The focus of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is of course sustainability, but what does this really mean and how can we help to work towards these in our day to day lives? In this blog post I wanted to offer some of the easier ways that students can help to make a build a more sustainable future.
It can seem like its really hard to make a significant difference on an individual/local basis, – especially when you’re a student! There are obvious ways to try and be more sustainable, such as using public transport where ever possible, recycling more and trying to save electricity – things we have all heard about endlessly, I’m sure.
However, I thought it would be a good idea to suggest my top 3 ideas of how you can contribute to reaching the goals in a simple, yet effective way! Lots of us are probably already doing these things on a daily basis, often without realising, but for those who perhaps don’t, perhaps this can act as a gentle nudge in the right direction…
1. Eating in-season food (when possible)
Students live on a budget, so buying locally sourced and organic ingredients would be hard – understandable! However, trying to eat produce that is in season whenever possible could make a huge difference; reducing food miles, therefore also reducing carbon emissions. For example, in February, foods such as rhubarb, apples, beetroot and cauliflower are in season, whereas things such as strawberries and bananas are not. Simple foods such as baked beans are actually always in season, so there is no excuse! Even buying the Fairtrade version could help a little too. Not only are foods that are in season better for the planet, they also have more nutrients and taste better too, so it’s a win-win situation!
2. Saving water
A slightly trickier one, however even just filling up the kettle with the exact amount of water for your cup of tea or using a bit less water to wash up could help, preventing wasting water (we are all guilty of it!). Using a filter jug instead of buying bottled water is also a fab way to reduce the use of plastic and work towards living a more sustainable life.
3. Preventing unnecessary waste
This one covers a wide range of ideas. However, simple ones such as requesting not to receive junk mail through the letter box, recycling old bottles, buying food with decent use by dates so you reduce your food waste and making sure you re-use your plastic bags (saving you 5p per bag!) can all help. These small changes can not only reduce land fill, but also reduce deforestation, use less fossil fuels and could work towards ending world hunger. So much food is wasted each year, so if people wasted less food, we could all make a massive difference! Got any leftover tins of food? Why not take them to a food bank, helping to reach the Goal 2:Zero Hunger!
There you have it – 3 simple ways to be more sustainable as a student!
-Thank you to Gabriella Hammond, who is a 1st year Geography student at NTU , for writing this blog post!
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