How to be a more sustainable student
In 2019, the Times Newspaper ranked the University of Dundee third on their Higher Education University Impact Rankings, due to the university’s commitment to reduce its overall carbon footprint.
Did you know that the Dalhousie Building won the 2008 Green Gown Award for Energy and Water Efficiency, due to its clever built in features including solar shading, water recovery controls and waste energy utilisation?
While our university is committed to tackle climate change, there are steps that we as students can take to become more eco friendly in our day to day lives at university –
Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet.
The meat industry is a major source of pollution, due to fossil fuel usage, waste levels, and land usage. A study taken by the University of Oxford found you could reduce your carbon footprint by as much as 73%, just by cutting out meat from our diets.
By cutting our meat consumption, we can slow down climate change by becoming more sustainable in our day to day food choices.
If eliminating meat from your diet is totally unimaginable, try making meat free Monday part of your weekly routine – every little helps!
There are many different recycling points on campus, which recycle a variety of different products ranging from paper and plastic, to crisp packets and toothpaste!
The University has ‘reverse vending’ machines, which reward you for recycling your empty cans and bottles into the machine. These are able to recycle both plastic bottles and aluminium cans. For every empty plastic bottle that you deposit, you are rewarded with a 3p voucher, and 5p voucher for every can, which can be spent in the Premier shop by the Union. These ‘Recycle and Reward’ machines are located throughout campus, such as outside the Student Union and in the Dalhousie Building.
Take notes electronically rather than using endless sheets of paper
According the Environmental Paper Network, the greenhouse gas generated by 1 piece of paper equates to taking notes on a laptop for over 7 hours.
Not only are electronic notes durable, easy to access, and easy to edit, but they are an eco-friendly option.
Also, instead of buying books for your studies, check if your core reading texts are available via online libraries such as Jstor. Not only are you saving money by using these online resources, but you’re saving the environment by using less paper!
Go for environmentally friendly transport!
We are lucky at the University of Dundee as our campus isn’t spread about too much, so generally, we can walk in between classes.
However, when that isn’t practical, Dundee has great bus links.
There are also bike ranks available on campus for those who chose to cycle!
Thanks to funding from the Energy Saving Trust, the School of Life Sciences has electric bikes which are available to rent. To book the bikes, or to find out more, email SLSElectricBikeHire@dundee.ac.uk for details and information!
Buy second hand!
By now, we’re all aware of the detrimental impact that the ‘fast fashion’ industry is having on the environment. Rather than heading to a high street chain when you’re in need of new clothes, why not try a charity shop?
There are lots of charity shops in Dundee city centre, which sell a range of different items such as clothes, books and homeware. According to the Charity Retail Association, each charity shop saves over 29 tonnes of clothing from being put dumped in the landfill bin!
Also, there are frequent second hand sales at university!
You can head along to buy other peoples unwanted items, rather than buying something brand new. If you have your own items you don’t want and would like to sell on, you can purchase a stall at the sale for £7 for students!
The next scheduled second hand sale is on the 21st February in MONO. Entrance is £1.