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What can I do to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle as a student?
Hi, I’m Jack, a first-year student at Leeds Beckett. Climate change is a big concern and many people like me are making small changes to live a green lifestyle. In this blog, I’ll be sharing my tips for sustainable living and telling you about the top five things I do in my day-to-day life to reduce my carbon footprint, which in some cases also saves me some extra cash.
Kirkgate market in the city centre of Leeds offers a wide range of fruit, veg and meat. It’s a great place to shop for cheap on a student budget and it is environmentally friendly food too. I get a lot of my fruit and vegetables from Kirkgate Market as the food is locally sourced and so the carbon footprint is greatly decreased as the food does not have to be transported over a long distance. Additionally, there is less plastic packaging used in local markets and the fruit and veg can often be the same price or cheaper when compared to supermarket chains. There are many markets across Leeds such as the Kirkgate Market and the Headingley Farmers' Market.
An extremely large number of textiles end up in landfills each year and we can help reduce this by reusing and buying second-hand clothes. These clothes can often be found in charity shops and thrift shops. Although they may not always suit your taste at a first glance, I have found that they are usually good quality clothes for an extremely cheap price. One place I recommend and often visit is Bad Bambi in the Trinity shopping centre. I have found that they offer a large variety of cheap clothes and 10% of their profits go towards UK mental health charities.
I find that recycling is the easiest way to live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle and is very easy to do with the help from the Leeds City Council. Your kerbside bin accepts a large variety of recyclable products, however it is important to note that councils accept different recyclables so for students new to Leeds, it is important to see what can and cannot be recycled here. At my student accommodation we recycle on a regular basis by creating small collection piles that one of us then takes out to the correct recycling bin. This is an easy way to keep on top of it, help each other and make sure that everything is recycled correctly.
Consider alternate ways to travel
The city centre of Leeds is very compact, and most buildings are within walking distance of one another which is great for students. However, if you want an alternative way to travel, why not consider Leeds City buses? These buses are frequent, easy to use and some buses now have zero emissions and run entirely on electricity. I often use a bus to travel to the Headingley campus as it is more environmentally friendly than getting a taxi or an Uber and it is also much cheaper (costing £1.20 for a single ticket when pairing up your university email with the First Bus app for student discount).
Alternatively, if you enjoy cycling why not consider the university’s student bike hire? Cycling is a great way to be more environmentally friendly as it reduces your overall carbon footprint by not relying on buses or cars to travel around Leeds.
Using energy saving devices
By using more energy efficient devices, and renewable resources, less electricity is needed to run them and so will lower your carbon footprint. There are many devices that can lower your overall electric and gas usage, such as LED lightbulbs and standby busters. I like to use rechargeable batteries that hold a large capacity as although they are initially more expensive than non-rechargeable batteries, I have been using them for the last year and I have not needed to purchase any more, reducing my battery waste which would end up in a landfill. I’ve found that rechargeable batteries are great for controllers, LED lights, remote controls and any other small device which requires batteries to operate.
A bit of extra effort from everybody can go a long way in helping the environment and to tackle climate change.
Five things you can do to create a more sustainable way of living
- Shop locally
- Reuse clothes
- Use energy saving devices
These are just a few example of things that I do and it is important to note that there are many ways in which an individual can live a green lifestyle. I hope that these ideas have helped you. If you are interested in being more environmentally friendly and you are curious on other measures that you can do, there are a variety of other student blogs and ideas available in the sustainability category of Student Blog Squad.