The newly-elected SDA committee of 2020-21 have compiled a list of their tips on how to be sustainable during lockdown. Here are a few things that we can all do on a daily basis to decrease our carbon footprint:
Lucy - President
Replace bulbs with natural lighting when possible. Save electricity, boost your mood, improve your sleep (proven) and reduce the health risks of fluorescent lighting. Even better? Open that window for some Vit D.
Emma - Vice President
Take advantage of this time to do some mail inbox cleaning. This has a carbon footprint too - on average we receive 0.6 tonnes of CO2’s worth of email per year, equivalent to a flight from Edinburgh to Malaga! Manually unsubscribe to newsletters that you don’t open or use the Leave Me Alone App which does it for you! This also prevents over-consumption of unnecessary goods that have an environmental cost - ads make you want to buy products you may not need.
Lucie - Secretary
Try some alternative washing or cleaning products. Making your own washing up liquid, all-purpose cleaner or laundry detergent is super easy and more eco-friendly if you leave out the harsh chemicals so many store bought cleaners contain. There are plenty of DIY’s out there.
Ana - Treasurer
Now that more cafes and restaurants are focusing on takeaway, try to bring your own sanitised container to get your food or drinks in to reduce waste.
Christine - Creative Director
I’m sure a lot of us are drinking right now - I know I am! Instead of letting those glass bottles pile up, make them into vases, pencil holders, and other art. There are many tutorials online to help you with this fun project.
Rashi - Creative Director
Up-cycling! What is it, you ask? Get creative with any unused items that you're forever trying to get rid of, not just ‘waste materials’. By adding your own innovative spin, you can create completely unique items for your wardrobe and home.
Rebekah - Social Secretary
Whilst we are all drinking more cups of tea and coffee, try to only fill your kettle as much as is required instead of heating unnecessary water and wasting energy. Additionally, as many people look to clear out their bedrooms during lockdown, try not to throw away anything unwanted - try to keep it for when charity shops reopen or use sites like depop to maximise the use of resources and minimise waste.
Francesca - Sustainability Officer
Be mindful of what you buy - only buying things you really need. Stray away from any companies that have not ensured the safety or support of their workers during these trying times.
Sharan - Participation and Wellbeing Officer
Try to get into a routine so that everyone in your house or flat has their meals at the same time. This reduces the time that the oven/gas is on, plus it's a nice way to spend more time together!
Connor - Communications Officer
Turn your TV off at the socket before you go to bed. A quick, simple and effective to save energy.
Maddie - Academic Events Co-ordinator
Make sure there is as little waste in the kitchen as possible. It's a fun challenge creating recipes out of leftovers or veg that’s about to turn! It makes you appreciate the food you’ve got more and you can go longer between food shops.
Mary - Outreach Officer
It's so important to look after our physical and mental health at the moment, and going for walks or bike rides can benefit our all-round wellbeing. It's also a much more environmentally-friendly way of getting around so it's a win-win!
Bethany - First Year Liaison Officer
Another way of keeping your mental sustainability up is by keeping in touch with friends and family online. Also, try out some mindfulness apps that offer free trials - Headspace and Calm are both great.
Sheela - Policy Officer
‘Vote with your wallet’ - as valuable as small individual actions can be, I’m a big believer that more substantial change comes from the top. Avoid Amazon if possible! They were found to have not only sponsored climate change denial think-tanks, but funded 68 Congress members to consistently vote down US climate legislation. We can cut out the middle man and spend our money on local businesses. Remove these barriers stopping governments from doing more!