How to be a sustainable student?

With over 70,000 residing in Leeds, students can form up to 10% of the city's population during term-time. This constitutes a significant percentage of people who can influence the trends and habits of a city.
Female walking on campus
Sustainability is an important topic and taken seriously by an increasing number of people. The student population is critical in leading the change towards a more sustainable lifestyle. So, if you are not sure how to be more sustainable as a student here is some easy-to-apply ideas.

1. Volunteer!

Definitely, a positive and impactful thing to do, volunteering can be a beneficial activity for yourselves and the community. Firstly, it is a great way to get to know other students from different courses, you might even make friends for life. While volunteering, you can improve your teamworking and communications skills which can be very useful skills to have in daily life. Volunteering is also good for the CV; it is something which you can use to make you more employable in the future. Overall, you can help make a difference through giving your time and efforts.

Digging up beckett park

2. Reduce your plastic consumption.

Plastic is suffocating our lands and seas. If you have seen Blue Planet 2, we don't need to go into details. Good ways to reduce plastic are by:

a. Drinking from a reusable water bottle.
b. Ditching plastic cutlery and cups.
c. Using a bar of soap instead of bottled liquid soap.
d. Bringing your own reusable bag instead of buying a new plastic bag.

6 ways we tackle ocean plastic

3. Healthy food for healthy minds.

Yes! What we consume impacts on our moods, habits, and mental wellbeing. Eating healthy is vital in order to keep up with studies. Low blood sugar levels, too much salt from crisps or even, not enough liquids in your body can lead to tiredness, headaches, or low mood. Watch the video below about what foods are good to consume.

Moreover, consider reducing your intake of meat. Doing so will give you several health benefits. Cutting down meat is linked to a decrease of risk of some cancers namely colorectal, breast, stomach and bladder cancers. Also, you can aim to reduce weight more easily - carrying excess weight increases our risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and arthritis. Plant-based diets tend to be less energy dense so we can eat more and feel fuller. Finally, it is known that eating less meat lowers our level of cholesterol. Plant foods are typically low in saturated fat and some (nuts, seeds, avocados and vegetable oils) are high in unsaturated fats, which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. 


To know more, read 'Healthy Planet Eating' from Friends of the Earth.

4. Buy second-hand and donate to charity shops.

Students can find a great variety of clothes, books, and other random objects in charity shops. Not only can you save money when buying second-hand, but you also support a charity. Adding to this, students can help save resources for newly made products reducing their carbon footprint and supporting local shops. 
If you are thinking of getting rid of a few things, for example at the end of the academic year, do not throw them away, donate them. Donating helps charity shops to survive and prevents wasting of products which still have a use.
Where to donate in Leeds? Here's where...

Charity Shop

5. Avoid printing.

Throughout the year, students print a lot of their lecture notes and other university materials. With the improvement in technology, notes can now be accessible from a simple tablet via MyBeckett. Not only printing saves money and can also prevent trees from being cut down. 
Pile of printers - Why printers suck

6. Hire a bicycle.

Hiring a bicycle can make you save a lot of money over the year, is great exercise and is the cleanest way to commute. Here at Leeds Beckett, you can hire a bicycle for £35 for a semester or £50 over the full academic year. The deposit is £50. Included in the deal are a solid D-lock and front and back lights. 

Find more here: 
Gemma Rayner on Bike at Headingley Campus

More from the blog

All blogs