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How to live as an environmentally friendly student


Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: BA (Hons) Writing and English Literature
Category: Language, literature and media

29 January 2020

Being at uni opens your eyes to countless new cultures and ways of living that may not have occurred to you before.

Being on social media exposes you to new cultures and ways of living that may not have occurred to you otherwise too. A popular topic is how to live in a way that lessens your impact on the planet. We’ve all seen worrying evidence that points to climate catastrophe and as one of millions, it’s easy to feel helpless. I think we all want to find ways to decrease our carbon footprint, but simply do not know where to start. My handy hints may not be much but they can point you in the right direction and they’re doable for students:

Starve the general waste bin!

If you’re living off microwave meals, buy the kind that come with recyclable packaging! It might seem obvious, but every food product you can buy comes with a small chart on the back breaking down which parts are recyclable and which aren’t. Buy flannels for cleaning instead of kitchen roll. Even old clothes and towels can be cut up into rags to use for cleaning and chucked in with the washing machine.

Food waste caddies are always hungry!

A pillar of uni living is not knowing how much to put in a portion. If you can’t put food in the fridge or freeze it to keep, pick up a small green food waste caddy from your local council offices for free - caddy liner bags are £3 a pack. The food waste bins then go into your green wheelie bin!

Banish the buds!

Millions of cotton buds end up in the oceans every year, among our marine life. Due to their small size and thinness, they are often forgotten about. Invest in a reusable bud - there are options made of medical silicone and bamboo cotton. Less impact on the ocean and your wallet!

Reel back on the wrap!

Cling wrap can take decades to break down. A single strip of it used to wrap a sandwich in the 90s is still floating in the ocean, somewhere. Invest in some reusable silicone food pouches or beeswax food wrap for lunches. There are loads of independent companies on Instagram trying to get off the ground that stock these products for great prices and often in beautiful colours.

Avoid the plastic bags of produce at the supermarket!

One branded supermarket produced 30,000 tonnes of single use plastic in 2018 alone. Take a paper bag to the supermarket to pop loose fruit and vegetables in whilst shopping.

Behold the bottle!

Flasks are an excellent, everyday underdog in the fight against plastic. Thousands of gorgeous designs are available from everywhere to TKMaxx to Flying Tiger. You’ll be spending less on countless plastic bottles of drink every day and being kinder to the planet!

Don't forget: you can follow our #ARUGreen hashtag on Twitter to see all the ways you can help save the planet and keep doing your bit to create a better future.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.