Five ways to be more environmentally friendly as a Newcastle student

It’s so much easier than you think

As students in the Toon, our main priorities are defo trying not to max out our overdraft while still having enough outfits to wear for multiple nights out a week.

This can easily end up with us choosing the cheapest options, such as fast fashion and unsustainable food produce (meaty kebabs), leaving many of us climate warriors feeling like we aren’t doing enough for the environment at this stage in our lives.

However, making more environmentally friendly choices doesn’t have to be spenny and is actually easier than you’d think!

Here are the five ways that you can be more environmentally friendly as a Newcastle student.

Join the Extinction Rebellion Society

The Extinction Rebellion Society at Newcastle Uni aims to promote the effects of the climate emergency to the wider public, as well as campaigning for change.

Joining this society is a great gateway into joining protests for the environmental cause, as well as making new friends who care as much as you do, you can attend these meetings and protests with them too. Their Instagram is @extinctionrebellionnewcastle

And if the society isn’t for you, XR has a wider community throughout Newcastle and the UK, which you can join online and attend protests whenever works with you.

Donate clothes to charity shops

Newcastle is bursting with charity shops, both taking donations and selling secondhand gems. Our faves for buying are in Gosforth or Wallsend high street if you’re looking for a wide range of options without a hefty price tag. But the city centre also has a great selection too, with several shops selling clothes between £1-3.

Not only can you get rid of old clothes here and help them find a new home, but you can also find some unreal bargains in clothing, books and even homeware, perfect for everyone.

If you can’t make it to a shop, there’s always the big bins which can be found throughout Jesmond (try the bin near Tesco or next to the Metro), which makes your life easy as pie.

Shop sustainably

Shopping sustainably in Newcastle could not be easier – the Grainger Market is a great place to buy loose fruit and veg, which will help save on plastic, as well as being home to cool vintage and second-hand stores, such as The Yesterday Society.

For cupboard essentials, Something Good in Jesmond offers cereal, pasta and general ingredient refills. All that you need to do is bring your jar or bag! They also sell plant-based chocolate, so you may as well treat yourself for all the good you’re doing for the planet.

A very easy change you can make is to simply bring your bag shopping, so you don’t need to buy the 10p plastic bags, and swap your veggies to the non-plastic covered ones.

Walk, don’t drive

Newcastle is such a small city, and if you’re living in student areas like Jesmond, Sandyford or Shieldfield, the city centre is a short walk away.

Walking is not only better for the environment, but it’s also a great exercise that I think we all need after months of sitting in our bedrooms watching Bridgerton during lockdown.

So, try not to drive unless you really have to.

Eat vegan

Going vegan is one of the best things that you can do for our planet, and what better city to do it in than Newcastle?

The Toon has a huge selection of vegan restaurants for all cuisines, as well as shops selling vegan alternatives to meat, milk and even fish, so there isn’t any excuse to eat better, whether that’s being fully vegan or introducing more plant-based choices into your diet.

Eating vegan has never been easier than it is right now, and it’s one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint without doing anything drastic. Starting simple with eating vegan one or two days a week and working up to a fully vegan diet is a great way to become more sustainable.

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