The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Everyone can reduce, reuse and recycle, even students
For many freshers, the move to university is the first time away from home, and with some real independence to make their own decisions on how they live. Considering the planet just has one decade before humans will no longer be able to reverse the damage of global warming. So, it is a good idea to consider ways to become a more sustainable student. Here are our top 5:
#1 Eat less red meat
Reducing your red meat intake has been described as the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your negative impact on the earth, with almost a quarter of all greenhouse emissions coming from agriculture – a majority of which comes from dairy and meat production. Therefore, reducing your red meat consumption (if you can) is one of the quickest ways to impact the environment in a positive way. Plus, you are likely to save a little bit of money, and protein packed beans and legumes are almost always significantly cheaper than their meatier counterparts, it’s a win win!
#2 Support sustainable small businesses
Throughout Aberdeen, there are a whole host of small businesses practising low/zero waste, plant based cuisine and climate education. If you are needing a bite to eat or quick coffee Bonobo or the Foodstory Zero (right on campus) is the place to go.
Foodstory Upstairs and Rosemount Market both have an amazing selection of organic and low/ zero waste products at reasonable prices. This being said, if you struggle to get to these specific shops there are still ways you can shop more sustainably. For example, picking fruit and veg without the plastic packaging, buying items in cardboard that can be recycled and making sure you recycle it properly.
#3 Reject fast fashion
Fast fashion has the fourth biggest environmental impact on the earth, therefore reducing your consumption of it can have an impact on the planet’s wellbeing.
Rewear your clothes (you don’t need to buy a new outfit for every night out), repair your clothes, swap clothes with friends and family when you feel need for a wardrobe change, buy from the many charity shops across Aberdeen or, if you can afford to, invest in sustainable and ethical fashion brands.
#4 Travel consciously
Travelling to and from your family home and university accommodation for the first time is often part of the first-year experience, but there are simply ways to reduce your carbon footprint while doing so. If you are only a short while away, could you walk, cycle, or go by bus? Get a lift from a friend if you are going the same direction or going the same way for the weekend?
For longer journeys, again if you can afford it, look into buses, trains and ferries over direct flights. These journeys might take longer, but they are usually less damaging than flying, and you can always make a little adventure out of the change of scenery, changeovers and service stops.
#5 Become a campaigner
Individual changes are important in the reversal of the climate and ecological crisis, but alone they will not change the course of history – which at current suggests the damage to the planet will be irreversible in the next decade.
And while one individual alone may not be able to take down the oil barons and carbon producing billionaires of the world, if every individual decided they were fed up with living on a dying planet, and decided to band together, the world’s primary climate destroyers will be forced to change. Therefore, becoming a climate campaigner, raising awareness of the crisis and how the world can fix it before it is too late is an incredibly important thing. There are a host of different climate campaign groups in Aberdeen and the university itself, including the Aberdeen Student Climate Network .
Let us know how you will be becoming a more sustainable student on our socials!