15/09/2021

10 Ways Students Can Save Our Planet

If you’ve ever wondered ‘what can I do to save the planet?’ then you’ve come to the right place. As you enter university life, you’ll have a whole host of decisions to make, many of which impact the environment. Here, we offer some tips on how to be more eco friendly.

The below ideas could help you to become a more sustainable student. They’re all small, easy to make changes that you won’t find too hard to fit into everyday life.

Use reusable bags

Top of the list is something that will not only save you money but save the environment too. Since late 2015, retailers have been charging a minimum of 5p per plastic bag used in their stores. There are very few exceptions, and with some retailers charging 10p for ‘better quality’ bags, keeping a stash of reusable bags for your shopping will certainly save you money while being kinder for the environment too.

Shop locally

If you’re asking yourself ‘what can I do to save the planet?’, you might want to take a look at what’s on your plate. Food miles are all about how far food products have travelled before they get to your plate. Many independent local retailers would value your business and when it comes to food, shopping and buying local produce is a great move when it comes to how to be more eco-friendly. Many locally sourced food products can also be better quality too.

Ditch products in excessive or plastic packaging

Why not shop at the greengrocers rather than buy pre-packed fruit and vegetables in plastic? And take note of the packaging that other products come in too? There is so much variety on the shelves these days that as the consumer, you have a lot of power in ditching brands that still use too much packaging and materials that can’t be recycled.

Cut down on what you can’t recycle

As well as ditching what you can’t recycle you could also cut down on materials that are hard to recycle. Just because you put something in the recycling bin, this doesn’t mean it can be recycled. Some coloured plastics, for example, are made from compounds that are still difficult to extract and recycle. And that means it ends up in landfill.

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Cut down on your water consumption

Leave the tap running as you brush your teeth? Run the water for a long time whilst you wait for it to get warm? If so, you are wasting water and this wastewater ends up in the ocean. Conserve water by being more mindful of how much you use. It’s an easy habit to get into and doesn’t cost you anything.

Ditch the chemicals

From shampoos to face wash, the chemicals you use all deposit a residue in wastewater. Some products contain microbeads, small plastic particles that end up in the ocean. Try to look for alternatives that are kinder to the planet. There are many chemical free shampoos, cleaning products and hygiene products that don’t come at too high a cost for the environment.

Travel responsibly

The most eco-friendly way to get around is to walk. If you need to get somewhere faster, cycle! Public transport is also great for collectively reducing our carbon footprint.

Get vocal

We need politicians, the democratically elected leaders, to make a real and determined commitment to environmental change. Use your vote to elect the MP who you feel is committed to change. Signing petitions also lends your voice to driving change.

Watch what you buy

Considering what you buy and why you buy it is key to understanding the answer to what can I do to save the planet? We become conditioned to make certain purchases but are all these decisions driven by need, or the ‘want’ generated by advertising and marketing?

Switch off

When it comes to how to be more eco friendly some of it requires changing small things and making those changes a habit. Get into the habit of not leaving electric gadgets on standby, unplugging chargers when not in use and swapping your desk lamp bulb for an LED or other energy-saving bulb. They not only last longer but use less energy too (saving you ££) because they don’t heat up.

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Studying Sustainably at the University of Bolton

When it comes to making more sustainable choices, studying at a university that challenges itself to make continuous improvements in sustainability is a great option. Here at the University of Bolton, we strive to make constant adjustments to the way in which we work. This helps to ensure that not only do our students get a great quality of education and all the support they need to thrive, but that we are always working to reduce our environmental impact, so that future generations can have a greener place to live in.

If you’d like to take a look at our sustainability policy, simply click here. To find out more about the University of Bolton or get involved with helping our sustainability committee, simply e-mail enquiries@bolton.co.uk and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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