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25th October 2022

The sustainable student: Five ways to be environmentally conscious on a budget

Being sustainable as a student doesn’t have to break the bank – here are five ways that you can be a greener student in Manchester
The sustainable student: Five ways to be environmentally conscious on a budget
Photo: Delyth Henley @ The Mancunion

Whilst it’s true that the sustainable option can sometimes be more expensive or difficult to access, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Here are five small ways you can make greener choices as a student in Manchester.

Visit Want Not Waste

Manchester has its own zero-waste shop on campus between the Academy and Students’ Union called ‘Want Not Waste‘. Here you can refill your daily essentials like cleaning products, shampoo, and conditioner, as well as topping up on dried foods such as oats, rice, lentils, and pasta.

Even small things matter here. Topping up your spice jars for prices lower than in the supermarket is not only thrifty but a great way to avoid unnecessary packaging. Consider saving some of your weekly shop for Want Not Waste and support a great initiative.

Bring your reusable coffee cup

Taking your own cup to your café of choice requires little effort and will often bag you a decent discount with many branches. For example, if you come across Benugo in the Simon Building on campus you can find carbon-neutral coffee and get 50p off your drink when you use your reusable cup. It’s a simple way to save a little money as well as needless waste. It also keeps your drink warm for longer!

Eco washing

Another easy switch involves how you do your washing. Circuit Laundry machines allow you to choose between a few different wash options. By choosing the Eco mode your clothes will be washed at a slightly lower temperature and require less energy to do so. Going beyond this, investing in a long-term laundry rack instead of using the tumble dryer will be a cheaper option over the years, and will save a huge amount of energy.

Choosing the bus over a taxi

Public transport is always the more sustainable choice in comparison to a taxi. A year earlier than expected, Manchester has capped bus prices at £2 for adults, meaning a journey doesn’t have to break the bank. So, if you were thinking of getting picked up but have the time to wait, the regular buses could be a better alternative to another car journey.

Consider the vegetarian option

Reducing your consumption of animal products is obviously one of the most significant actions that can be taken to lower your carbon footprint. Even taking small steps towards a less meat-heavy diet can be beneficial for a student budget.  This doesn’t have to be immediately radical and could be fun – you can treat yourself at 532 Bar & Kitchen in the SU, who will give you a 50% discount on all vegan and veggie options with their Meat-Free Monday deal.


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