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I know we’re all worrying, so here’s how to have an eco-friendly Freshers’

Make Greta proud this Freshers’ Week

So it's Freshers' Week. You have cheap pizza and sign up emails coming out of your ears by day, and are throwing red cups around by night whilst everyone drinks to 'Roxanne'.

But have you ever considered the impact freshers week has on the environment? I don't think I've ever seen more single use plastic and paper waste than I have at a Freshers' fair, and it's time that we all started to change our habits a little bit. Here are a few super simple ways to make your Freshers' experience a bit kinder to Mother Earth.

Don't be greedy!

It's really easy to get carried away with freebies, no one is a sucker for free stuff quite like a poor student being offered things they don't have to pay for, but it can create a lot of waste.

In one year I managed to grab enough pens to last my whole university experience and if you were to repeat this process every year, I'm sure many of them would just end up in the bin. By only taking what you actually need, companies can continue to use the pens they've ordered for longer before investing in more, reducing the plastic they're consuming.

And don't over estimate yourselves, you're never going to use that many condoms.

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stop flexing

Sign up to emailing lists instead of taking flyers

Flyers will be thrown at you like you're in a strip club, and as you're being thrust things into your hands it can often be hard to say no. However, I can guarantee that most of them will end up in the bin at the end of the week, so simply say no or offer to sign up to an emailing list instead, where you can safely throw things into the trash but not affect the environment.

It's worth mentioning too that this should apply to society flyers and hand outs at stalls too. It's most likely that the flyer you take home will be put in the bin so simply take a picture of the flyer and leave it for the next person to enjoy. If you're worried about forgetting an event pop it in your calendar then and there!

Take a straw or reuse your cups

Popping a reusable straw into your bag for a night out is a perfect way to save on single use plastics. Take it to flat parties or Freshers' events and reduce the stuff that you're binning.

You can even get foldable straws that strap onto your keyring to make it even more portable. Or get inventive with your drinking vessel, it can spice up the party and make the night a lot more fun.

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Try going vegan or veggie for a couple days a week

University is a great time to forge your own path and try new things. Now that your parents aren't cooking for you any longer why not try out some new recipes and cooking menus. Reducing your meat intake is one of the best things you can do for the environment and there are loads of student societies to meet people who are doing the same as you, and find support for meal prepping and shopping for yourself.

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UoB's Vegetarian Society

Buy a coffee flask

Coffee, the saviour of all students. Having a reusable cup or flask from the get go can save you money and plastic. Most of the coffee venders across campus charge for cups now so using your own mug can make buying a coffee feel more rewarding. As well as this, having a flask could save you from buying coffee altogether, meaning that you can make coffee at home and have it ready to take with you into your morning lecture.