10 ways to be more eco-friendly in a student house
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According to recent studies, millennials place climate change and the need for public policy regarding the issue as central to their political concerns. We’ve seen a lot of initiatives in the past few years, from the 5p bag-tax to the forthcoming proposal to ban all plastic drinking straws. The big question is: what are you and your friends doing to help? Making changes to how you consume goods can sometimes seem daunting, so we’ve put together some suggestions for how your student house can become more environmentally-friendly. The great thing about a lot of these tips is that they’ll not only help save the planet, but also save you money. So what are you waiting for? Here are our tips for being more environmentally friendly throughout your student house. In the kitchen 1. Buy in bulk... A great way to cut down on waste products is by buying in bulk. Think about it: four one-pint cartons of milk are producing a significant amount more rubbish than one four-pint carton. What’s more, it’s much more expensive to keep buying smaller tins, packets and bottles. Get together with your housemates and consider which items you could club together to buy (we suggest you get along to your local Co-op for this.) 2. Eat less meat I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that meat is expensive, but it also has a huge impact upon the environment. In fact, 51% of greenhouse gases are attributable to the meat-production industry, whilst feeding a meat-eater uses up 20 times the land space used to feed a vegan. Cutting down your meat consumption will have an immediate impact on your wallet, but could also improve your health and the environment. Try using vegetables or meat-replacement products such as Quorn in dishes such as lasagne or Bolognese. Even aiming to eat meat-free a couple of days a week is a step forward! 3. Pack your fridge or freezer As well as buying in bulk, consider cooking in bulk. Cooking enough for three or four meals will take no more time and little more energy than cooking the meals individually. Fridges and freezers use up less energy and are more efficient if they are full, so pack them with your batch-cooking. 4. Reuse or recycle packaging where you can Sometimes you can’t avoid packaging altogether, but you might be able to reuse it in another way. Plastic containers such as those for ice-cream are great for storage of edible and inedible products. Meanwhile, metal trays you might get takeaways or ready meals in make good disposable baking trays for those meals which are just too messy to face washing up. If you’re very arty, you might be able to find more Blue Peter-esque uses for yoghurt pots and toilet rolls, but if you’re not, it’s worth seeing if any local schools or nurseries want them. At the very least, check what can be recycled via your waste collection service and stick to it!
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