Being a student is tough. We’ve all been there, between classes, assignments, work, and an attempted social life, it can feel like there’s no time to think about anything else, let alone saving the planet. Believe it or not, even micro-changes in your daily routine can make an immense difference, enabling an eco-friendly student experience without sacrificing your precious time!

Kick The Coffee Cup Habit

Trust me, I understand that daily morning coffee you just cannot live without, or the afternoon pick-me-up latte during classes. You are contributing to an eco-disaster! It’s time to ditch the disposables. A habit that we as students need to work on, it is easy to end up at a coffee shop when you are on the move. However, did you know that during the manufacturing process, paper cups are covered with a plastic called polyethylene?  Although this keeps your coffee warm, it prevents the cups from being recycled. Were you aware that a reusable cup has to be used between 20-100 times to ‘offset its greenhouse gas emissions compared to a disposable cup’?

I get it, the idea of carrying your reusable coffee cup to your favourite coffee shop can seem tiresome, but most of them now offer a discount for bringing your own cup as a reward in exchange for being eco-friendly, a top tip to save money as a student, so it’s a win-win!

Switch to Reusable Coffee Cups

Re-wear, Repurpose, Reimagine

Need a new outfit for that event? Bored with your current wardrobe or struggling to keep up with the latest trends on a budget? I’ve been there, until I discovered reselling. Reselling clothes is a great way for students to be creative, saving money whilst reducing their environmental footprint! Participating has its benefits:

  • It minimises the number of ‘discarded materials sent to landfills’.
  • Reduces the need for production using raw or new materials.
  • It is better for the planet as it ‘reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well as air and water pollution’.

The UN has launched a global alliance to combat the fast fashion industry’s biggest sustainability challenges including waste due to the industry accounting for 10% of total global carbon emissions.

The fast-fashion industry is extremely wasteful. As a consumer, I know that companies are constantly pushing us to buy more, with social media influencers showcasing the latest trends and new arrivals and our favourite brands offering student discounts, it can be so hard to keep up. This is not sustainable! Instead, investigate ethically selling your clothes through a simple process. There are many trusted sites, including Vinted, Depop, and Thrift+ with thousands of items sold daily. Visualise the clothes you own, how many do you genuinely wear? We all have those ’just in case’ we need them clothes lying around, so why not make money easily as a student? Be a part of the change- re-wear, repurpose and reimagine.

Packaging resold clothes, ready to be posted.

Student Hacks for Eco-Eating

Tasty, affordable, and eco-friendly food, impossible right? Wrong. There are so many ways to eat sustainably through minor changes in your daily routine that are impactful. Food production is responsible for around one-quarter (26%) of global greenhouse gas emissions, we as students can make a difference through these habit tweaks.

Meat Production

Meat production is one of the biggest issues and the single biggest cause of deforestation globally. Destroying forests to produce meat results in ‘billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere yearly, triggering a greenhouse effect’. You don’t need to cut meat from your diet, simply reducing consumption is impactful. I like to help the planet with creative steps, including implementing meat-free Mondays or one-part-plant: aiming to eat one plant-based meal daily. Did you know that these tweaks also have health benefits including improving gut health, supporting your immune system, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, and stabilising blood sugar levels through the high-fibre contents?

Meal Prepping

Exhausted from having to cook and decide on your meals daily? Fed up with your money going towards ordering those unhealthy meals? Meal prepping will be your lifesaver. How often do you throw away produce that you didn’t end up cooking? We have all been there. Planning and preparing meals means you will reduce food waste, with your trips to the supermarket being purposeful, quicker, and cheaper by purchasing the ingredients upfront! As a student, I know that every effort helps when it comes to cutting costs. Still not convinced? Try out meal prepping now with thousands of recipes online, including a variety of healthy recipes.

Ride Your Way to a Greener Future

Always on-the-go? Does it seem like no matter how much you try to time manage; you are always late? I know the feeling! Although driving seems convenient, transport is a key climate change contributor. Did you know that ‘transport accounted for 34% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2022’, mainly due to road vehicles? Consider cycling, an eco-friendlier approach with benefits including ‘less CO2 emissions and lower costs, stress and fatigue’. Cycling is a fun way to explore the city quickly with London’s bicycle lanes. Still not convinced? Here are a few benefits of cycling:

  • Easily Accessible: Bicycles are easy to spot, with Santander Cycles placed around London. Download the app and head to your nearest docking station. Get started now, I recommend signing up with Student Beans for 25% off the cost of annual memberships for students aged 18 or over! Alternatively, try the Lime bike app, prioritising sustainability and safety to get you around London!
  • E-bikes: The new e-bikes give you the ‘potential to explore London without exerting more energy’, plus you’ll be fresher upon arrival. Look out for the lightning symbol on the Santander Cycles app to spot e-bike locations. Begin pedalling and ‘feel the power’.
  • Health benefits: Looking for an easy way to implement exercise into your daily routine? Cycling improves ‘cardiovascular health- strengthens your heart, improves blood circulation, and lowers blood pressure’. Struggling to make time to hit the gym? Cycling burns calories easily due to its low-impact nature, whilst improving sleep and mental health.
  • Environmental benefits: Considering bicycles are human-powered, they are zero emission so do not add pollution to the environment- saving fossil fuels, whilst reducing the number of cars on the road and noise pollution.

Implementing Habits

Remember, every effort helps. Implementing some of these changes in your daily habits can make an impactful difference for the planet. So, what are you waiting for? Start hacking your habits now and become an eco-friendlier student, whilst saving money- a true win-win!


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