It's September, and students in the UK are starting or going back to uni in the coming weeks (if you're not in the UK and have already started, we're sure you can still implement some of this advice). Here are our tips for sustainable living at uni:
1. Share food
If you live in halls or houseshares, it's worth considering sharing your food. There are many ways to do that: you could pool the money to buy necessities like bread and milk and not count who uses what, or buy food to eat together, or simply leave a note to feel free to take something that is nearing its expiry date and you won't eat all on your own. You don't even need to have flatmates: apps like Olio allow you to share food with people in your neighbourhood. Bonus points if you buy food with the yellow tickets on the evening you're going to cook it, as you're saving it going to waste from the supermarket itself.
2. Get take-out food that would go to waste otherwise
Another app worth having both to save some money as well as some food waste is Too Good To Go, but that's not the only place to look for a take-out on the cheap. Many places which have prepared food on their shelves discount them near their closing time. Perfect for those long days in the library when you can't be bothered to cook!
3. Invest in a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and pic-nic set
A way to save money and help the environment if you bring food and drinks from home, but also environmentally friendly when you can't resist the food stalls at the market near campus. Even if you buy your coffee while out, most brands nowadays offer discounts to customers using a reusable cup, so that's a little money saved in the long run. The Refill app also lets you know where to fill up your water bottle.
4. Bring a foldable reusable bag with you
You may stop by the supermarket on the way home or just take too many books out of the library for your day bag, or decided to check out our clothing suggestions during a shopping spree one day class was canceled at the last minute and you needed a break from the library. Many bags available can be folded really small so they take no space at all in your bag.
5. Individuate the best charity/second-hand spots in your new town
The sustainable fashion blogosphere is full of passionate people who live already in your university town and have done the groundwork for you, so you can move there and know the best places to go for your style and your budget. A win-win for both the maintenance loan and the environment.
6. Find sustainable subscriptions to help you keep on top of things
Life as a student is busy, and for many of you, it will be the first time living on your own. It's hard to adjust to this new situation and keep tabs on what we're doing for the environment when our head is full of presentations and essays due. Nowadays, you can find a subscription for everything, from toothbrushes to toilet paper, washing up liquid and laundry detergent. Most of them will also save you money and help you budget for the whole term, even those with an initial higher cost .