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  • AUP Students' Union

Sustainable on a Budget

As it's Sustainability Week, we thought it would be great to collate some tips on how to be as sustainable as possible whilst on a budget.

Sustainable Wardrobe and Homeware Tips

If there is an item in particular you're looking for, or even if you just fancy something new, why not check the charity shops before you buy new? Thrifting helps to reduce waste and you're more likely to be purchasing vintage, ethically made pieces rather than fast fashion and homeware items. Failing that, why not have a look at local groups where people give things aware for free? In Plymouth there's groups such as Don't Dump It Plymouth or Free Stuff Plymouth that are used daily. The last alternative instead of buying new clothing or home furnishings is to find a friend to swap with for a whole new wardrobe or room theme.

Sustainable Online Tips

Have you heard of Ecosia? Well, it's an absolute essential for online sustainability. Ecosia is an alternative search engine, it is CO₂ negative and donates 80% or more of its profits to nonprofit organisations focusing on reforestation. Similarly, monitor your consumption and your inbox; help reduce your CO₂ consumption by clearing our your inbox and choosing to steam consciously - download music and other content you listen to and watch regularly and watch on lower resolutions on slower screens.

Sustainable Product Tips

Swapping out single use or plastic products for alternatives is an easy way to be more sustainable. For example, you could swap out your short life plastic toothbrush to a bamboo alternative or, failing that, one with replaceable heads. Why not try washable period pads or menstrual cups instead of single use pads and tampons? In the UK, an estimated 1.5 billion sanitary items are flushed down the toilet each year, so switching to sustainable alternatives can drastically reduce waste.

Sustainable Packaging Tips

Similarly to the alternative products, it's important to choose products that don't have excess or non-recyclable packaging. For example, try swapping out your bottles of shampoo for shampoo bars or your plastic milk bottles for glass bottles or cartons of milk. Lastly, try switching to using a reusable coffee cup and water bottle instead of using throwaway containers.

Did you also know that you can take extra plastic packaging such as crisp packets and cereal bags to your local supermarket to recycle? Don't forget about the items you can save and reuse too, such as glass jars and newspapers.

We hope these tips will help you improve your sustainable lifestyle without breaking the bank. Got any tips you want to share? Drop them in the comments and help each other out!

Best, Harriet Moore - Student Union President Beth Mundy - Sustainability Representative (HE)

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