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More small things that you can do to be more sustainable

4 October 2023

In reflection on my previous blog on small things that you can do to be more sustainable as a Cardiff University student, I’ve found five more tips that I try to live by in order to live more consciously. Together, keeping to these practices can help us keep our lifestyles aligned with our ideals as well as help us save money and even live healthier. Although these tips are not always practical or as convenient, they’re a great start for anyone interested in living more sustainably.

Refill stores 

Firstly, refill stores are zero waste and generally encourage you to recycle as well as make healthier choices. The Students’ Union has their own zero-waste pop-up. You just bring along some containers which you weigh, label, fill, scan, weigh and pay. This is a great way to stock up without having to go too far out of your way. Another great option is @siop_sero on Albany Road. This not-for-profit store’s single mission is to promote sustainability through reducing single-use plastic. It’s a great place to top up on the essentials with an important mission to support.

Donate when you move 

While moving can be a stressful time, with a ton of organisation and planning, it’s worth putting that small amount of extra effort into donating items instead of throwing them away. This includes things such as clean bedding, books or old furniture. Cardiff University even makes this extra easy at the end of the first year with dedicated donation bins. By putting in this small amount of effort, you waste less of your own money by letting your things be repurposed, help someone else who may not be able to afford to buy new and are taking a step further towards being more sustainable. It also never hurts to keep the streets of Cathays a little bit tidier.

Walk over Uber 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Save money, be a little healthier and be more sustainable. Try walking whenever you can instead of relying on taxis and Uber. While there are exceptions, for instance, if the weather is really bad, you’re in a hurry or don’t want to walk home alone, walking can really help reduce your carbon emissions. Walking can also help you familiarise yourself with Cardiff and get to know the city a little better while also saving money. Although Uber may seem cheap, they add up to quite a considerable amount of money in the long term so they’re best kept for urgent situations.

Repurpose your things 

By painting an old table that you would otherwise throw out, you are saving yourself money while decreasing your consumption. Using creative ways, like this, can help you be more sustainable by slowing the circular economy of buying and binning goods. This means that less ‘cheap’ furniture will need to be produced and transported, all considered unsustainable from the use of a tree to the CO2 released into the atmosphere during transport. You can make repurposing furniture fun through repainting, adding new handles or any other refund way you can think of!