Sustainable choices at uni? – OurWarwick
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Sustainable choices at uni?

Meredith Whiting
Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

Hey there! To continue on from my previous blog based on habits I’m taking to university this year with me, I wanted to talk about the choices and habits I’m making this year to live more sustainably and put into practice some of what I’ve taken from my degree so far. 

Single-use plastics?

I have been trying to reduce my use of single-use plastics and go packaging free as much as is possible. Being able to reduce landfill waste is something that’s become really important and has been a challenge but slowly is becoming easier to do.  One area I’ve been trying to take this to heart in is by using the Lush ‘naked’ range of toiletries. Shampoo and conditioner bars, solid forms of the haircare, are what I used whilst travelling to save space and stop leaking products on the train, but I’ve continued using them since I’ve been back, and have even expanded to using the cleansing balms and solid facial oils. I’ve really enjoyed getting to try the different oils and products, and knowing there’s no packaging involved makes it even better. I’ve also moved away from cotton pads this year to reusable cloths, which have not only cut down on waste but also price when shopping. 

I’ve also been looking to go for more plastic-free food – from fresh fruit and vegetables to frozen food in cardboard packaging rather than plastic (thank you Aldi and Iceland for that!). 

Reusable Cups

This is along the same vein as the above, but I’ve finally found a flask and a water bottle that work for me when looking for drinks out and about. Getting discounts at coffee shops for a reusable mug is an additional bonus, but it’s definitely a lot more relieving knowing that all I need is my bottle, and I can fill it up whenever is needed (rather than buying another).  I also made a purchase of reusable straws for my room next year, and to take with me. I found that while many campus outlets have been using paper straws and other alternatives, for my own cups I would still rather wash my one straw and keep it with me just in case!

Last year I spent a lot of time on trains and buses across Canada – such as a visit to Toronto and the home of the NBA Champions Raptors and the Maple Leafs!

Improving my public transport use

In second year I spent a lot more time in cars than I had anticipated – especially for smaller journeys into Coventry. I’m planning on purchasing a bus pass with National Express to provide greater accessibility to Leamington and Coventry. Trains will also be playing a large part in travel, especially with trips to visit friends at other universities and attending sports tournaments. If using a car is inevitable, I’m planning on trying to ensure it isn’t just me travelling alone, and sharing the car with others. I’ve really become more mindful of carbon footprints from travelling, and can’t wait to see where I can explore while on public transport.

Changing my diet

Whilst at uni, I’ve tended to reduce my red meat consumption down to less than once per week – and I’m intending to keep that up this year. With the introduction of the campaign “Meat-Free Monday” at Warwick, I’m hoping to stick with a majority vegetarian diet, with a very occasional meat meal. It’s not only a measure for increasing sustainability, but decreasing food cost as I found my weekly food shop much cheaper once I stopped buying meat. It was a win-win approach!

I hope this has been able to inspire you to take some changes when you get to Warwick to live a more sustainable lifestyle – with accessible recycling and a lot of resources provided by the Sustainability team and societies, it’s easy to take small steps towards a change!

Enjoying a trip down to the West Country and the open fields and nice weather – a more reasonable temperature than the 38 degrees recently!

Meredith Whiting
Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

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