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What’s your carbon footprint?

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Whilst staying with Liberty Living, it’s easy to get carried away with the all-inclusive nature of the bills. “It’s free!” you say, so you know, might as well make the most of it!

Now, just because technically, yes, you don’t have to pay any more for bills even if you use ALL OF YOUR GADGETS AND GIZMOS at once, it doesn’t mean that you should. Okay, sure – there will be a time when you have to conserve things at some point in your life, most likely when you first leave uni (boo!), and you don’t want that time to be now. But before you became a student, you were a human being, and we humans have a responsibility to be a bit fairer to our planet.

Whilst looking into protecting the environment, I decided it might be fun to try and work out my carbon footprint. I figured mine wouldn’t be too bad – I figured that despite flying a lot, there are people way worse, and I always switch the lights off and turn the heating down when it’s not needed, things like that. Sadly, I consume more resources than I first thought. We’d need four planets to sustain my lifestyle if everyone in the world took it up, apparently, and I must say – I’m quite ashamed of myself. As the footprint calculator reminded me, we only have one planet, not four, and so I’m going to have to make some changes.

I’ve had a think, and I have a few ideas. As students, you can probably follow most of them, too. For example, when you’re charging your phone, do you unplug it immediately after the battery reaches 100%? Or do you continue to use electricity for equipment that doesn’t need it anymore? I think I must admit that I fall into the latter category.

Recycling is another big one. There are plenty of ways we can reuse things, and it can even be a great way to get crafty. Organising clothing swaps with friends is great for both the environment (if everyone did it, we’d need a whole lot less clothing production!), and it’s fab for your wallet, too. Another great social one is making a cup of tea for everyone in the flat at once – no point in four of you boiling the kettle separately just for one teeny tiny cup! During exam season, this is even more poignant, especially with the amount of coffee you might be drinking to keep you awake!

Taking showers instead of baths, turning off lights, and taking the bus instead of driving are also huge steps to a better world. Whilst some are less practical (you can’t exactly swim to this year’s holiday destination…), there are plenty of ways you can offset your carbon footprint and do a little more for your world.

Getting into these habits now will not only save you some money in future but perhaps it will even save the world!

Liberty Living provides student accommodation in 17 university cities across the UK, including student accommodation in Birmingham, student accommodation in London, student accommodation in Manchester plus many more.

Posted on 6th February 2015 by Claire L.

Claire Louise Sheridan lives and works in Peterborough. She recently graduated with a degree in English and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool.

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