You probably don’t think you waste a lot of water, but you might be surprised. Do you turn the shower on and leave it running for a while before getting in? Or do you leave the tap on whilst brushing your teeth or washing up? Saving water can be a really simple and effective task for achieving a more eco-friendly lifestyle at university.
Another tip is to shorten your showers by just a few minutes. Shortening your shower by just one minute can save around 150 gallons of water every month and knock some money off your water bill. So, be more conscious of saving water and only leave taps or showers running when it is necessary.
2. Turn your appliances off
Energy conservation is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only will you be saving on your electricity bills by switching your lights and electricals off before you leave the house, but you will also reduce your own carbon footprint by conserving more energy. Remember that merely leaving your electrical appliances on standby will still use up unnecessary energy whilst you’re out – so, turn them off!
We have loads of advice on energy saving and you may even find that university is part of our Student Switch Off, Energy saving competition – find out more here.
3. Don’t flush any 'foreign objects'
Flushing objects (with the exception of toilet paper) can greatly impact the environment and especially rivers around the UK. Around 8 million tons of plastic feed into our oceans each year, and over 8% of that comes from items we flush down the toilet. These items include tampons, earbuds, nappies and condoms. has shown that commonly flushed items like wet wipes and ear buds could take up to 500 years to biodegrade in the ocean.
If you’re unsure on what materials you can’t flush down the toilet, to find out more and to see just how long commonly flushed items will take to biodegrade in the sea.
4.Use natural cleaning products
Cleaning products can contain a host of dangerous and harsh chemicals. These chemicals are not only harmful to us, but they also threaten wildlife and the environment, especially if they’re released directly into the environment.
Why not try using cleaning products made from natural products that don’t pose a threat to you, or the environment. If eco-friendly cleaning products are more expensive than your usual buys, why not try and make your own - for example, hot water, vinegar and lemon is a great glass cleaner!
5. Reduce Waste
It is good to follow the waste hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. The best thing you can do is create less waste wherever possible. When you do have to throw something away, it’s important to recycle what you can. Recycling conserves our natural resources, saves energy, protects ecosystems and people, and reduces pollution. It can be difficult to know what you can recycle – especially when the rules are different from what you might be used to at home. Check out the posters and bin labels in your kitchen to make sure you are recycling correctly.