World Health Day | 14 Small Changes To Become More Eco-Friendly At Uni
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World Health Day 2023 will focus on the theme, ‘Health for All,’ and will mark the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Taking place on April 7th, the focus is on looking back at how public health has improved during the last seven decades and to tackle the health challenges of today ̶ and tomorrow.
Within this guide we’ll be focusing on how you can be sustainable at university, not just for World Health Day, but everyday!
How To Be Sustainable At University
As a student, we understand that sometimes you can feel helpless.
Climate change and the problems that come with it are MUCH bigger than we, as individuals, can solely change.
Nonetheless, creating awareness and doing your part for the bigger picture is what matters most.
Looking for tips on how to be sustainable at university?
Keep reading now and uncover your reason and begin the change you want to see.
1. Reduce Water Usage Where Possible
Water is a precious resource and we need to do more to make sure we’re preserving as much as we can.
Did you know, unless water usage is drastically reduced, severe water shortage will affect the entire planet by 2040?
Think about it, that’s less than 20 years away…if that doesn’t shake you to the core, we’re not sure what will.
During your stay in our UK student accommodation, you have the luxury of never having to bother external companies for water, electricity or WIFI, as you have an all-inclusive rate signed before you move.
As beneficial as this is for your ease, it can shadow you from how much you actually consume during your time at uni.
Therefore, it’s on your hands to make small changes to manage your own water consumption!
Check out a few ideas you can implement into your life below:
- Only filling the kettle up for the amount you need
- Have a ‘get in and get out’ attitude with the shower
- Turn the tap off whilst you’re doing your teeth
- Wash your dishes in one bowl of soapy water
- Bigger washes, less often INSTEAD OF smaller washes, more often!
2. Walk To Lectures And Seminars
Air pollution is one of the biggest risks to health in the UK, and there’s so many small changes you can make to reduce how much pollution you’re pumping into the air!
If you travel by car and live under 30 minutes away from the university campuses, why not try walking?
Not only will it help you save money on petrol, it will also be brilliant for your own active health and improve your carbon footprint!
You could even invest in a bicycle and zoom around town if you need to get to places quicker.
If you do live quite far out from your campus, you could think about car sharing with people on your course or use public transport.
Recycling has been ingrained into us since early childhood, yet there’s still people out there who don’t take the time to recycle where they can…whyyyyyyyyyyyy!!
Make sure to do your bit by reading labels of products carefully and working out how to correctly dispose of them.
Luckily for us, refill stations are on the rise and this could massively reduce the amount of plastic you buy from a supermarket!
Opt for this if you can and encourage your flatmates to do the same.
4. Save Money And Focus On Sustainable Fashion
Got some weekend plans or a celebration coming up?
Instead of hopping onto the likes of ASOS and Boohoo to buy a new outfit, try second hand first and see if there’s anything there that tickles your fancy.
Download them and get searching for the item of clothing you’re looking for.
You might just find a pre-loved bargain calling your name!
Or, head into town and visit your local charity shops!
Not only are you investing in sustainable practices, but you’re also giving back to the charities and putting your money somewhere useful. Seriously, what’s not to love?
You could even take it one step further and do some clothes swaps with friends!
They might have some stylish numbers sitting in their wardrobe collecting dust, so ask the question and see if they’d be up for a revamp.
5. Join The Sustainable Society And Pressure Your University
Join a collective of like-minded individuals who care just as much as you about the state of the world we live in.
Whatever university you study at, we bet there’s a range of eco-friendly societies to get involved with.
The more people who join, the more likely it is your university will listen.
Work alongside your Student’s Union and put pressure on those around who aren’t pulling their weight.
6. Try Things Such As Oddbox And Too Good To Go
There’s plenty of apps out there which tackle sustainability concerns, and there are two we’re going to let you know about today:
Oddbox is a food delivery service which serves as a service to tackle food waste. In the UK alone, over 3 million tonnes of fruit & veg are wasted before they even leave the farm. They go through a strict process and if they’re not seen as ‘perfect supermarket standards’, they’re thrown away for waste. Oddbox have grown their network of farmers and deliver these perfectly tasty produce right to your door!
