Living sustainably as a Winchester student

22 Apr 2021
Person holding a pile of soil in their hands

As we all know, the planet can really use a helping hand at the moment. If we all combine to make a few small changes we can really start to affect our carbon footprint. Luckily, the University has been working on ways to make it as easy as possible for you to be more sustainable in your everyday life as a Winchester student. Protecting the environment and promoting sustainability is a big part of the University's future plans, with the new building at West Downs promising to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating in sustainability which will contribute to our ambition to be the most sustainable Higher Education institution in the UK.  Below are a few tips on how you can make a difference.

Reusing your free cup on campus

In recent years we have been giving out free reusable coffee cups to new students joining the University. The cup itself is made, in part, from chewing gum that is collected around the campus in the pink gumdrop bins. As weird as it sounds, it’s really true! It may not seem like much to reuse the cup, but in the time between the introduction of the cups, in November 2016, and March 2018, the University saved 55,000 non-recyclable cups. Moreover, when the cups were introduced a 25p surcharge has been added for the use of a disposable cup on campus, so you’ll save yourself money as well as helping the environment.

Students with our reusable cups

Growing Fruit and Veg in our allotments

You may not know, but we have allotments that are available to use at Holm lodge. Growing your own fruit, vegetable and herbs is a great way to reduce your food miles, remove pesticides from your diet, save on excess packaging and reduce your food bill. Not only are allotments good for the planet but they are also good for you! It’s a great way to connect with nature and experience the seasons and different produce they bear. Being in the calm of the allotment and also the sense of achievement from your first harvest can a great way to aid mental well-being.

Box of vegetables

Recycling all materials in our recycle bins

Across the University we operate a two-bin system for dry mixed recycling and general waste, on top of the bins is a guide on what to put in each bin to make it as easy for you as possible to put everything in the right bin. Furthermore, we now have paper cup bins which have a section for each part of the cup and even the fluid if you are ever caught without your reusable cup. We have dramatically increased our rate of recycling at the University over the last ten years and even achieved zero landfill waste in 2013!

Use Public transport

When traveling around the city and also around the country, using public transport is the perfect way to travel sustainably. We have a number of green incentives here to help make the cost a bit more affordable. If you head to our travel and transport page you will be able to see a full list of these discounts. We also have storage for bikes, as well as the Bike Doctor who visits the King Alfred Quarter monthly and gives free maintenance checks and minor repairs.

Inside of a public bus 

Student Switch Off

Another way to help is by taking part in the NUS Student Switch off competition. As a flat you compete to save the most energy over the entirety of the year and the winning flats will receive individual prizes. All of your individual efforts in the competition will add up to a big impact, in the last academic year the student switch off, across all institutions, saved enough energy to make 105 million cups of tea!

These are just a few ways to start making a difference on campus, if you head to the environment section on the intranet you will be able to see even more information on how the University is making a difference and what you can do to help.

About the author

Luke works within our Hub Enquiries team, on our website Live Chat - drop him a line if you would like to ask him a question.

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