The new year offers the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf. For many, something will spring to mind straight away, but if you’ve not thought of a New Year’s Resolution yet and are up for a challenge, why not promise to go green?
At UWTSD we feel strongly about making our campuses and communities as sustainable as we can. Help us get there by making a sustainable pledge this year. Whether it’s a small change or something dramatic, it could all make a big difference down the road. Join us in collectively taking a stand against climate change.
If you’re stuck for ideas, have a look at some of ours…
1) Eat less meat
In 2016, the world’s meat production was estimated at 317m metric tons. This figure is expected to rise continuously, and will have adverse effects, including an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, excessive water use, water pollution, profuse land use and deforestation, in addition to negatively impacting our general health and wellbeing.
Even trying to go without meat on one day every week can make a difference; helping to slow climate change, improve our health, and preserve vital natural resources. Better still, reducing the amount of meat you eat will also save you a surprising amount of money.
If you’re up for the challenge, find delicious veggie recipes to help you along the way.
2) Participate in ‘Go Green Week’
Getting involved in Go Green Week is an excellent way to do something good for the environment whilst making the most of the University community.
Previous year’s activities have included film screenings, lectures delivered by special guests and beach cleans. All have aimed to develop a wider awareness of environmental issues across UWTSD campuses and finding ways we can make our communities greener.
Keep an eye out for all sorts of exciting activities and events by following @UWTSDGoGreen on Twitter and by liking them on Facebook.
3) Tend to your campus allotments
Did you know Carmarthen and Lampeter campuses have allotments that you can help to look after?
Help make your campus greener, develop a new skill and get to know other like-minded people. Contact email@example.com for more information about how you can get involved.
4) Set up a green initiative on your campus
There are many people around to support you on campus if you’d like to set up a sustainability initiative on your campus. From plant sales to litter picks, students have worked towards making a real difference over the years. There’s no reason why you can’t inspire change too.
Even better, become an INSPIRE Sustainability Intern and get paid to run a sustainability project. For more information about how to apply visit the website.
5) Buy less
Whether it’s clothes or otherwise, it’s always worth considering the environmental impact before rushing out to buy more in the January sales. The fast fashion industry is notoriously bad for cutting environmental corners; contributing problems such as water pollution, the use of hazardous chemicals, and not to mention the enormous amount of waste it produces.
So instead of making rash purchases, why not try to change your behaviour as a consumer this year? Try buying less and instead focus on quality. You’ll find that your purchases last longer, and you may even value them more.
If you’re interested in finding out more, the Love Your Clothes campaign offers a brilliant insight to help people change the way consumers buy, use and dispose of their clothing.
6) Make use of public transport, walk or cycle
Making use of public transport, cycling or walking to and from your campus is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable student life. Incorporating activity into your daily routine can also have a dramatic impact on your wellbeing, and can help ease symptoms of anxiety and stress.
For more information, visit the Green Travel pages.
7) Pledge to use less paper
We all know by now the negative impacts of using too much paper. Why not make it your green New Year’s Resolution to find creative ways to cut back while you study?
8) Say ‘no’ to plastic bags
According to Surfers Against Sewage, every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution enter our oceans. Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world. Cutting back on your plastic use can make a real, tangible difference and is a great commitment to start the new year. There are many ways you can do this, but one of the most simple is using reusable shopping bags instead of purchasing plastic ones when you do your weekly shop.
Again, not only is this action more sustainable, but it will also save you some money. If you’re leaving campus make sure you take some reusable shopping bags with you. Getting into this pattern is healthy, and won’t sting you when you find yourself at a supermarket check-out.