This way, you’ll maximise the life of what you buy.
Charity shops, car boot sales and online marketplaces are some of the best places for finding pre-loved items.
Reduce food waste
Making sure not to waste food is a good way to live sustainably at university. Food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing it can help to fight climate change.
- Plan your meals in advance and buy only what you need. It can help to write a shopping list for this.
- Make use of the freezer to keep leftovers for another day.
- Donate excess food to a local food bank or charity.
Greener travel is an important part of living sustainably at university. There are a number of ways to do so:
- Take public transport to get around! Using the bus or train instead of a car will help to reduce your carbon footprint, and can also be a lot cheaper.
- If it’s possible where you live, walk more. As well as being the best option for the environment, it’s good for your body too.
- Consider getting a bike! Cycling is a fun hobby and sustainable method of transport. Check if your university has a cycle scheme.
- If driving is your only option, try to carpool with friends.
Reduce single-use plastics
Single-use plastics are a major pollutant, as they take thousands of years to decompose and can harm wildlife. To reduce your use of single-use plastics:
- Invest in a good quality reusable water bottle, coffee cup and utensils for when you’re out and about.
- When doing your food shop, bring bags with you rather than purchasing new ones.
- Avoid plastic-heavy packaging when possible.
Take part in campus sustainability initiatives
Many universities will run sustainability initiatives- why not volunteer? Common examples of campus sustainability initiatives include litter picks, focus groups and awareness campaigns. As well as promoting a worthy cause, you’ll be getting involved with campus life and meeting like-minded people.
Be sure to check out the Roome website, where we post loads of tips and tricks for university students every single week. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to learn more about how we’re revolutionising the student housing market!
Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome