As the New Year rolls around, you may have made a slightly different resolution to usual. Whether it was Iceland’s Christmas advert highlighting the problem of palm oil, or finally getting that KeepCup in your stocking, the world is waking up to the impact our actions are having on the planet. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be wondering how you can play your part. However, it’s hard to know what we can do as students.
Hopefully, I can share a few ways that we can move towards a more sustainable life, budget-friendly and easy to fit into a busy schedule.
So what can I do to help…. at home?
Recycle. The obvious one. Check that you’re using the correct bins and make sure waste goes in clean, so it can be recycled properly.
Ditch single use items. Here’s a few examples of easy swaps you can do:
- Swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one
- Ditch single use wipes for spray and a cloth
- Use Tupperware to reduce food waste
Buy second hand wherever possible. Edinburgh is full to the brim with charity shops and vintage shops. Nicholson Street, Forrest Road and Grassmarket are teeming with places to pick up a bargain, and you’ll get more unique items than you ever will on the high street, too. It’s not just clothes, either – charity shops are fantastic for kitchenware, decorations, and even fancy dress.
Lights off! As well as saving the planet, you’ll save money too. Win-win.
So what can I do to help…. at Uni?
Carry reusable items. I’ve made it a habit to always carry my water bottle and KeepCup around with me. Plus, you get 20p off in EUSA cafés with your own cup.
Always have a spare bag to hand.
What if I’m feeling more adventurous?
Check out Eco-Larder, Edinburgh’s new zero-waste shop.
Join a student movement. I’d recommend The Hearty Squirrel Company, and the Sustainable Development Association – they are societies which are doing great work.
The University have also produced plenty of resources on this topic, check out www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international/welfare/edinburgh-life/sustainable-students if you want to know more.