You are moving abroad as a part of a study exchange programme or an internship. You will be enjoying your time living in a new city and discovering new places. In order to also consider the environment, we have put together a list of things you should take into consideration if you want to live more environmentally friendly.
Living environmentally friendly during your stay abroad
Ride a bike or walk
If you are lucky, you will live close to your university which means you can easily walk to your lectures and back home. In case your place is a bit further away, you can still find an environmentally friendly way to commute. How about buying a used bike? They are typically very affordable. Riding a bike is not only good for the environment, it is also good for your body and a great way to stay in shape. It’s green travel at its finest!
Follow the 3Rs rule
Everyone that is at least a bit familiar with living environmentally friendly has probably already heard of the important 3Rs:
Following it is a great way to eliminate waste and take care of the environment.
Reducing means using natural resources wisely and using less than usual. Take fast showers to reduce the amount of water you use. Say “no” to a bag while checking out at the store. When dining in at a fast food restaurant, ask to have your meal without all the extra packaging — many come with bags and boxes even though you will just be taking our food from the counter to your table.
Recycling is very important as it saves material and can help lower greenhouse gas emissions. Be sure to learn which materials you are using and what is the proper way to dispose them.
Unplug the devices you do not use
Many times we do not even notice most of the devices in our home are plugged in even when we do not use them. Did you know that many electronic devices, such as TV and chargers use energy even when they are not in use? Unplugging them when you do not need them can reduce your carbon footprint and eliminate waste.
Pay attention to how much energy you use
There is no need to have a light on in every room if you are actually only in one place. This technique will not only save energy, but will also allow you to save some extra money as the monthly bills will be lower.
Change the travel habits
While living abroad, you will probably travel a lot. Try to make sure to use more environmentally friendly ways of traveling. Choose to carpool when you travel somewhere. This is a very cost efficient way of traveling as it reduces each person’s travel expenses and also reduces air pollution and carbon emissions. Researching public transportation in advance is the best way to know your options so you can travel green.
Buy locally grown products
This is another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of buying products that were shipped from far away, buy locally grown products at the market. You can even consider growing your own little “garden” by planting some of your favorite vegetables in pots. This can even turn into a fun project you can engage in with your flatmates. Eat local wherever you are.
Use second-hand products
The most tricky part about moving abroad is that you are never able to take everything with you. That means you will still need many things when you arrive to a new city. Instead of buying them, think of other practices you can use. For example, consider visiting second-hand shops or online marketplaces where people sell things they no longer use. The best thing about using second-hand items is they are usually cheaper than buying brand new ones. Your tight student budget will also appreciate it!
Share your practices with others
If you really want to make a difference and live and travel sustainably, you should think about ways to inform others about your activities. For example, you can tell your friends about practices you use to live more environmentally friendly and how much money you can save through it. Who doesn’t like to have some extra money and help the environment at the same time?