Many of us want to make environmentally conscious choices, and a new academic year feels like an opportunity to make changes for a greener lifestyle. However, some of the suggested methods for eco-friendly living don’t always to appeal to those of us on a budget.
Here are my five tips for caring for the environment without breaking the bank:
- Set your thermostats to 1C less
According to the department of energy, this could reduce heating bills by up to 10%, and save the planet around 300kg of CO2.
- Reassess your diet
According to the United Nations, ‘cattle-rearing generates more global warming greenhouse gases than transportation. The livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities and generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.’ Going vegetarian or pescatarian feels like a daunting task to many of us, so even omitting meat from a few meals per week can make a huge difference.
- Switch out your aerosols for roll-on deodorant and other alternatives.
- Take the leap and try a menstrual cup
Every year, over 45 billion menstrual products are disposed of globally. 27, 938 used tampons and applicators are collected every day from our world’s beaches. And on the budgeting side of things, each one of us girls will spend roughly £1200 on tampons in our lifetimes. A menstrual cup is 3 times more effective at holding menstrual blood than tampons and you only need to buy one, which will last for years and are a one-time cost of around £20.
We all have recycling bins in our uni houses and I’m sure many of us are avid users of them. However, fast fashion as an industry can be very harmful for our environment. Since 2013, H&M have been offering a garment recycling service to reduce the number of garments sent to landfill. They accept ‘any clothes by any brand in any condition,’ and in exchange you will receive a £5 voucher per bag of clothes towards your next H&M purchase.