How to be more sustainable at university
Figures have revealed that the majority of UK universities have failed to meet their carbon reduction figures for 2022. The sector had the goal to reduce emissions by 43% by 2021, however, 59% of universities did not meet this target, highlighting the need for further efforts to be made.
While it does not fall to the individual student to help reduce the carbon footprint, everyone can always do more so we did put together a list of easy ways you can be more sustainable at university!
1. Bring a reusable cup
Reusable cups are a fantastic way to make a small change daily when you have a morning coffee. So many popular coffee shops, including Starbucks and Costa, have been encouraging customers to bring and use their own reusable cups to get a discount – not only are you being more environmentally conscious but also saving money!
Check out these UK reusable cups
2. Charity Shops
Next time you need a new society night costume or outfit, consider popping into your local charity shop. Buying second-hand is a lot better for the environment and you may find some interesting pieces that don’t contribute to more outfits being made to only be worn once. Charity shops can be found pretty much around every corner with a vast collection of items.
Check out Thift+ for a huge range of second-hand clothes and accessories.
3. Tote bags, tote bags, tote bags
It’s finally time to put all those totes bags you collected over freshers to good use! Swap them out for plastic bags on your next food shop. It’s a great way to save some pennies and use less one-time plastic. It can be easy, and free, to gather up a collection from your uni’s careers and fresher’s fairs.
4. Buy only what you need
While doing a food shop it can be easy to just grab the first bag or packet you see, but shopping more consciously can help the environment and stop you from having to throw away extra food. Take the time to look at your options and only buy what you need; Tesco even provides reusable vegetable bags now to encourage people to pick loose veg, instead of big bags.
5. Clear out your emails
Although using email reduces the amount of paper waste generated, keeping a tonne of emails on hand uses up energy. One study suggests if every person in France deleted 50 emails, the energy savings would be the same as shutting off the lights on the Eiffel Tower for 42 years. Making it a practice to empty your junk mail folder each week and delete old emails when you can is a great way to make a small easy change.