“Together We Can Protect Our Home” is the message written on the World Oceans Day website, a message that echoes loud and clear across all of us that have even the slightest hint of an environmental bone! Today, June 8th, we choose to dedicate our blog entry to encouraging our residents and team to take a step towards protecting the oceans. How, you may wonder, can I do my part as a student? More ways than one, we would have to respond! Let’s break them down though:
1. Reusable Water Bottles
Student living entails a whole lot of time spent commuting, in and around lecture halls and (as you may have guessed already) sitting at the library. All these long days demand for a little hydration, and – fortunately for our oceans – most university campuses and library halls have equipped themselves with water fountains! So, purchasing a reusable water bottle will ultimately result in a significant reduction of your plastic usage throughout the year, and not to mention save you quite a few pounds along the way! Even more so, if you are an avid coffee or tea drinker, you can make your beverage cup a reusable one too. This is also a great saving tip as there are a number of shops where you can get a bit of a discount by using your reusable cup for coffee!
According to Oceana.org, the amount of plastic that ends up degrading marine habitats and killing marine animals on an annual basis is estimated at 17,6 billion pounds. So every little bit helps!
2. Research your Societies
Most universities have a long list of societies you can get involved with. From sports to arts, a great variety of subjects invite students to engage with and add to their CV! What you may not have been aware of, though, is that there is also a great amount of Green Societies that you can get involved with. This is a wonderful way to educate yourself, and why not (?), your friends and family on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Simultaneously, you are also getting involved with a variety of different projects that make a tangible change for the future of our planet. We are sure the protection of ocean’s, which make up approximately 70% of our planet, will come up once or twice throughout the course of the year!
3. Do your part
Volunteering is always a wonderful initiative and a fulfilling undertaking when you have some time to spare! As a student, it may feel like time to spare between exams and lectures is limited, but we are sure that if you make a point of dedicating some hours per month on getting actively involved with volunteering projects, you will be able to carry on prioritising this pastime. If you’re at a loss on how to get involved, we would recommend Googling the term “sustainable volunteering” alongside your uni’s name. It’s as simple as that! You will soon uncover a wealth of volunteering opportunities within your university communities, many of which – we would venture to guess with our experience of student communities over the years – will have a well mapped out sustainability segment. It’s not just a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle, but also a lovely way to get involved with your university’s community and interact with like-minded, green thinking individuals!
4. Ride a bike!
Although reducing your carbon footprint is mainly associated with an overall green lifestyle, you may be surprised to hear that it is also the reason why our oceans are becoming increasingly acidic and our corals are weakened. Granted, London is a city with quite large distances, and avoiding commutes entirely isn’t the easiest of feats. However, if you choose your student accommodation wisely, then you can easily make the trip to your university on foot or with your bike (needless to say The Stay Club’s bike storage options are quite helpful on that front, and that’s why we’ve created them in the first place!). The reduced travel expenses are also quite the perk when you’re on a student budget…
The last thought we would like to leave you with, takes requires little effort, yet goes a very long way! Reflecting is one means of looking towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and it is one action that can take place regardless of your student status. Educating ourselves, as well as the world around us, on the importance of the oceans is key. So is retracing our day to day and finding new and easy ways to incorporate more sustainable practises to our everyday actions.
So don’t forget to #StaySustainable, and keep working for our marine environment!