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Reuse and Recycle: How a Student Can Become Environmentally Responsible

Recycle collection containers

Entering the university can be viewed not only as a new stage of education but also as a new stage in the formation of environmental consciousness. This article will tell you how a student can take care of the environment.

Food

The emission of nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gases provokes agriculture, especially the production of meat and dairy products. Giving up meat (if possible) is an easy way to reduce carbon emissions as well as save money.

A meatless diet has been called the most important step to reduce human impact on the planet. The consumption of meat and dairy products leads to overuse of land and water, as well as industrial pollution and the death of forests.

Whatever you choose, it is advisable to buy seasonal, locally produced foods. They are less likely to be packaged in plastic, and their carbon footprint will be less significant. If you have space to spare – even a windowsill will do – try growing some of your own herbs or vegetables. You can also reduce food waste by planning your diet in advance, and sharing food with friends if necessary.

Clothes

There’s more to long-lasting clothing than just the financial benefits. In the UK, clothing production has the fourth-highest impact on the environment after construction, transport, and food. In less than a year, people throw away more than half of their fashionable clothes.

However, clothes are better recycled, repaired, or renewed with accessories. Try swapping clothes with friends and going to a secondhand store instead of the mall.

Ines Patat, who studies fashion at Northampton University, advises to look out for environmentally responsible brands like Patagonia or Pact when buying new clothes. They call themselves organic, GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), and eco-friendly. Some clothing manufacturers in the mass-market segment are also turning to organic values.

Everyday life

Many first-year students will be living without their parents for the first time, which means doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning on their own. There are simple ways to change your habits to make everyday life eco-friendlier. Wash clothes at a lower temperature, and choose bamboo toothbrushes and other organic hygiene products. Buy a regular clothes dryer so you don’t have to use an electric dryer (the reduction in your electric bill will surprise you). Try to use disposable packaging less: for this, you can go to the store with a cloth bag, and for takeaway coffee – with your own thermos mug.

The most effective option is to give up traveling by air. Flying back and forth from Manchester to Berlin releases around 214 kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In 15 countries, one inhabitant produces much less CO2 per year on average. If you’re planning a weekend getaway with friends, try taking the train or bus.

Activism

Collective action is just as important as an individual action. University campuses can be the perfect place for eco-activism: according to a study by the National Union of UK Students, 91% of students are concerned about climate change. If you don’t know where or how to start, see if your university has any eco-societies. Their actions can cause tangible change: for example, a student campaign against fossil fuels in the UK led 76 English universities to abandon them.


Author’s Bio: Jean Hartley is a professional content writer who has helped students for over 6 years. She successfully works for a write my paper service and also manages remote projects. Jean has her own blog on YouTube where she shares her knowledge.


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