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6 ways students can help to prevent climate change

Recently, David Attenborough has presented the popular Netflix show Our Planet and the BBC one documentary, Climate Change: The Facts.

This, along with recent Extinction Rebellion protests and Earth Day, has brought the issue of climate change to the forefront of people's attention. As students, there are several ways we can do our bit to help save the planet, here are a few ideas:

1. Reuse shopping bags

It's an easy thing to forget: you're walking back from a lecture and realise you need to pop into Tesco to get a few bits, but it seems you've forgotten a bag. It's easy to forget about the impact that plastic has on the environment, but the reality is that these useful products actually do more harm than good in the long run. Invest in tote bags or reusable shoppers, and always keep one in your bag for emergencies like this.

2. Reduce your meat intake

Factory farming is a major cause of pollution in regards to both deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. More and more people are choosing to be flexitarians, and Meatless Mondays are a popular trend that encourages people to give up meat once a week, having a large impact on helping reduce pollution. Although meat replacements are not always cheap, supermarket own brand vegan meat replacements are not too costly and you can opt for pasta, beans or vegetable based meals for a day instead which will be completely worth it in the long run for both the planet and your health. Check out these cheap and easy vegan recipe ideas that you could try out at home.

3. Refuse the straw

It's easy to go out for a couple of drinks and ask for a fancy straw for your drinks. Recently Wetherspoons have swapped out plastic for paper straws, although it would be even better if you refused the straws altogether. Furthermore, you can invest in metal straws for pre-drinks.

4. Invest in a reusable coffee cup and water bottle

As a student, coffee is vital to get through a tough day at university. However, if you invest in a reusable cup, you prevent your plastic usage as well as saving you money as coffee shops will often offer a discount for this. If you're drinking your coffee in, you can additionally ask for your beverage to be served in a glass rather than a takeaway cup. The same goes for water bottles, my favourite being the Chilly's bottle which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours, perfect for a long day at university.

5. Use public transport

Often campuses have easy access to bus routes and trams or are a walkable distance from your university accommodation. It is far better to use public transport or no transport at all rather than forking out for expensive taxis that pollute the atmosphere.

6. Reduce the use of paper

As a student, it's easy to print out lots of useful articles or sources to help with your work. However, this is still causing waste and as human beings, we rely on trees to breathe so we don't want to cut them all down—use online sources instead.

As students, we are the future generation and it's our responsibility to reverse these devastating issues that our environment have to endure. I hope these ideas can inspire you to live a more ethical lifestyle that will help to shape future generations.

Featured image: Gem & Lauris RK on Unsplash

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