Our Student Ambassador, Harriet Willis, is a Geography student at the University of Durham. So ahead of our Conscious Living sustainable stationery range, we asked her for some tips on how we can be more sustainable in our daily lives…
Paperchase’s new conscious living collection has suddenly made an eco-friendly lifestyle much more appealing. There are lots of different ways that you can adjust your actions to make your everyday impacts more eco-friendly.
- Start small (and aim big)
It is impossible to try and save the planet in one go. Instead, set yourself smaller goals that will be easy to achieve. Like most of us, I am guilty of having a stash of plastic bags stored away in a cupboard underneath my sink. Every time I used to do my food shopping, I would forget to bring a bag with me and end up having to buy a new one. This year, I have told myself that I’m never buying a new bag from a store again. Ever. Even if forgetting to bring a bag means carrying my shopping in my hands, I ensure that I’m not tempted into buying another bag to add to the already huge collection. Once you’ve tackled one problem, you can move onto another simple task. Suggestions include swapping your disposable coffee cup for a reusable one or flicking off the light switch when you leave the room.
- Eat Sustainably
If you’re not comfortable with becoming vegan or vegetarian – I would definitely miss meat far too much – then you can still help the environment through consuming less meat or dairy products. Instead of adding cow’s milk to your cup of tea, why not switch it for dairy-free milk? Alternatives such as oat milk (my personal favourite) or soy milk use considerably less land and water use, whilst releasing less harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
- Buy second-hand clothing
Buying clothes brand new is incredibly harmful for the environment; around 1800 gallons of water go into making a pair of jeans. If charity shops aren’t your bag, then there are plenty of ways to score second-hand clothes. There are now apps (such as Depop) where you can easily buy and sell pre-loved clothes. It’s also worth seeing whether your university or nearest city is offering a vintage clothes sale or even a clothes swap. An added bonus is that shopping second hand is always more affordable. Also, if you’re planning on getting rid of clothes, make sure you recycle them to avoid them going to landfill – either take them to a charity shop or a clothes bank.
- Think before you throw away
After unwrapping your food from its package, it can be very tempting to dump all the packaging straight into the bin. However, you should check the wrapping to see what parts of it are recyclable. Similarly, when you’re in the supermarket, try to avoid products high in plastic. Instead, consider buying your fruit and veg loose, for example.
- Cut down your water use
Water is an essential resource that can often be very easy to over-consume. Turning the tap off whilst brushing your teeth is an easy way to start. Also, instead of letting the tap run until the water is cold, try storing a jug of water in the fridge. It can be tempting to have long, hot showers, however, this is unfortunately not sustainable for our planet. Why not trying to cut down your shower time by a minute?
Find more from Harriet here
Shop the collection here