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10 Ways To Be More Sustainable As a Student

Environmental problems are at the top of the list of the most relevant issues. In response to this issue, more and more people are getting started with a sustainable lifestyle and taking care of the ecology. You might think you need to change a lot of your daily habits to do this but, in fact, becoming more conscious and eco-friendly is much easier than it might seem, especially for students. Below are ten easy steps toward becoming more sustainable as a student.

1. Reduce Plastic Use and Sort Your Trash

The first point to start is to try to reduce plastic consumption. How to do it? Give preference to products that have eco-friendly packaging, avoid plastic tableware, and so on. If you can’t completely isolate yourself from plastic products, then be sure to sort the garbage. This is an important step on the sustainable path.

2. Thrift Shopping

60% of all clothing made will be thrown out in its first year. This means that all of the water and energy used to make these clothes are wasted as well. The fashion industry is the second largest contributor to global pollution, surpassed only by the oil industry. One of the most important ways that you can help fight climate change is by buying eco-friendly clothes. But places like Madewell and Reformation are expensive and out of budget for a lot of college students. Thrift and vintage shopping is a cheaper alternative to these brands and it’s easy to find trendy clothes that way as well. Instead of going to Topshop or Vans when you want a new t-shirt or blouse, stop into your local thrift store.

Thrift Shopping
Thrift Shopping

3. Meatless Mondays

Although this is something that might divide opinions – scientists have stated that cutting down on meat and dairy is a guaranteed way to be more eco-friendly. Not only is Meatless Monday beneficial for the environment, but it is also cheaper.

4. Buy A Bamboo Toothbrush

A bamboo toothbrush is a must-have for every eco-conscious person. Firstly, such toothbrushes are eco-friendly. Secondly, they are really pleasant to use and more effective than plastic toothbrushes.

Why choose an eco-friendly brush? Just imagine it could take 400 years to recycle one toothbrush. Now let’s remember the recommendation from the dentist that your toothbrush should be changed every three months. As a result, this is a minimum of four toothbrushes per year. Using a bamboo toothbrush generates less plastic waste and is better for the environment.

5. Watch Your Water Use

It’s very easy to forget how important water conservation is and studies state that the demand for water globally is set to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. The bonus is that, as a student, it’s quite simple to watch your water usage. Make sure you turn off the tap during brushing your teeth or shorten your time in the shower. We all know that one flatmate fills the entire flat sink to wash two teaspoons. Educate them!

6. Choose Sustainable Shops That Promote Being Eco-Friendly

Most shops that sell genuine organic, sustainable products are independent or local so London is a great place to start with making your student life more eco-friendly. It doesn’t stop at fantastic vintage shops and vegetarian cafes, the city also has some incredible places that sell loose fruit and vegetables, encourage you to bring your own jars and Tupperware so you can stock up on loose nuts and cereal and even have refill stations for shampoo and washing products. Check out websites like Time Out to find the best Zero Waste grocery stores in London.

Zero waste store.
Zero waste store.

7. Travel Sustainably

Choose to walk and cycle or take public transport rather than driving, at least some of the time. Make your next car an electric one and consider joining a car club if you don’t need to use a car regularly.

Minimise flying, especially long-haul, and choose holidays with a smaller carbon footprint. These five green travel resolutions are a good place to start.

8. Take a Reusable Cup To University

Nothing gets you through a 9 am lecture like grabbing a coffee on campus, I know. But did you know the UK throws away around 2.5 billion disposable cups a year? Instead of contributing to that number, invest in a reusable mug or drinking thermos and get your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to go in one of them.

Reusable Cup
Reusable Cup

9. Refill Your Water Bottle

Much like carrying a reusable coffee cup, using a reusable water bottle has great benefits to the environment and helps save plastic bottles from going to landfill. You can also use the Refill phone app to find cafes or establishments that let you refill your water bottle for free.

10. Unplug Your Electronics 

Many people leave their computers, TVs, phones, hairdryers, and other appliances plugged in all day. The price of keeping those things plugged in can add up.  In 2019 alone, overall electricity production represented 37 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions. This percentage means that electricity is one of the main contributors to climate change. By simply unplugging your electronics when you’re done using them, you can help minimize your carbon footprint. And, if you live off-campus and pay your own utility bill, you can also save money.


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