Sustainable Student Living: 7 Eco-Friendly Practices
We’re constantly bombarded with news about climate change disasters and the message that we all need to do more to live more sustainably. When you move out of your parent’s home, you have the freedom to choose how to live your life, including which eco-friendly practices to incorporate. Here are several things you can start doing immediately.
1. Use Less Energy
Be conscious about how you’re using energy. Turn off or unplug any lights and electronic devices you’re not using. You could also lower the thermostat a few degrees in the winter (and wear more layers) and turn it up a couple degrees in the summer — or even open your windows to avoid using air conditioning at all. Whenever you need to purchase appliances or light bulbs, choose energy-efficient options.
2. Find a Sustainable Means of Transport
If possible, avoid bringing a gasoline-powered car to campus — it’s likely you’ll be able to rely on public transit or a shuttle service from your student housing. If you have a part-time job off campus and need your own transport, consider if you could bike instead. Alternatively, you could carpool with other students or even purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle.
3. Change Your Diet
At university, it’s completely up to you what you eat. Consider your options carefully at the grocery store, opting for local produce as well as fruits and vegetables that are in season. However, the biggest impact you can have on the environment through your diet is by reducing the amount of meat you eat. If you’re not interested in a fully vegetarian diet, you may like to limit how many meals with meat you eat a week.
4. Throw Less Away
When shopping for groceries and other products, think about how much waste you create. Look for products with less packaging — or at least packaging you can recycle. You can also avoid single-use plastics and other materials by keeping reusable shopping bags, a water bottle, and a coffee cup in your backpack.
If you have items you no longer want, think about how you could give them a new life instead of throwing them out. For instance, you may be able to give away or recycle old electronics, clothes, and books.
5. Reduce Your Water Usage
It’s easy to forget that water is a limited resource. Pay attention to how much you’re using when you’re washing dishes, only do laundry when you have a full load, and commit to cutting down the time you shower by a few minutes.
6. Embrace Minimalism
A minimalist lifestyle means focusing on just what you need. Having fewer possessions will not only mean you make fewer purchases, it will also encourage you to regularly declutter. This is good for the environment and your own mental health.
7. Learn More About Environmental Issues
You have many opportunities at university to improve your understanding of sustainability. In addition to seeking out information online, you may be able to attend guest lectures, sign up for classes on topics related to the environment, and join a club for sustainable living — if there isn’t one already, you could set up one yourself to spread the word around campus.
Living at the Revalie will help you become more eco-friendly in multiple ways. For one thing, all our Carleton University apartments are sleek and minimalist. There’s a bus stop on your doorstep and a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station within walking distance, meaning you can reach campus and downtown Ottawa without a car. We even offer a free daily shuttle to campus and a weekly shuttle for grocery runs. If you do need your own means of transport, you can take advantage of the bike storage and electric vehicle charging stations. Contact us to apply for a lease.