2. Too Good To Go
Too Good To Go works in a similar format, with aims to reduce food waste which are past their shelf life date. They’ve teamed up with some of the biggest food brands in the world to let you buy and collect this food – at a great price – so it gets eaten instead of wasted.
We also echo that if you shop locally for your seasonal produce, you’re less likely to dispose of plastic waste, ultimately lowering your carbon footprint.
7. Reduce Printing And Keep Things Online
Whilst studying at university, the environmental impact that printing has is detrimental.
Yet, we know that most things can be done online…so…why are we still printing out unnecessary things?
If you want to become the ultimate sustainable student, keep everything online and buy second hand books for studying if they can’t be accessed through the internet.
8. Bring Reusable Water Bottle Into University
When you’re dashing from lecture, to study session, and back to the library, it comes as no surprise that you’re going to need something on the go to keep you fueled.
When you invest in a reusable water bottle, you’re not just improving your own health, but also benefiting the landfills that see millions of bottled water go to waste here.
According to The Guardian, 38.5m plastic bottles are used every day in the UK – only just over half make it to recycling, while more than 16m are put into landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans each day.
This crazy statistic might make you think twice when you’re walking into Tescos for your daily meal deal.
9. Buy Digital Transport Tickets Using Trainline and Local Bus App
There’s nothing worse than having pockets overflowing with outdated bus tickets and endless train day savers.
Instead, why not make the switch and buy your tickets digitally?
There’s so many apps online now to help you out, so check out your local transport links and download their apps for ease.
10. Stop Buying Wipes
Wipes may seem like an easy cop out when it comes to cleaning up, but do you really know the impact they’re having on our world?
Eleven billion wet wipes are disposed of each year in the UK, and since the pandemic, this number has accelerated into new heights.
Wet wipes which are non-biodegradable contain plastics which can cause water pollution and can have a life-threatening impact on sea creatures.
There’s so many alternatives out there for you to invest your money into like reusable wipes.
Do your research and find what works best for you!
11. Switch Off Plugs And Lights
A simple, but extremely effective way of trying to become a sustainable student is by switching off plugs and lights when they’re not needed.
If you’re leaving your student accommodation for the day, turn off your TV – you’re not going to be using it!
The microwave really doesn’t need to be on when you haven’t used it for four days…does it?
Becoming aware of these tiny things will help the environment, even if you don’t feel like it’s doing much.
Plus, it will help you reduce your utility bills so it pays to be kinder to the planet…
12. Pop On A Jumper
Next time you’re feeling a breeze, ask yourself ‘do I really need the heating on?’.
You more than likely don’t (unless it’s like you’re living in a freezer, then maybe we suggest you do).
Why not invest in the summer in second hand jumpers to prepare you for the winter cold?
There’s nothing more cosy than wrapping up in layers, knowing you’re not burning any fossil fuels in the meantime.
Or, racking up your heating bill during the cost of living crisis!
13. Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Another way you can be more sustainable as a student is to reduce your meat consumption.
You don’t have to cut meat out of your diet together, even just cutting out some meat and dairy products can do the world of good.
Opt for a Meatless Monday one day a week, or try out a plant-based diet and see what benefits you notice.
Not only is reducing how much meat you eat good for your carbon footprint, but also for your lifestyle!
14. Get On SustainbleTok
Our last tip for becoming a sustainable student during university is to get yourself on Sustainable TikTok.
There’s an abundance of clever individuals who give sooooo much brilliant advice on how you can change your ways in becoming more eco friendly.
Save your fave videos, organise them into collections and reach for them when you feel like you need educating.
Or, if you’d rather why not create your own sustainable videos for World Health Day 2023 with the hashtags #HealthForAll and #WHO75.
It would be a great way to get involved and inspire others to be more eco-friendly!
There we have it, 14 brilliant eco-friendly changes you can make to your everyday lives at university.
Make a difference and do more than the average person this World Health Day 2023!