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Living sustainably as a student

By ResLifeBath 07 Jul 2023

Save money and protect the environment, without making drastic changes to your lifestyle

You may have the idea that being green is a hassle, a bore, and a money drain. But guess what? You can do your bit for the planet and keep some extra coins in your pocket at uni.

Here are some tried and tested tips to get you started…

Be smart with your water use

You may not notice it, but you could be wasting tons of water every day, from letting the tap run while you brush your teeth, to having a long shower after a day at uni.

But you don’t need to do that, and you can save a lot by cutting your showers short, turning off the tap while you do the dishes, and always doing a full load in the washing machine and dishwasher.

This can also slash your water bills, so you can keep more cash while keeping the planet happy.

water coming out of a shower head

Shop for pre-loved clothes

You may be tempted to buy some new clothes before and during uni, and going for second-hand shopping instead of fast fashion is a smart way to be green and save some money.

Rather than splashing out on pricey labels, you can check out charity shops and websites like Facebook Marketplace, Depop and Vinted to give clothes another chance (there’s always a treasure hiding among the hangers somewhere).

You can also sell, donate, or recycle your old clothes instead of binning them. And if you have some clothes that need some TLC, it’s a good idea to learn how to fix your own clothes to avoid spending more. This way you can easily patch up holes and sew on new buttons to make them look as good as new.

clothes hanging on a clothes rail

Co-ordinate your wardrobe with the weather

When winter comes, you may want to blast the heating all the time. But this can be pricey and wasteful. A better option is to pile on more clothes, wear some snuggly socks or slippers, or cuddle a hot water bottle to stay warm.

It’s a good idea to enjoy the sunlight too so you can use natural lighting instead of keeping your lights on day and night. Any electrical items should only be plugged in and switched on when you’re using it, so if you pop out make sure you turn everything off.

a bed with a hot water bottle in it

Say ‘no’ to single-use plastics

Single-use plastics are harmful to the environment and often end up in landfills or oceans. To protect our planet, we should try to minimize our consumption of these plastics. There are many options that are better for the environment and your wallet.

One reusable product you could use as a student is the Ecoegg - this is a brilliant product that reduces the use of laundry detergent and fabric condition. Not only can you use it for up to 70 washes before the need to refill, it can also save up to 40 bottles of plastic each year!

Other products you might want to consider are block soaps in cardboard packaging instead of shower gels, and flannels instead of disposable wipes. Even items like bamboo toothbrushes, metal straws, and reusable bags, cups and bottles can make a massive difference.

You can fill up your water bottle from water stations around campus, and join our Exchange cup scheme to cut disposable waste.

a close up of a person holding a cup

Choose greener ways to travel

If campus is within walking distance from where you live, why not save money and emissions by walking? Public transport can also be unreliable sometimes, so walking might be less stressful and more enjoyable.

Another option is to cycle to uni. Cycling is fun, fast, and eco-friendly. You can zip through the city and get some exercise at the same time. Don’t have a bike? No problem. You can find a cheap second-hand one online or at a local shop. Just make sure you get a good D-Lock to keep it safe. There are plenty of places to park your bike on campus, so you won’t have any trouble finding a spot.

a cycle sign on a road

These are some simple ways to be more eco-friendly and budget-friendly at uni. You can make a difference by doing these little things!