Sustainability is a hot topic - not just on campus, but, well, everywhere.
University campuses are hotbeds for environmental activism, as well as pioneering research institutions for the technology that will help us save the environment.
But, like many others, you might find yourself thinking - what can I do?
Tackling climate change is such a big issue that it can be difficult to know where to start. However, there are many everyday small changes that students can make to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
That’s why, for Earth Day 2021, we’re bringing you easy ways you can switch up your routine and go green!
6 ways you can help save the Earth on campus
- Bring your own (drinks and food)
- Cycle, walk, or take public transport onto campus
- Get involved in environmental societies
- Campaign for change
- Shop local
1. Bring your own (drinks and food)
We all love a meal deal, but what’s with all the annoying plastic packaging they come in? And what about that disposable cup you get your morning coffee in?
Food and drink packaging is notoriously wasteful, but there’s an easy way for you to help. Next time you’re getting a coffee, bring in your own reusable cup or flask and ask the barista to put your drink in there. You’ll save many disposable cups during your time, but you might also save money, as many cafes now give you a small discount for using your own cup. It’s a win-win!
Similarly, for food, you can bring your own lunches in tupperware. These don’t need to be anything fancy - leftovers from last night’s spaghetti bolognese will do just fine! And once again, it isn’t just the environment that’ll thank you - you’ll end up saving loads of money!
2. Cycle, walk, or take public transport onto campus
If you’re still driving yourself onto campus, Earth day is a great time to stop and ask yourself - why? Unless you have accessibility needs or you live in a very remote area, it’s unlikely that you don’t have any other options.
Our cities are highly congested, and individuals driving contributes to this. And, much like the points above, you might find yourself saving a lot of money on petrol and car maintenance if you stop driving!
3. Get involved in environmental societies
Sustainability and climate change is a big issue for students, and many of them want to get actively involved in tackling it. Societies are a great way for them to do this.
People and Planet are one example of a student society that actively campaigns to work against climate change on and off of campus. They’ve achieved great things over the years, including supporting universities to end their investments in fossil fuel companies.
4. Campaign for change
Going off the last point, campaigning for change can make a real difference. You might want to get involved in societies, but even if you don’t, it shouldn’t stop you from campaigning for change. For example, you might’ve noticed that your SU bar still serves pints in disposable plastic cups. You can start a petition asking them to change to reusable cups, or an alternative like vegware. Most places are pretty receptive to becoming more sustainable, so you never know what might happen!
5. Shop local
One of the best things you can do to help the environment is to buy local produce. Do some research on local markets where farmers around you can sell their own fruit and vegetables. It’ll often be nice and cheap, and will have far less packaging, which is another big environmental win.
This one seems obvious, but it’s always worth remembering. Your university will have recycling bins on campus, so make sure you’re always putting your plastic, cardboard, and paper into the right bins.
Additionally, you can recycle at home as a student! Try to buy a bin that has different compartments for different materials. It’ll save you a lot of time separating your rubbish at the bins, and will encourage you to recycle more as it’ll feel nice and easy.