Whether you’re living at home or away at university, looking for ways to be more eco-friendly is likely to be on your radar.

Here are some starting points to help you stay green….

Love your vegetables

If you eat meat, try substituting some of your meals for vegetarian or vegan versions or experiment with new recipes. If you’re a die-hard carnivore, make sure to include plenty of veggies in your diet and plan your meals so you avoid having to throw food away. By swapping out one meat-based meal a week, you reduce your environmental impact and potentially save money at the same time.

Welcome to your neighbourhood

If you can, try to shop locally. Veggies from a local grocer are likely to have had a shorter journey to get to you, meaning they’re probably fresher while having a smaller carbon footprint. You can also say goodbye to unnecessary plastic wrapping, so you can feel good about supporting a small business and cutting down on waste at the same time.

Don’t bin it

Reuse everything. Whether it’s the free stuff you picked up at open days or your bag for life, take a look at how you can get more use out of the things you already have. You could sell those shoes that don’t fit anymore or upcycle that boring desk lamp. If something still works, someone else could give it a new home and you can even earn a bit of cash from your used items.

Dress for the occasion

Before you buy a new outfit, think about whether you really need to get it. Is there something you already have which you could wear instead? Could shopping second-hand satisfy that need for new? You could even give DIY a go and repurpose some jeans into shorts or knit yourself a scarf.

Plastic isn’t fantastic

If you do need that outfit though, check what it’s made of before you commit. Synthetic fabrics shed microplastics when washed, which end up in our oceans, and eventually in us – sure that new Barbie movie looks great, but being made of plastic, not so fun. Stick to natural fibres if you can, like cotton, linen and wool.

Nature knows best

Switch over to more eco-friendly cleaning products that use less single-use plastic and toxic chemicals, or you could even make your own. Mixing vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda together will give you a sustainable alternative that helps the planet and your bank account.

Travel in style

Think about how you get from A to B. No one likes sitting in traffic waiting for the queue to move, so try switching it up. Walk, cycle, take the bus or even car share – it’ll be a more interesting journey, and you and the planet will feel healthier for it.

By Steph Gardner