Earth Day - The top 5 Ways Students can Reduce their Carbon Footprint
Happy World Earth Day! Yes, that’s right, 22nd April is World Earth Day! World Earth day is a great day to reflect and think about your carbon footprint as a student and develop some ways to reduce your carbon footprint daily. We’ve put together a quick list of 5 different ways to reduce your carbon footprint as a Uni Student.
1. Refuse – refuse and cut down on single-use items.
Part of student life and student culture revolves around food and coffee. But these outings often use a lot of single-use products. Cups, straws and cutlery are the most common single-use products used once before being tossed in the trash. As students, we can easily cut down on a lot of this waste by bringing our keep-cups, cutlery, and metal straws that can be used again and again. Not only are we reducing our carbon footprint, but we are also doing so in style! Think cute keep-cup over a throw-away coffee cup. Some reusable products are also much more functional than their single-use counterparts, like comparing metal straws to paper straws; you’ll probably need three paper straws to finish your one drink!
2. Reduce: Travel better, find alternative means of transport Transport can be pretty expensive for students, and the dollars add up! But cutting down on transport costs doesn’t have to be complicated. There are several ways to keep the costs down and cut down your carbon footprint. You could try carpooling into Uni! Get your mates together and take turns driving into Uni – you’ll all save on parking costs and petrol. Consider taking public transport! As a Uni student, the tertiary discounts are pretty good! Make the most of your student perks while studying and keep your costs down. You could also consider walking or riding a bike to Uni; while it might take a little longer, you’ll be getting in your daily exercise, saving money on transport, and doing your bit for the planet, win-win! Bonus Travel Hack:If you plan your timetable well, you might not have to come to Uni every day for class – saving you time and money!
3. Re-use: Opt for more sustainable fashion Op-shopping, thrifting and clothes swaps are great ways to find some unique and fun fashion pieces and save money as a student. You are also reducing your carbon footprint and slowing down fashion. With online shopping being so popular, it’s easy to opt for fast fashion and buy from trending brands! However, you can still be super stylish and on-trend as well as environmentally conscious as a student! NZ has so many small thrift businesses online that are not only affordable but super stylish! Get your online shopping fix and find a small business that matches your aesthetic and is super sustainable and ethical. There are so many op-shops around too! Explore your community, check out street markets, and score yourself some sustainable fashion pieces.
4. Rot: Consider reducing food wastage Food wastage should be a thing of the past, so why mention it? Because it is still so prevalent in the hospitality industry! And here’s how you can help as a student, bring your keep-cups and Tupperware, so you are not leaving any food or drinks behind! While your actions might be small, they are mighty and noticeable. You’ll be cutting down on your food wastage and can keep any yummy left-overs for later. Alternatively, consider starting your own mini compost station at home! All you need is a bucket and food scraps to turn your food waste into plant food! With all the compost you make, you can help your garden thrive and provide your plants with nutrient-rich soil. How good! If you are inspired to start gardening, try growing some herbs, lettuce or edible flowers to live more sustainably. Tip: Even if you don’t have a garden or any plants, you can still learn to compost! This compost can then be put towards gardens or worm farms in your local community! Every little bit helps!
5. Recycle and upcycle: Learn more about plastics and try out some new projects One thing you can do to cut down your carbon footprint is to learn about different recycling types! Find out the differences between soft plastics and hard ones, find out which cartons are best for recycling and what things you can’t recycle! You might be surprised at how much you know or have to learn! If you want to do something more fun and creative, why not try upcycling! Upcycling is a process where you redesign and re-purpose old things that you no longer use! Check out Pinterest for some inspiration! There are hundreds of projects that you can do right now and all within the next 30 minutes! Get those creative juices flowing and give something old a new life!
Refusing, reducing, re-using, rotting, and recycling are important ways that Uni students can help to cut down our carbon footprints and live more sustainably. Swapping products for more sustainable options, shopping and eating more sustainably and finding alternative transport methods are great places to start as Uni Students. We’ve all got a role to play in living more eco-friendly and doing better for the planet; every small action counts! How will you be playing your part?