04/05/2021

How to Help the Environment: 6 Ways You Can Get Involved

Life as a student can be hectic, but everyone can still make time to give back to Mother Nature and find ways to live a greener lifestyle.

University students have a lot to think about, and things can get stressful for postgraduate students balancing work, family and university life. So the environment is probably the last thing on your mind.

But for those studying the MRes Environmental Management course at the University of Bolton, it’s often front-of-mind. Because this programme looks at engineering from an environmental perspective, seeking solutions to make our plant a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable place.

No matter what subject you specialise in, you can make a difference and reduce your footprint. Here’s how to help the environment during your studies:

1. Walk or cycle to lectures

If you are within walking distance, walking to your classes can be a great alternative to driving or riding public transport. Not only are you saving money on fares and petrol, but you won’t need to pay for a gym membership.

Some scary statistics that will make you want to go car-free:

- Vehicles are the single biggest source of carbon dioxide in the UK (OneHome.org)
- Car fumes are a risk to your health and can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract (HSE)

Between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year are caused by air pollution (Public Health England)

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2. Reduce your plastic consumption

Plastic is a major water polluter, and also a killer of sea life such as whales, dolphins and all fish species. What’s even scarier is that it goes full circle. Microplastics are ingested by fish, and this makes its way up the food chain and is then ingested by humans.

As most plastics are non-biodegradable, they stick around in our waters and landfills for around 450 years! If you want to make our world a safer place, reduce your consumption of single-use plastics.

There are a number of zero waste shops in the Greater Manchester area, including a few in Bolton (such as A Small Good Thing) so you can find ways to shop responsibly.

3. Eat fresh and eat seasonal

For students who want to save money, improve their health and learn how to help the environment, switching to a seasonal diet is a great idea. This means only eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Not only does it make them cheaper to buy, but they are also at their most flavourful and nutritious.

You can also prevent food wastage by cooking together with your housemates or family. By having meals together rather than individually, you’ll be saving on ingredients and reducing power consumption at the same time.

4. Use less water at home

Water may be infinite, but the supply of it to your home is much more complicated. The process includes extraction, transportation and filtration, and this all uses energy. Across England and Wales, around 3 billion litres of water is lost to leaks every day. That’s the equivalent to 1,180 Olympic swimming pools!

The first step to changing water wastage is to inspect and fix any leaky pipes or faucets around the home. Then you can watch your consumption on a daily basis, such as when you’re washing up or brushing your teeth.

Shower timers can also be helpful to prevent you from spending too long in the shower.

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5. Change the fast fashion mindset

The average consumer throws away 70 pounds (31.75 kilograms) of clothing per year. Most of this clothing ends up in our landfills with nowhere to go. Fast fashion may be the cheap option when you’re on a budget, but the throwaway mindset needs to change.

Buy quality pieces that last and build a capsule wardrobe instead. This is a better way to ensure that our landfills don’t get any bigger. You can also share clothes with friends and housemates to make sure you aren’t filling your wardrobe all the time.

6. Talk about it with others!

Finally, to make a difference it’s important to have open conversations about the environment. If you want to know how to help the environment, spread the word! Share this blog post on social media and get talking about ways you can all help out.

The University of Bolton is proud of its friendly and supportive learning environment, with teaching quality at the forefront of all studies. The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 voted Bolton in the Top 5 UK universities for Teaching Quality.   

To find out more about our master’s in Environmental Management programme, head over to the course page for details.

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