Earth Day: ways to reduce your carbon footprint at uni

Molly Judgeon 22 April 2021

How can you be more sustainable? Check out these simple tips and tricks on playing your part in the fight for sustainability.

The 22 April is Earth Day, and we’re celebrating by changing our consumption habits.

Here’s a short history of the day: Earth Day started in 1970 to promote environmental awareness and protection. Over half a century later, we are about to celebrate the 51st Earth Day across more than 190 countries!

To prevent the global temperature from rising above 2 degrees, we all need to reduce our carbon footprints. Earth Day is a great reminder of that, so we’ve come up with some activities you can do to play your part this year. 

But, before we get onto the activities, make sure to calculate your carbon footprint and shock yourself into action. 

1. Cut down on meat and dairy

Between 14-20% of global emissions are produced by animal agriculture and, while going vegan or vegetarian may seem too hard, cutting down your consumption of animal products will go a long way in helping the environment.

2. Buy less fast fashion

Fast fashion produces more emissions than all air travel and shipping, producing 10% of global emissions. Lockdown has taught us that we don’t need material possessions to be happy. Instead, we crave socialisation. So, consider reducing the amount of shopping you do, or shop second-hand. You’ll find retro garments that those shopping in Primark could only dream of finding!

3. Switch off the lights

We all know it; you know it. But, it has to be said. 

4. Turn appliances and devices off at the wall

Did you know many appliances use energy when they’re plugged in, even if the switch is off? 

5. Switch up your transport 

As students, we’re pretty good at using public transport but, for the lucky ones among us with cars, swap driving for cycling or simply carshare.

6. Choose energy-saving lightbulbs

These use just 10% of the power that normal lightbulbs use. 

7. Get savvy with your laundry

Read up on how to look after your laundry best. Washing machines can wash your clothes well at lower temperatures, like 30 degrees, so turn down the temperature, and you’ll save pennies and the environment.

8. Dry your clothes the old-fashioned way

Using a tumble dryer emits three times as many emissions as your washing machine, so hang your clothes out to dry on the line or use a clothes horse.  

9. Monitor your shower time

Heating water is one of the biggest causes of energy consumption in the home. By reducing your shower time by two minutes, you will make a significant difference. Plus, you’ll thank yourself later when you receive your water bill. 

Is the climate crisis important to you? Join our Student Panel to give us your opinion. We’ll give you vouchers for your thoughts, in addition to £10 to spend at Amazon when you sign up!

Molly Judgeon 22 April 2021