5 Ways to make your move to university more eco-friendly

02 Aug 2019,
By Grace R., Student at Oxford Brookes University

Are you starting to buy things ahead of your move to university? I remember being really excited at this point. But, as somebody who’s also quite eco-conscious, I also found it quite tricky to make green choices that didn’t feel bad for the environment.

So, how can you make your move to university as environmentally-friendly as possible?

Here are my 5 top tips for getting your first year essentials in an eco-conscious way.

1) Create a donation pile when you pack your clothes

Chances are you’ll be sorting through all your clothes to choose what to take with you. So this is the perfect chance to donate any clothes you no longer want to a local charity shop. This prevents them ending up in landfill and also raises money for a good cause!

2) Buy a reusable lunchbox and water bottle

Cooking at home and taking your own lunches in a reusable box will reduce your plastic usage and save you money. The same applies to reusable water bottles – not having to buy bottled water between your lectures cuts down on your plastic waste and your spending.

3) Look in charity shops for your fancy dress

An exciting part of first year at university is dressing up for themed nights out, and I’ve found charity shops to be the best places to go for outfits. I’ve always been able to find something to fit my themes, it is very affordable, and you can always donate back to the charity shop after wearing (and washing of course).

This kind of ‘circular’ economy, where we reuse and recycle things instead of buying new stuff, is a vital part of the fight against climate change.

4) Leave your car at home if you can

Using public transport to travel to and from home, and also around your university city, lowers your carbon footprint and saves you a lot of money on petrol. And those valuable savings can be put towards a holiday, nights out, or impromptu trips away.

5) Try cooking vegetarian or vegan meals

Moving away from home gives you complete freedom to choose what you eat and where you get your food from. Cooking mostly vegetarian (and occasionally vegan) meals has meant I’ve saved money whilst also reducing my carbon footprint (meat is expensive to buy and environmentally-damaging to produce).

Try to buy your fruit and vegetables from local markets. You’ll be able to buy them much cheaper than if you were to get them from a superstore, and they should also have a better selection from local producers - helping you reduce your carbon footprint even further.

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By Grace R.
Student at Oxford Brookes University