Climate change can feel like an insurmountable problem, but there are little changes you can make to embrace an eco-living lifestyle. Even as a busy uni student, it can be simple to make your life “greener,” and those small changes of individuals add up to a larger overall impact. We’ve put together five tips that will not only help the planet but let you live more sustainably — and maybe even save some money while you’re at it.
1. Use as Many Reusable Items as Possible
When you’re rushing to class, it can be easy to mindlessly grab a plastic water bottle, pack snacks in a disposable plastic bag, or use a plastic straw with your AM iced coffee fix. We get it! But while these products may only be with you for a moment, they stay in landfills for hundreds of years.
Instead, start making it a habit to reach for reusable items. An aluminium water bottle, reusable food containers, metal straws (with a cute carrying case) and reusable shopping bags can all significantly reduce the amount of waste you produce.
2. Limit Your Takeaway
Okay, when you get home from class, it can be incredibly tempting just to order a takeaway. But that curry comes in a disposable container, and sometimes even includes a plastic bag, paper plates and plastic utensils. All of which can contribute heavily to your carbon footprint.
Embrace eco-living by trying to whip up easy meals yourself (and by avoiding paper plates and plastic utensils at home). You don’t have to cook elaborate food either—smoothies, sandwiches, mason jar salads or homemade pizzas are quick and easy meals.
3. Try to Avoid Food Waste
Once you start cooking for yourself, it can be easy to overbuy, which can lead to you throwing out food that’s gone bad before you could get to it. This is a surprisingly common problem—65 percent of adults in the UK say they buy more food than they can eat.
Meal prepping lets you know exactly how much food you need to buy for the week. Not only will this help you cut down on food waste, but preparing meals just once or twice makes cooking much easier to add into your busy uni schedule. As an added bonus, having a fridge stocked with delicious, pre-made meals and snacks will help you avoid unnecessary takeaway orders.
4. Ask Your Student Accommodation About Recycling Programs
No matter how sustainably you’re living, you’re bound to still produce at least some waste. But not all of that garbage has to find its way to a landfill. Make sure and reach out to your student accommodations to find out about any recycling programs they offer. This way, you can be positive that you’re doing everything possible to make sure any waste you produce has the least amount of impact on the planet.
5. Think About Thrifting
Shopping, especially online shopping is a tough habit to break, especially in uni. You have your living space to decorate, new fashion and styles to experiment with, even the latest electronics to consider. But before you give in to fast fashion or mass-produced products, consider a more eco-friendly option!
To mix it up and go more green, think about thrifting. Uni towns are typically full of thrift shops, consignment stores and vintage shops. Look for gently used clothing, home decor items, and furniture. Not only is this great for the environment, but it can help you find unique, one-of-a-kind items that really express your true style.
If you can’t make it out to the shops (because of COVID restrictions or your busy diary), check out these online thrift stores.
♻️ Eco-Living: Going Green at Uni is Easier Than You Think
Eco-living can be easy, fun and affordable, even when you’re juggling a full course load. By avoiding disposable products, eating mindfully, recycling and thrifting, you can help make the world a better, cleaner place. And you’re likely to have fun doing it!