Being a student and living sustainably go hand in hand. Many people may think that sustainable living is expensive but it doesn't have to be. In this blog post, I share several tips to help you as a student who might be reading this right now to live sustainably. So you can take the first steps towards a more sustainable life and indirectly a better world.
The tools are cheap ways to buy sustainable clothing, but also handy tips that you don't even have to spend money for. Besides, some of the tools don't even cost you any real time, time that many students say they don't have because of lectures, stress for exams or time you'd rather spend with friends.
1. Clothing The clothing industry is worldwide a very polluting sector. That's why, by making your wardrobe more eco-friendly, you can already make a positive impact. It's a fact that fair clothing is not cheap. Clothes that are made of an eco-friendly fabric and for which the workers got paid fairly are simply more expensive than so-called 'fast fashion'. Many students cannot afford these clothes. But luckily, there is another way. In Belgium there is a huge amount of qualitative, practically new, second-hand clothes at a very accessible price. By opting for this, you recycle the clothes and save a lot of energy that would otherwise have been spent to produce clothes from new ressouces.
Now in 2020, there are a lot of online opportunities. For example, clothes are sold on Instagram or on Vinted. This is an active online platform where you can easily buy second hand clothes at all kinds of prices. If you don't want to spend money on shipping, there is always the possibility of going to thrift shops and second-hand clothes shops. If you are reading this you might wonder if there is a difference between the two but there is. Thrift shops often have a clothing department, which is not always very big, but you can find some really nice gems there. At second-hand clothes shops, it is a clothes shop where you find second-hand clothes.
2. Sustainable bank account
Sometimes you can't spend your money on sustainability, but you can still have an impact on the world with your money. You can choose a bank that invests in a better world. Banks invest with the money you have with them. They can invest in companies, projects and organisations. They do this by means of loans and investments. More sustainable banks only lend and invest in organisations that meet their sustainability criteria. In this way, banks have a major impact on the world and you only need to have an account with them.
On bankwijzer.be or eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl you can easily see which banks are at the top of sustainable investments. And to return to the fact that students often have little time: switching banks is really not as difficult as it used to be. In a few minutes you can apply for an account and within a week your bank card will be on your doormat. In most cases, switching is also free of charge!
3. Sustainable cleaning
Not many students are into cleaning, but it usually happens once in a while and here too, you can make a difference. Many cleaning products contain chemicals that end up in the sewer. Instead, you can choose for products that are natural (better for your skin and the environent) and/or that come in eco-friendly packaging. Fortunately, ecological cleaning products are cheap and accessible, so you won't notice much of a difference in your wallet.
4. Mind the little things
You can do a lot for the world with many small actions. Think about the type of straws you use, whether you recycle your waste and how you deal with items to make them last longer. These are usually the basics that everyone knows about, but you can also choose to receive more letters online, for example, which saves a lot of paper on an annual basis. You can use a lunch box or reusable sandwich bag and you can buy a reusable drinking bottle. Small actions with a big impact. I say it is easily done and in the long run it will also save you money ;).
5. Do a search in your neighbourhood
Do you know which eco-friendly shops in your neighbourhood can help you? Check it out on the Mixua Discovery Guide. Do you prefer to make it an experience? Then you can go on an Eco Tour with an eco-guide who will also give you all sorts of tips & tricks.
You don't need money if you don' want to spend it or if you don't have it at the moment. You can train your mindset, as they call it. Get out of habitual patterns like leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth and taking the stairs instead of the lift. There are actually more sustainable options for many things you do in daily life. See if you can train your mindset in this. They say small steps are also steps!
Linne is a student and blogger at www.liefslinne.nl. On her website she writes about lifestyle, self-development, health and becoming more sustainable. She is also active on Instagram: @liefs_linne.
Mixua believes that everyone can make a positive impact. Therefore we want to inspire on the way to a more ecological lifestyle. We do this through different activities like Eco Tours, online workshops and the online Discovery Guide.
More inspiration and tips & tricks: