Simply Sustainability: Living Green in Halls

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Hello, freshers (and all else who have elected to live in halls again)! Welcome to the second instalment of Simply Sustainability, the monthly series which aims to bring sustainability to you,the students, and to make it as easy as possible for you to live green.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with ‘switch off the lights’ and ‘fold up your cardboard’ as you probably already know it all – you eco-warriors, you – but here are some handy tips you might not have thought of for living sustainably in halls.

Think before you bin!

Most, if not all, halls kitchens are equipped with a food recycling bin and a mixed recycling bin (which is taken off-site to be sorted) as well as a general waste one. So, try your best to use the correct one. If you find yourself unsure of this however, then check out the A-Z of Waste to get your head around what can be recycled and what can’t. Also, make sure you’re not flushing things like makeup wipes down the toilet. If you ever think about doing that, I urge you to Google image search a wad of them stuck in the London sewerage system – it’s not a pleasant sight.

For bonus points: Collect fat and oil in a glass jar and dispose of it in the bin rather than pouring it down the sink as it clogs the drains.

Recycling

Some of the harder things to recycle such as batteries and electronics may seem like a pain to get rid of, but fear not, for there is easy-access recycling in halls receptions and in the SUSU building. If you ask at the main desks, they can point you in the right direction.

Are your fresher’s fancy dress costumes out of fashion, or have your beloved Vans had one too many nights at Jesters? Donate them to one of the many conveniently placed charity shops along Portswood Road! It’s super simple to get to them all on the U1 route, and if one has been inundated with too many donations from keen green students, then you have another 8 to choose from! In that vein, if you’re moving out at the end of the year and have food you haven’t yet opened (and doesn’t go out of date any time soon, i.e., tins of kidney beans) then hand it into your halls reception at the end of the year and they are donated to food banks!

The main way to avoid waste is to buy for the long-term, not the short. Invest in glass or tin tupperware, rather than foil or plastic single-use boxes for your leftovers, or consider buying beeswax wraps as an alternative to clingfilm – yes, you read correctly, it’s a thing!

Get Involved

Finally, one of the best ways to get involved in sustainability in halls is through the events run by halls staff and societies. Examples of these include: bioblitz, Waste Wars and Blackout.

Check out the pages to see what great work they’ve been doing so far, and how you can get involved. I hear there are even prizes for your efforts including, word has it, a year’s supply of Ben and Jerrys…

So there you have it, a couple of ideas to get you started on your sustainable journey here at Southampton. Is there anything I missed out? Anything your flat is doing to pioneer the change? Let me know in the comments down below for a shout out in the next article!

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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