Student life is a fun and exciting time, but it is also often the first time you are ever living independently. This means it is up to you to make environmental choices. It is surprisingly easy and often cost-effective to be an eco-friendly student so here are six easy ways.
Recycling is one of the best ways you can protect the environment and it’s a great first step. It cuts down the amount of new materials used, reduces what goes to landfill and massively reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure you are aware of what can be recycled where you live and encourage your housemates to recycle too. And don’t stop when you leave your house. If you are eating a quick sandwich or snack, make sure you throw your rubbish in recycling bins or save it and recycle it at home.
Choose Eco-Friendly Student Accommodation
Eco-friendly student accommodation is easier to find than you might think. Often new student developments feature energy saving technology and are built with eco-friendly materials. Property investment companies like RW Invest are creating new student developments that are more environmentally conscious than ever before.
Choose to buy preowned
Instead of buying a branded computer or laptop for your academic work, you can always buy a refurbished computer. You can find a lot of secondhand electronics that are certified by trusted companies, so you don’t need to worry if they’re worth the purchase. This is a useful hack for students, especially those who are really tight on budget.
Take Notes on Your Laptop
One great way of looking after the environment is by using less paper and as students you will be taking a lot of notes. Whether you use a laptop or a tablet for university, try taking notes electronically instead of on paper and see how much less paper you use. And don’t forget to unplug your charger after you use it too.
Use Less Plastic
The Plastic Free movement is gaining momentum. Not only is it very much in style now but cutting down on plastic is amazing for the environment. The Plastic Free Life blog lists 100 steps to a plastic free life, from choosing plastic free chewing gum, to using bar soap to reusing canvas bags, there are loads of ways you can cut down on how much plastic you use every day. Choosing to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottles drinks is one sure-fire way of using less plastic, as is taking your own carrier bags to the supermarket.
Use Second Hand Books
Instead of buying brand new textbooks, try find second hand copies from previous students, from your student union or online. This is often far cheaper too, and when you finish your course and don’t need first year books anymore, make sure you sell them or pass them on to new students. You can also access lots of your university resources online, through the student portal, all cutting down on how much printed paper is used. Make sure you choose paperless communication wherever you can as well.
Use Energy Responsibly
It might be a relief to not have your parents telling you to turn off the lights or turn down the heating, but now it’s your turn to do it yourself. There are loads of ways you can use less energy, from only filling the kettle with the water you need to turning down the heating to making sure you don’t leave things on standby. Though your bills might be included, do your bit for the environment and try and use less energy.