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Top student hacks to reduce your impact on the planet

According to our recent research, 23% of UK students have been taking part in marches or demonstrations to support environmental sustainability over the past three years. In fact, 75% of those surveyed agreed that climate change is the biggest societal issue that the world is currently facing. That being said, it is clear that being planet friendly whilst at university is an important element of day-to-day living for many students.

But, with strict budgets and restrictions on a lot of important choices, how exactly can students do their part to live a greener lifestyle? We’re here to reveal its top tips to reduce your carbon footprint and increase your sustainability – without putting a huge dent in your maintenance loan. Check out our handy hacks below…

Travel greener

We all know that taking the car to your 8am lecture on the rainiest day of the year is the easy option, but it is also the least planet friendly. Always consider your alternative options. From student shuttles, to the train, tram, or bike – there are tons of eco-friendly ways to travel to and from your lectures. You can even check out rentable bikes and scooters in your city for a super sustainable option. And remember, you can always hit the pavement and walk to your lectures if they’re close enough!

Drinking habits

No, we’re not talking about your trips to the local boozer. We’re actually talking about all of those plastic bottles you’ve been using. Tut tut. 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfill per day – that equates to around 22 billion a year - so this is your sign to invest in a re-usable water bottle to keep those plastic ones out of use. Coffee addicts – this also applies to you. Keep your eyes out in local supermarkets (or even TikTok shop) for a great deal on a bottle or coffee cup with a design that you love – that way you’ll be more likely to remember to use it!

Fabulous fashion

Whether you want a new outfit for each night of freshers’ week, or prefer to rock up to study sessions in the latest trends, fashion can be super expensive (and super non-planet friendly) for university students. In fact, 92 million tonnes of clothing end up in landfill each year. Luckily, there are ways to indulge in your inner vogue whilst still keeping an eye on your carbon footprint. Searching for second-hand steals – whether they are from the charity shop, re-sale apps such as Vinted, or even your roommate’s closet (with their permission, of course!) – can result in unique, stylish, and sustainable outfits that would make Coco Chanel jealous. Plus, heaps of clothes will be saved from landfill, and your already tight budget will be less in demand.

Strictly second-hand

So, you’ve got the second-hand clothing, but did you forget that you can also get other second-hand items for your course, too? Instead of going out to buy new textbooks and tech, be sure to head to local student sales where graduating classes gather to sell their used textbooks, books, and course equipment. You can grab a bargain, and the planet can keep a couple thousand extra trees. Sounds like a great deal to us.

Reckless recycling

We have all been guilty of putting a can of pop or a sweet wrapper into the wrong bin – go on, confess your sins. Little did we know, that one single aluminum can in the wastepaper section can throw off the balance of an entire recycling haul[i]. So, be mindful which bins you are using, and make sure you take a little extra time to separate your wine bottles from your pizza boxes. The planet will thank you later.

Take the green vow

With World Earth Day approaching on the 22nd April, why not take a vow to implement these five simple day-to-day changes into your university lifestyle? These small steps are super achievable, and when consistently actioned can make a huge difference overall. So, have you been inspired?

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