Caring for the environment; part 2 – OurWarwick

Caring for the environment; part 2

Last year I wrote the blog – Caring for the environment on campus and beyond. Over time, I have started doing more things to improve on my sustainable lifestyle skills. So, here is the list of more things you can do!   Switch from coffee to tea. My mate messaged me an article showing that tea has a lower carbon footprint than coffee so coffee is only for mornings and I don’t add milk to it any more (but keep it dilute). I would really recommend Masala Chai, the Tesco branded black tea with rose, wild apple and cinnamon, and Jasmine pearls from Tea Pigs and also Twinings Superblends sleep tea which is just the best thing to have before bed. I thank two of my friends from chemistry and my flatmate for this craze for tea this year as I had fallen in love with tea well before I learnt about the environmental benefits. Thanks to the hot water tap on the ground floor of the library, I can now take my travel mug and tea with me to campus and enjoy my drink. There is also a hot water tap in the kitchen in the Chaplaincy. I have even been trading some tea bags with one of my friends who’s an absolute tea addict so we can invest in new flavours we enjoy. I can only hope the people in the library don’t suspect we do some dodgy trade only because we are chemistry students.   No new pens; I plan to switch to pencils entirely once I finish the current ones. I did a quick search last year and turns out that mechanical pencils are the most environmentally friendly. I have already a lot of pens some from indeed the beginning of first year when I went shopping to prepare for university. Once I’ve finished all these pens, I will make a switch to using pencils except in exams where you must use a black pen (and here my Parker pen will come handy!).   I have no yogurt any more and have switched to Soy milk. I have to be honest – this has been the most painful switch because Soy milk is relatively expensive. On the bright side, however, you can keep it open for five days rather than three and it tastes undeniably better than normal milk.   I learnt that even if you turn off the lights for a few seconds while you pop into the kitchen for something, it still makes a difference and whilst this is something that sounds small, I have been particularly making sure I do this. Download the ‘Ethical Guide to Local Living’ here (pink box at the bottom of the page) and it gives a lot more tips on how you can be more environmentally friendly.   No printing this year. My polymers lecturer told us that paper has some polymers as well and considering how good the Warwick print paper is, I’m guessing it’s also got some polymers in it so I’m downloading everything this year. It saves me a lot of money as well.   I read an article on the Boar on how you can read sustainably. I used to always buy new books because I like to, but not any more! I remember when I started university, one of my lecturers told us about but I presumed that it’s a website for science books. Recently I visited the website (over two years later) and turns out it has all sorts of books! So, goodbye Amazon and hello abebooks. There is also a charity shop at Cannon Park and I bought a book from there on vampires and it’s actually so good. Also, as part of wellbeing week (from 04th Feb to 08th Feb), a mystery book sale was organised so I bought three books (except the money went to a charity called BEAT eating disorders) and I am so happy with the ones I ended up with (I didn’t get to see the books or read the blurbs but instead only a brief description hence the name ‘mystery’). In this way, I’m hoping to keep myself informed of all ways I can get my hands on cheap used books rather than new ones.   A switch to sustainable journaling using Reflection. This is an app I found on my Mac and as much as I used to dislike the idea of having an app for journaling, it is clear that it is the best way forward given that within a single year I had managed to finish two notebooks and the concerns regarding storage and confidentiality were beginning to worry me. Whilst the Reflection app isn’t password protected, I know it’s still safe on my laptop and is much less likely to get lost or read by someone else. The two journals from last year I threw away because I didn’t want them anymore. There is nothing I enjoy about keeping a record of the past and the good thing about journaling is that it is the process of writing down my thoughts that is therapeutic to me and not storing them. Besides, I only really write when I’m sad or confused about something so there really wasn’t anything super nice in my journals last year that I have now lost.   Looking at some of the things I said in my last blog, well… – I do still pay Greenpeace. – No plastic bottles at all. I have switched to tap water. No regrets, I am strong and can deal with it. I make use of the water fountains around campus as well. – I do take my takeaway cup for tea and don’t use the library ones. – Still a vegetarian haha. – Have hugely cut down on printing (sometimes you need printed spectra to analyse as it involves a lot of annotations) a lot and using library/ chemistry fifth floor computers so don’t have to carry around my laptop. – Still living in Canley this year and am on the Westwood sharing scheme for next year. – I carried my Bread and Strawberries in my hands as I walked home from Tesco because I ran out of space in my bag and didn’t want to get a carrier bag. I think that says it all.   It is Valentine’s Day this week so perhaps when you show love to your special ones, consider keeping mother Nature in your thoughts and actions as well. 🙂  


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