“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry
In recent years, we have begun to understand the severe consequences that human activity has had on our planet. We are currently at a pivotal moment; evidence suggests that we only have just over a decade to prevent irreversible damage to the planet due to climate change (UN). However, the growing concern of the younger generations about serious issues such as climate change, holds promise for the future of our planet. A recent study carried out by GlobeScan uncovers the varying opinions, attitudes, and behaviours between generations, towards sustainability. For example, looking at averages from 27 countries, there is a much higher percentage of the Gen Z generation seeking out ways to make their lifestyles more environmentally friendly, compared with the Baby Boomer generation. With this in mind, here at Studenteer we have taken the opportunity to use Earth Day to share some of the ways in which students can join this growing trend and lead more sustainable student lives.
Sustainable Solutions for Students
- Taking notes on an electronic device, whether that be on a laptop or tablet, rather than on paper notebooks or flashcards. This one is especially important if you’re someone who tends to throw away paper rather than recycling it. Paper makes up 20% of all waste in the UK! (flexible-storage.co.uk)
- Opting for (and remembering to bring!) reusable bags to do food shops and swapping disposable water bottles or hot drink cups for reusable ones. One million plastic bags are used worldwide every single minute! (ribble-pack.co.uk). By remembering to use a reusable bag, you can help reduce the level of plastic waste that is causing damage to the planet.
- Cutting down on the amount of take-aways you order, as they tend to heavily feature non-recyclable plastic containers. We all know the temptation of a hangover-induced takeaway! But by making sure you have food already in the fridge/cupboard, this temptation can be greatly lessened. Your wallet and the planet will thank you!
- Share with or borrow from your flatmates commonly used household items you don’t necessarily need your own of, such as kitchen utensils, bathroom products and cleaning supplies.
- Using public transport or sharing car-hailing rides with friends when getting around – or even better, walking or cycling when possible. A worldwide increase in cycling, from current 6% to 11% of all urban passenger miles, could cut CO2 emissions from urban passenger transport by around 7% by 2030 (cyclinguk.org). By making a concerted effort to cycle (or walk) when possible, you can help contribute to this important, necessary change.
Student Sustainable Businesses (on Instagram)
We have also compilated a small list of our favourite student sustainable businesses that you can find on Instagram, to make choosing a more sustainable lifestyle, that much easier.
Charm earrings – @earringsbyamy
Clay plant pots – @ponkywots
Illustrated accessories, apparel, prints and stationary – @evamalleyart
Repurposed tops and bags – @lisaclairejonesdesign
Resin pieces – @chunkyresin
Upcycled hats and hair accessories – @mindyourhead
Be sure to visit earthday.org to take part in various virtual summits and read over 50 actionable tips to make a difference.
Happy Earth Day!
By Anna McDaid for Studenteer
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