In the guide below, we list and explain potential sustainability tips for students.
These tips might be applicable to school students, college and university students, and also students engaging in other types of study.
This guide may complement a separate guide we put together with potential sustainability tips for schools.
1. Minimize Food Waste
For students bringing their food (like snacks, lunch, etc) to school or campus, they might be mindful of making sure to eat it, and not throw it out or waste it.
Some students may bring their food for the day, but be too busy to eat it, might let it go off/spoil in their bag, or may end up buying take out food, and the end result is they throw it out.
Making sure to eat packed food minimizes food waste.
2. Consider Using Reusable Items Where Possible, & Minimize Packaging Waste
Using reusable items enough times may make them more sustainable in some aspects than single use items.
One aspect they might be more sustainable in, is that they don’t result in single use type waste.
Reusable and washable water bottles/drink bottles, and also food storage containers, might be some examples of reusable items students can use.
They might help reduce single use drink bottle and also food wrapping/food packaging waste.
3. Dispose Of General Waste Properly, & Don’t Litter
A relatively simple point – disposing of general waste in the bins provided in classrooms, lecture and study rooms, and around school yards and college campuses, will help reduce litter.
4. Consider Going Paperless Where Possible
Students may be able to go paperless for some activities.
This might help reduce the footprint of producing paper, but also paper related waste.
Paper can often be substituted with electronic devices, such as using electronic notebooks instead of paper notebooks, submitting projects and assignments electronically instead of in hard copy, or storing documents electronically instead of in hard copy format.
5. Consider Using Paper Sustainably
Some tasks may practically require students to use paper.
In these instances, there might be a few sustainable paper practices to keep in mind, such as:
– Using more sustainable types of paper (potentially sustainable types of paper might contain a certain % of recycled content, or be certified for coming from a sustainably managed forestry, just as a few examples)
– Using both sides of the paper in notebooks and study books (where practical)
6. Consider Sustainable Printing Practices
Printing is common for tasks like printing lecture and tutorial notes.
Some practices that might lead to more sustainable printing might be:
– Using sustainable paper
– Printing on both sides of the paper (where practical_
– Using eco friendly printer ink where possible
– Using an eco friendly setting on the printer where possible
7. Consider The Sustainable Use Of Electronic Devices
Students can use a range of electronic devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, electronic notebooks and readers, and also other devices.
A more sustainable approach to using these electronic devices might be to:
– Buy them to last several years, or as long as reasonably possible
– Maintaining them (including software updates, and repairing hardware where possible)
– Dispose of them sustainably i.e. some electronic devices might be able to sold secondhand, some donated, and where they need to be thrown out, some can be given to e-waste recyclers
8. Consider Trading, Selling Or Donating Study Supplies Where Possible
There’s a range of supplies that students might use, such as uniforms, books and readers, pencil cases, and so on
Instead of throwing them out when they are no longer wanted or needed, a more sustainable approach might be to see if they can be traded, sold or donated first.
Some schools have uniform stores where uniforms can be sold and bought secondhand for example.
It might also be possible to swap or sell study books online.
9. Consider Sustainable Transport To & From Schools & Campuses
Many students might already be reasonably sustainable with transport to and from schools and college/university campuses, catching public transport instead of taking single passenger cars and transport.
An even more sustainable form of transport might be walking or riding to school or campus – although, this might not be practical (or safe) for all students in all instances.
10. Consider Online Classes Instead Of In Person Classes Where Practical
Online classes aren’t practical in all instances.
However, where they are, they may help remove the transport footprint (to and from school or campus) for students and also teachers.
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