I was just scrolling through my emails when I saw that my University have declared an environment and climate emergency. We all know how important it is to be more environmentally conscious and yet, people still aren't doing it. It can be hard as students to be completely 'green' but that doesn't mean that we can't make small, simple steps to ensuring that we are looking after the planet the best that we can. Thus, let's discuss 5 ways to help the environment as a student...

help the environment as a student

1.  Buy A Reusable Water Bottle

Enough with buying a bottle of water from the shop every day; buy a reusable one. Nowadays, there are plenty on the market and there really is no excuse not to use one. I personally like the Chilly's ones but there are so many available, with a varying price range. This goes for coffee cups too. If you know you're going to go to Costa that day, take your travel flask - you are reducing the amount of single-use cups and also saving yourself a bit of money too as a lot of coffee shops take a fraction of the price off if you have your own cup - it's a no brainer.

2. Electronic Notes Rather Than Paper

I don't even want to think about the amount of paper I used during my GCSE and A-Level years because I know that it was absolutely ridiculous. Where you can, try to make electronic notes rather than paper ones so you are reducing the number of notebooks you are buying. Sure, some people find it easier to learn with paper notes but if like me, the format of your notes doesn't really make much of an impact, I would definitely recommend switching to electronic notes. Pretty much all of my notes from this year at University are stored in a Google Drive folder and then I use Quizlet for all of my flashcards and I find that this really helps and it makes me feel better knowing that I'm not wasting so much paper.

3. Use Reusable Bags

Rather than buying a 10p carrier bag every time you go to the shop, keep a reusable bag with you. You can get those ones that fold up into a tinier bag so you can keep that in your bag wherever you go and then, there's no excuse to buy plastic bags, even if it was an impromptu purchase. This is one of the easiest ways to help the environment, it's not costing you anything (if anything, it's saving you money in the long run) and it really does make an impact in the long run. Just think about the unnecessary amount of plastic bags that you buy a year when really, you could just use a reusable one.

4. Decrease Meat Consumption

A few years ago, it was believed that you could either be a meat eater or a vegetarian - there was no in between. Now, the idea of Meat-Free Mondays are promoted and I think this is a great way to decrease our meat consumption. My relationship with meat and dairy is an interesting one and thus, one I will probably cover in another blog post but anyone who knows me will know that I try to eat mostly vegetarian options when I can. However, if you are a meat eater, it's good to look for organic and free-range options when you are shopping. Again, I'm aware that this is easier said than done as a student because these options are slightly pricier but I think that it is vital in order to help the environment.

5. Be Aware Of The Amount Of Electricity You're Using

I'm not sure how it works for all student houses but for ours, and in student halls, you usually pay a set amount per term and that includes all, if not the majority, of your bills. While I think that this is good in the sense that they aren't suddenly expecting students to manage everything themselves, I think it can become a slight problem when people aren't aware of how much electricity etc they are using because they are not the ones monitoring it. So, before you leave a room, make sure you've unplugged everything you know you're not using, turn the lights off and just be conscious of the decisions you're making. There's no need for a light to be on during the day - just open your curtains.

Share your ways to help the environment as a student below!