7 Ways to be a More Sustainable Student

Climate change is a defining problem for our generation. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels – the impacts of climate change are potentially catastrophic.  Although we can’t do everything, we can do something. Check out our tips that can help you lead an eco-friendlier life as a student!

1. Reduce, Reuse Recycle

Single use plastic, such as wrappers and disposable shopping bags, are only really useful to us for a matter of minutes or hours, yet they persist in the environment for hundreds of years. To try combat this issue, avoid single use plastics where you can, bring a reusable bag for life for your shopping, reuse when possible and of course, recycle!

Want to take it one step further? Check out Refill Quarter, situated on the Lisburn Road, where you can bring along your own containers to refill with their selection of food and household products. They also offer a 10% student discount – so remember to show your student card at the till to save your dollar!

2. Bring your reusable mug/bottle to campus

Purchase a refillable mug / water bottle and join the fight against plastic. There are spots around campus to fill up your water bottle and even a cup cleaner situated at Junction Café – no excuses! 😊

3. Choose Public Transport

Thankfully, Queen’s is in walking distance to many student living areas. If you live close by, walking or cycling is a great way to reduce emissions and is also great for your mental and physical health. If you are commuting to work, opt for carpooling, taking the train or riding the bus before driving into the city.

4. Eat Less Meat

Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production. Not ready to take the plunge of going vegetarian or vegan? Why not try Meatless Monday! By avoiding meat for just one day a week, you can do your bit to lower demand and in turn lowering Co2 emissions. There are some delicious veggie options around campus, e.g. the Union Shop at the SU in One Elmwood and Junction Café in the Peter Froggart Centre offer hearty vegetarian options daily.

5. Save Energy

Make it a habit to turn off all devices and lights when they aren’t in use.  Not only will this help the environment, but it’s a win-win situation as you will also save money on electricity bills.

6. Thrifting

A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is by opting for preloved clothing over fast fashion labels. According to The World Bank, 10% of all carbon emissions globally is from the fashion industry.

Have you ever bought a trendy item that was all over TikTok, only for it to be cheugy a couple of months later? Unfortunately, you have fallen victim to microtrends. These rapid trend cycles are detrimental to the environment as many of these clothing items will end up in landfill.

Next time you’re thinking of buying a new outfit for a night out from SheIn or Boohoo, check out preloved items on Depop, EBay, Vinted or your local charity shop.

7. Join the Climate Fight

Being green is very important to the Union. We’re delighted that as a result of years of lobbying by our Student Officer Teams, Queen’s has recognised the climate emergency and is undertaking a multi-million-pound investment into a Sustainability Action Plan!

We are also continuously looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly with in the Students’ Union and encourage everyone to take positive action to make our world a more sustainable place.

Find out more on our website and get in touch with any queries, suggestions, or if you’d like help and guidance about how to start your own campaign by emailing: su.voice@qub.ac.uk

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