12 ways for a student to help the planet without feeling like you live in the stone age
if Trump isn’t going to do it someone has to.
The reality of a rapidly changing climate can be pretty daunting for a student. It is easy to feel like there is no way to help, especially when 70 per cent of the world's greenhouse gasses can be traced back to 100 companies.
But still, we can always do more as individuals to halt climate change in it's tracks. The small things can make all the difference. You don't even have to give up showers or hug trees (unless that's your thing) to help the environment. Here are 12 student tips for saving the world that would make David Attenborough proud of you.
Unplug what you're not using
Let's start with an easy one. You do not have to have your laptop charger plugged into the wall 24/7 and if you are going home for a few days, make sure to unplug any adaptors that would otherwise be left there. This is not about saving massive amounts of energy as much as it is about being aware of the energy you may waste on a regular basis.
Shut down electronics
Turn off your electronics overnight instead of having them on standby or in sleep mode. This will save your battery as well saving you from charging it as often.
Recycle your glass
As great as it is to decorate your kitchen with the empties from last week's pres, you can always recycle them instead and actually free up some space on the kitchen counter for, Oh I don't know…food?
Keep the oven closed
When you are cooking, check through the oven door until the final checks, rather than opening and letting heat out each time.
Aim for a weekly vegetarian day
Side step the flexitarian title and instead pride yourself on a weekly achievement. Go for a vegan day if you want the bonus challenge as well! (You can always go to Greggs for a vegan sausage roll, you might as well)
Be smart with note-taking
Don't automatically jump to the next page when writing lecture notes, make the most of your space on the page. This also prevents you from being that person who has to flip their page so loudly they are in danger of ripping it.
Shorten your shower time in some way
Okay, you don't have to stop washing entirely. Just shortening your shower time will reduce your amount of water consumption AND save you money when your landlord send you your next bill!! Win win, right?
If you're struggling to get out of the warmth of the shower and into the cold Fallowfield air, set a goal for yourself. (If you get through singing the entire Mamma Mia 2 soundtrack… you're in too long).
Do washing with a friend
You can split the cost and this is especially useful if you often don't have enough for a full load. Washing is also less mind-numbing when you're not alone.
Cut the plastic rings around cans
This doesn't get rid of the amount of plastic you'll waste, but it reduces the potential harm that the rings could cause. One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed every year by six-pack rings. Save the turtles.
Get a reusable travel cup
This saves you throwing away all those takeaway cups. You can also get a discount on your coffee at places including Costa, Starbucks and Pret if you bring your own reusable cup.
Get a plant
Who doesn't want a cute plant? You can name it after your ex and scream at it when you're angry. Aside from emotional exorcism, a plant could improve air quality in your room and get you in touch with nature. Also, during exam season you can cry into the soil.
Buy eco-friendly products
You can find things like biodegradable bin-liners at Lidl, Sainsbury's sell environmentally friendly cleaning brands (such as Ecover and Method) and Tesco sell their own Tesco Eco-Active laundry supplies.
While these aren't all solutions, we can all do our bit to reduce our consumption and help save the planet. Forming positive habits and addressing personal resource use are steps towards awareness of what is affecting climate change and how to go forward in creating positive change.