Reducing Your Carbon Footprint- Student Style!
The Easiest Ways to be More Environmentally Friendly and Help Save Our Planet
by Kendra Clark
Image courtesy of RitaE on Pixabay
As students, we should all know our obligation of saving our planet and how important it is to do anything and everything we can to make a difference in pollution levels and gas emissions. Because of the previous generations lack of attention to taking care of our home, our age group is essential to saving the environment. Instead of regurgitating percentages and facts about the planets environmental state that you probably already know, this article will focus more positively on some of the lifestyle changes we, as students can afford to make in order to make our home more healthy.
A small and simple step to start with, is looking more closely at your toiletries and avoiding things with plastic. You may think this would be difficult when glancing at your plastic tooth brushes, razors, shampoo bottles, etc, but all one needs to do is think more eco-friendly when shopping and you’ll start to see a change. For example, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable metal razors are available from pretty much any pharmacy, including Boots and Savers for a very reasonable price. Another way to cut down on plastic waste in the bathroom is bar shampoo and conditioner, which in my experience left my hair feeling so much softer than usual. These are also available from your local pharmacy and if your hair needs a specific type of wash, Lush has the prettiest shampoo and conditioner bars that leave your hair feeling and smelling amazing. Seriously, check the reviews.
Another simple thing to start off with is searching for green eco-friendly cleaning products such as a wooden dustpan and brush, biodegradable sponges, eco-friendly dishwasher tablets and even a coconut scrub pad. These can be slightly harder to find in places like Boots and Lidl so a site I recommend is peacewiththewild.co.uk. You’ll be shocked at how much products they have that are eco-friendly and begin to question larger stores as to why they aren’t stocking these incredible products. The majority of their items are under £10 which is really good for products that give back to not only yourself but your planet as well. This website has everything you could possible imagine to be eco friendly, ranging from shampoo bars and make up to first aid kits and pet supplies! There are so many things that we use daily in our lives that could easily be converted into more eco friendly and sustainable items that help save our planet and visiting this website is a great place to start.
Something to do with your flatmates or whoever you live with, is to focus your attention on your bins and what you are putting in them. We all know the importance of recycling but are you doing it right? It is absolutely necessary that you rinse your recyclables because if you don’t, you risk ruining not only yours, but the entire recycling load as if your recycles aren’t clean due to the cross-contamination levels being too high, resulting in their rejection from the recycling facility. So seriously give them a rinse in order to ensure they are actually recycled. Another thing to do is to make sure you use a food bin with biodegradable bin bags. These take pretty much all of your food from meats to dairy to tea bags and is recycled in landfill sites. The attention that you should be putting towards what you are binning and how you are binning should also extend to when you’re out. For example, Union Square if full of recycling bins and wherever you are, there is sure to be one nearby.
If you’re looking for something more challenging that makes a bigger difference, try looking at your energy provider and understand whether they are eco-friendly or not. Scotland as a whole is incredibly good at using eco-friendly energy and in 2018 we produced the record amount of energy from renewables. Scotland had a target to reach of 100% renewable energy by 2020 and currently we are reaching around 90%, with data showing that we are likely to meet the goal by the end of this year. The flat I’m in right now are with Bulb which is the best green energy supplier in the UK and if you refer a friend, you’ll both get £50! Bulb is also one of the cheaper energy suppliers so it’s really something to look at if you have the responsibility of finding an energy provider. Green energy suppliers are easy to find if you just search them up and switching them is definitely worth it because after all, every little helps.
One of the biggest differences you can make to help the environment is also one of the hardest, becoming vegetarian. The idea of this can seem incredibly daunting and almost impossible if you eat a lot of meat, so a smaller thing to do to get you started and set on the right track is eating less meat. By eating less meat, you are allowing more land to grow freely and in result reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. It can be difficult but when it can reduce the harm that we cause to our planet it is definitely a choice to think hard about. A good start is to look at the movement ‘Meatless Monday’. This movement encourages people to avoid eating meat on Monday every week and thousands of people across the planet take part in this. It’s also really inspiring to see what others are eating on this day as you can always recreate anything you like.
Becoming more eco-friendly is something we should all be looking at and trying to do, especially because our generation is going to be forced to do something about it eventually. Scientist have confirmed that the global pandemic has had a positive effect on the environment as global emissions has fallen since the beginning of 2020, however it’s unsure if the pollution will bounce back when the pandemic is over or not. This is why it’s incredibly important to do whatever you can in order to contribute to reducing our carbon footprint on our planet.