Simply Sustainability: The Most Eco-Friendly Freshers Yet!

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This is the first article in Wessex Scene‘s monthly Simply Sustainability series. Coinciding with the beginning of the academic calendar, I will start by covering ways to be more sustainable during Freshers!

We are coming to the end of Zero Waste Week, and with that in mind, I thought I’d pass over some top tips to have the most Eco-Friendly Freshers yet! It’s time to step up and become a pioneer.

  • Ditch the plastic.

I’ve heard of freshers from various years taking single-use plates and cups to University – which, of course, is a heinous act – in the hope that they wouldn’t have to do any washing up. Please don’t let this be you. When doing that all-important essentials shop for your year ahead at university, get yourself a single plate, bowl, mug, glass, and set of cutlery, that way you’ll be forced to do it ASAP, or you’ll be without it.

In that vein, it is also worth getting yourself a substantial lunchbox. They can be found cheap in T.K. Maxx, and help save the planet from single-use salad boxes – and your pocket from forking out £5+ for lunch every day. Plus, it helps to counteract food wastage, as I often find that even in pre-packaged salads, I won’t eat everything.

Be the coolest (and most eco-friendly) in the club with a metal straw! Artist: Magnus Gorny.
  •  Invest in a metal straw or two

When you go out, take it with you, and you’ll save hundreds of single-use straws throughout your first-year antics. You can get a load of funky coloured ones and both bendy and straight styles, I picked myself up two #aesthetic gold ones and a cleaning utensil from Sea Straws during a recent collaboration I did with them on my Instagram. I keep one in each of my bags, so I’m never without one. They also make great ‘student-budget gifts’. The best part is, you can chuck them in the dishwasher when you get home from uni to do your first washing load! If metal is not what you’re going for, then check out some bamboo ones!

Never-ending tea (or coffee) for long days in the library? Have no fear, KeepCup is here! Artist: Magnus Gorny.
  • Grab the essentials?

EthiCo is a Southampton student initiative, offering easy access to sustainable goods. They partnered with KeepCup and produced their own reusable coffee mugs, which is the one I’ve got, and there are so many colours to choose from, that you can’t even argue it doesn’t fit with your fashion theme. They also sell tote bags for your weekly Asda trip, again, saving you splashing 5p on plastic every time, and bamboo toothbrushes that will last you more than a year!

Don’t forget to get a reusable water bottle – preferably one that’s Southampton branded so you can use it with pride at home – and you can fill it up at multiple sites on the Highfield, Avenue and Oceanography Centre campuses, which calculate how many plastic bottles each filling station has avoided!

Next month, I’ll be looking at ways you can improve your sustainability while living in halls!

More articles in Simply Sustainability
  1. Simply Sustainability: Living Green in Halls
  2. Simply Sustainability: The Most Eco-Friendly Freshers Yet!
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