By Anja Cvajnar, Studying Psychology
I think each of us wants to make sure we leave something for our successors, one of the things we should leave them is our planet. Do not worry, I will not preach (much). I will just mention some easy things we can do to be (more) environmentally friendly.
Now the title of this blog is environmentally friendly choices on campus but let us start first with reaching the campus.
The most environmentally friendly choice here is to either walk, cycle, skate, run (if you are running late) etc. And to be honest, that is also the healthiest and the most cost-effective option. However, we all know that sometimes the distance or the weather (that lovely Aberdonian weather) make it impossible, so the second choice could be the public transport. There are many buses stopping next to the uni and the student passes are student-budget friendly.
The least eco-friendly option is driving on your own. I would suggest if possible sharing lifts with friends to limit the number of cars on the road.
Now that we have reached our campus, we can start talking about things we can do there. Recycling goes a long way and there are recycling bins in every building.
But apart from that, I was thinking what else could be done. And the first thing that popped in my mind was – cafés. Who does not like a warm cup of tea or coffee to wake up in the morning, to warm up, or while chatting with a friend? So how are our cafés dealing with the demand to be environmentally friendly?
I did a bit of research, and it could be said that the most proactive on campus is FoodStory Zero. It is a zero-waste café, and you are asked to bring your own reusable containers to enjoy their food or drinks.
Knowing that they should also make a difference, other cafés have adapted different strategies.
Union Brew (in the Students’ Union Building) is selling reusable cups and giving you a free first fill, if you buy one. But not only that, if you bring your own reusable cup, your drink will be 10p cheaper.
Similarly, the Hardback Café in the library gives you the 10p discount if you bring your cup.
JG Ross on High Street is also offering hot beverages. According to the employees there, you can bring your own cup, however the prices stay the same.
And the last but not least (that I managed to check) was Starbucks at Crombie Halls. They have adapted a slightly different technique. If you do not bring your cup, they will charge you additional 5p for the paper cup, however, if you show up with your own reusable cup (it does not have to be the Starbucks’ one), they give you 25p discount.
As you can see, the discount incentive is a frequently used strategy on campus to encourage more environmentally friendly choices. Not only are you contributing to a cleaner environment, you are also saving some money.
Why not invest in a tote bag for carrying your reusable cup or containers to campus to avoid using plastic bags. (I also recommend having these on hand for buying groceries on the go)
We are Campus
It is still important to remember that we are all actually a big part of the campus. So, it is not just the behaviour we adapt there that counts. Each action counts. You can reduce your carbon footprint by turning your devices off instead of leaving them on standby, recycle and compost, switching plastic straws to stainless steel or maybe trying out eco-friendly cleaning products …
Just small conscious changes can make a big difference.
Happy Recycling 😊