10 ways to be an eco-friendly student

Whether a child is at the beginning of their school experience or in university, it’s never too early or late to start teaching them ways to be more sustainable in their everyday lives. It’s a skill that will set them up for a bright future as well as having a positive impact on the world around them.

1 - Buy eco-friendly educational materials
Buy 100 per cent recycled paper when choosing notepads or better still, go digital and avoid printing whenever possible. Choose school supplies made from recycled materials or those that are easily biodegradable.

2 - Take the bus or a bike, or walk…
Taking public transport to school or university, or getting there under your own steam by walking or cycling is far better for the environment than driving. Carpooling is a good option too for older students.

students bike riding
📷 Tom Wang via Shutterstock

3 - Lead an eco-friendly project
Students of all ages can be encouraged to initiate and lead sustainability projects at school or university. It can anything from a community garden to a plastic reduction campaign or a renewable energy project.

4 - Turn off the lights
Simple actions, such as turning off lights and electronic devices when not in use, can contribute to significant energy savings over time.

5 - Encourage recycling
Promote responsible waste management by recycling, composting or even using a worm farm. Setting up dedicated bins for different types of waste on a school or university campus can make it easy for students to participate in waste reduction initiatives.

6 - Create natural spaces at school
Support and participate in green initiatives at school by getting involved in tree-planting programs, community gardens or onsite clean-up events. These activities foster a sense of environmental responsibility among students while contributing to the overall sustainability of the campus.

tree planting
📷 Tapui via Shutterstock

7 - Encourage environmental education programs
Advocate for and participate in environmental education programs. Workshops, seminars and classes on sustainability topics can enhance students' understanding of ecological issues and empower them to make informed choices.

8 - Gift sustainable items
From water bottles to reusable bags and Keep Cups, if you have a young scholar in your life consider gifting them a useful reusable item they can utilize year after year.

reusable coffee cup
📷 Bogdan Sonjachnyj via Shutterstock

9 - Go for whole foods
While students often enjoy ‘treat’ foods, encouraging a love of healthy, whole foods such as fruit and vegetables, and making the most of leftovers is much better for them and the environment, setting up healthy habits for life and helping avoid food waste. Don’t forget the stainless steel lunchbox!

10 - Forget fast fashion
For high school or University students, try to encourage them to resist the lure of cheap, fast fashion outlets, particularly those online. Thrift shopping and clothes swapping are much more sustainable – and fun!