17 low-effort ways to be more eco-friendly while at uni
The environment could really do with all the help it can get. By making a few changes to your lifestyle you can make an impact and save some money and improve your health in the process. Take a look at our tips to find out how you can do your part while at university.
Learn to love tap water
When it comes to water consumption we could all do with easing up a little. Here are just some of the ways you can be more responsible with your water usage:
1. Get over your fear of drinking tap water: bottled water is 500 times as expensive as tap, that’s like paying around £1,500 for a pint of beer. Get a BPA-free bottle for life and take it with you wherever you go
2. Bin the bottle: while you’re at uni, instead of buying bottled water take advantage of the free water dispensers installed around campus
3. Cut down on soft drinks: soft drinks have high costs and carbon footprints, besides, drinking water is better for you – it keeps you hydrated, healthy and alert
4. Be mindful of your water usage: remember that parental advice, ‘don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth’, ‘fill the washing machine up with full loads’, ‘get out of the shower already!’, and you’ll be on the right track to reducing your water consumption
Reduce your footprint
A few minor changes to your behaviour can lower your carbon footprint. Keep these common sense tips in mind to help reduce your energy consumption:
5. Switch off lights and electrical equipment: if you don’t need them on why leave them on?
6. Bask in the sunshine: sometimes you don’t realise just how much of a difference sunlight makes to the warmth of a room. In a room with lots of windows it makes sense to open the blinds to warm it up and close the blinds when it’s too hot. Also be sure to turn off electric lights when there’s enough natural light to work by
7. Dress for the weather: save on unnecessary heating or air conditioning by giving some thought towards your wardrobe
Check out the WWF’s carbon footprint calculator to see how your lifestyle measures up.
Plastic waste like carrier bags and bottles that end up in our oceans kill approximately 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
Treasure your rubbish
With all the recycling facilities readily available, you’d be going out of your way not to recycle these days. If we all do our part we can reduce our waste significantly. Keep up these good habits and encourage your friends and family to do the same:
8. Buy and sell responsibly: there’s no need to take things to the tip when there’s plenty of people on ebay waiting to bid on your treasure. In the same way, why buy new when you can find something a bit more individual from charity, vintage or second-hand shops? Always check online ads, like Gumtree, Freecycle and ebay before you buy new – not only will you help save the environment but also the contents of your wallet
9. Reuse everything: don’t stop with the bag-for-life, take a look at other things in your home that you can reuse or repurpose. Why not try your hand at upcycling? Take a look at Upcycle That for some ideas to turn your things into one-of-kind pieces
10. Recharge don’t rebuy: rechargeable batteries have 28 times less impact on global warming, 30 times less impact on air pollution, nine times less impact on air acidification and 12 times less impact on water pollution than their disposable counterparts
The energy we use in our homes accounts for more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide emissions in the UK.
Get your hands dirty
Next time you’re on campus take a stroll around and you’ll notice a mix of natural, semi-natural and landscaped environments, all of which provide habitats for a range of species. Liverpool John Moores University is committed to protecting biodiversity and encourages students to get involved. Even if you live in University halls or are sharing a house, you can still make a difference, here’s how:
11. Hang plants: if you have a small or paved garden that doesn’t lend itself to planting, try hanging plants from your exterior walls. Not only will this help biodiversity, it will introduce colour to your garden
12. Grow your own: if you don’t have outside space for a garden, create planters for your windowsill. With fruit and veg prices on the increase, this is a great opportunity to develop a green thumb. You can quite readily grow plants such as herbs, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and radishes
13. Help the bees: 60% of the crops which feed the world are pollinated by bees. Try to plant bee-friendly flowers which season at different times of the year to provide a consistent nectar
We throw away 1.6 million uneaten bananas every day.
Stop sitting in traffic
LJMU offers a number of green travel options to help you choose more environmentally-friendly ways to get to the University and travel around the city.
14. Plan to cycle or walk just once a week and you’ll be making a significant difference in reducing emissions, plus you’ll save money on travel costs
For more information on travelling to the University including bike routes, facilities and public transport information see the Travel section.
Living more sustainably tends to encourage a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few ways you could work towards achieving this:
15. Keep your meal portions small: whether you’re eating out or buying food at the supermarket, be aware of how much food you actually need. Not only will smaller portions be healthier, it’ll also reduce your food waste. The average person wastes around £200 of food per year. See the Love Food Hate Waste website for more information on how you can reduce your food waste
16. Grab the mop and bucket: you can burn around 480 calories during a two-hour house cleaning session (use eco-friendly cleaners, of course, such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon)
17. Count your steps: studies have shown that people walk on average an extra mile per day when tracking their steps with a pedometer
If you are currently a student at LJMU and are looking for ways to get more active, you could sign up for free off-peak membership at Lifestyles Fitness Centres. Plus there are many different sport and activity clubs for you to join, check the Students' Union sport pages to find one that interests you. Or why not take a look at our Travel page for information about interest-free cycle loans, bike hire, and free bike storage, so you can find ways to incorporate activity into your daily commute.
Liverpool John Moores University is committed to becoming a more sustainable institution. Find out how we are working towards our sustainability goals.