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Going green

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Published: 27 November 2020


At the University of Sunderland in London, we’re committed to being environmentally friendly.

Whether that’s through taking part in the University of Sunderland’s Digital First strategy or simply just having automatic lights around the campus.

With C02 emissions hitting new records this year, it’s more important than ever that we all work towards being as green as possible.

But how can you as a student help? Well, there are loads of easy little things we can all do to protect our environment.

Go digital

During the pandemic, we’ve gotten more used to living life online. That’s especially true for university students as you’ve been proving your dedication through blended learning and virtual classes.

But one other thing you can do, if you’re not already, is start taking notes digitally as well.

Not only will you be using less paper by writing on your laptop, computer or tablet, but you’ll also be saving loads of money on things like notepads and pens.

Cut down on meat

In his brilliant Netflix documentary A Life On Our Planet, Sir David Attenborough suggests one of the best things we can all do for global health is to cut down on our meat-eating habits.

Why not watch the documentary? If the idea works for you, there are a few things you can do.

You don’t need to stop buying animal products completely. Try out meat-free Mondays for example, where you only eat vegetarian or vegan at the beginning of the week.

When you do eat animal products, look at the labels. Anything marked as ‘free-range’, ‘organic’, ‘hormone-free’ or ‘antibiotic-free’ will be better for the environment than the alternatives.

Power down

Now that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, it’s easy to forget to switch lights off in rooms you're not using or unplug the hairdryer after your morning routine.

But remembering to unplug could save you a £100-£200 a year in electricity bills whilst you’re also saving the environment!

Try buying lamp timers and setting them for when you’ll be in the room. That way even if you forget, you won’t have to worry about your energy emissions!

Get some reusable bags

The weekly shop has become a bit of an experience during the pandemic. Now that the first phase of panic buying is over, it’s time to think about how you can go green while you stock up the fridge.

Since 2015, the UK has required supermarkets to charge 5p for plastic bags. One way to save money and help the environment is to use your own.

You can buy cheap, long-life bags with great designs online or in most supermarkets. Just remember to bring them along when you head to the shops!


Recycling is still one of the best things you can do for the environment. Every council in England is required to provide recycling facilities so find out where yours are.

At the most basic level, make sure what you’re throwing is going in the right bin and try not to mix recycling with non-recycling.

Check the backs of packets to see if something is recyclable. You can find more information about that on the Recycle Now website.

There are hundreds of other things you can do to make the world a little greener but give these a go for now and keep your studies environmentally friendly.

What are you doing to help the environment? Share your thoughts and tips with the University of Sunderland in London community on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn #WeAreSunLon.