Five Easy Ways To Be A Sustainable Student


Posted on Thursday 27th June 2019

Studying can be a stressful time, whether you’re just starting out on your first Bachelor's degree, or you’ve decided to return to adult education for a career change. If you’re interested in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, it can almost certainly make it more tricky. Late night study sessions fueled by plastic-packaged takeaways, endless notepads, and pens, and even decorating your student accommodation can all have a negative impact on the environment. If you’re looking for ways to ace that course while staying as sustainable as possible, then read on. We’ve got five great tips on how to be as eco-friendly as possible while you study.

  1. Use An Eco-Friendly Transport Method

If you live on campus, then getting to and from lectures and seminars is going to be super easy. Your classes aren't going to be more than a few minutes walk away, so you won’t need to give travel a second thought. However, if you’re staying in a shared house or you’re in adult education, then you’ll need to think about how you’re going to get to college every day. Walking is by far the easiest and greenest option (and it’s great for your health), but if this isn’t practical, then check out the local public transport. If you’re in a large city, you’ll be able to navigate buses, trains and the subway, which will make getting to your lectures a breeze. Otherwise, why not grab yourself a bike? Riding is not only faster than walking, but it’s also far more environmentally friendly than traveling by car. Plus, as an added bonus, it’ll increase your fitness levels as well. For extra sustainability points, pick a pre-loved one up from Craigslist or other secondhand selling sites. 

  1. Choose Sustainable Stationary

As a college student, you’re going to be using a lot of pens and paper; from note taking in lectures to late-night cramming sessions over the textbooks, the amount soon adds up. The best way to limit this is to choose stationery brands that have an eco-friendly element to them. For example, Package Free Shop stock a wide range of recycled notepads, ring-binders made from repurposed chipboard and even 100% compostable pencils, while Dolphin Blue sell green versions of everything from post-it notes and paperclips to mouse pads, folders, and desk organizers. Another great option is to go digital. Make the most of the numerous organization apps available on your phone or tablet, and even get into digital journaling.

  1. Consider An Online Course

A great education option for anyone looking to limit their environmental impact is to choose not to attend a physical college, and instead study online. You’ll be avoiding the issue of transport, which means your carbon footprint and emissions will automatically be reduced, and the amount of stationery you use will be significantly lower, which is great news for anyone who wants to fight deforestation. As well as that, you’ll find yourself far less stressed - online learning is way more flexible, and there's no pressure to attend daily lectures and seminars. There are online courses available in every subject imaginable, in a wide range of qualifications; choose from Bachelor’s degrees in social sciences and languages to Masters degrees in accounting and business. You can even study at FNP school online, and make all your nursing and healthcare career dreams come true. 

  1. Buy Some Reusables

As a student, you’re going to be out and about a lot. Lectures, library sessions and group study days are all going to be a part of your everyday life, so you’re going to need to think carefully if you want to avoid single-use plastic and crazy levels of waste. The first thing you’ll need to do is to grab yourself a reusable water bottle and coffee cup - staying hydrated is super important, and we all know how vital caffeine is to the student life! Add to your daily travel kit reusable straws, metal or bamboo cutlery and a good collection of cotton tote bags for any shopping. You’ll have a little extra washing up to do, but it’ll be worth it in the long run!

5. Shop at Thrift Stores

Whether you’re living in student accommodation on campus, or in a shared house across town, you’re going to want to make your space your own. The temptation is to open up your laptop and buy brand new bedding, rugs, and accessories, but it’s far more environmentally friendly to shop secondhand. Thrift stores and garage sales are a goldmine when it comes to quirky, unique homeware items, and if you’re lucky, you’ll grab some great vintage pieces. If you’re creative, consider buying pre-loved furniture as well. There’s not much that can’t be rescued with some sandpaper and a lick of paint!

test image for this block