Going green can seem like a big step but there are lots of small things you can do to help our planet. After all, it’s the only one we’ve got!
More than half of landfill leaving our colleges is food scraps, including fruit skins, veggie stalks, stale bread and cooked leftovers. That’s 850 tonnes aka more than 170 garbage trucks of only food waste!
So, how can you help reduce it?
- Prepare your meals for the week and stick to your shopping list when you get your groceries.
- If you cook too much, use up your leftovers by putting them in Tupperware containers for quick and easy lunches or dinners for the next few days.
- Take advantage of the two community gardens on-campus. There’s one at the bottom of East Residence in the precinct and another hidden behind Oval 4, near The Wollotuka Institute.
- Get a $20 veggie box from NUSA and grab a vegetarian or BBQ lunch every Tuesday from the Auchmuty Courtyard during semester.
- Cut some meat out of your diet (it’s a huge climate change contributor!) and participate in #MeatFreeMondays.
Did you know that in 2016 the UON residences used a total of 94 million litres of water? That’s the equivalent of 8.2 Teds pools every day!
Save more water with these quick tips:
- Take shorter showers (aim for less than 5 mins).
- Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth or shaving at the sink.
- When you’re doing laundry, only wash a full load of clothes at a time. If you only have a few dirty things, try to combine the load with a friend.
- When you’re washing up, use the plug and fill the sink rather than let the water run.
- When boiling veggies, pasta or eggs add the item first and then fill the pot up to the right level.
Our residents threw out over 1550 tonnes of rubbish in 2016. 25% could have been recycled and over half was food scraps.
How can we do better?
- Take advantage of the different rubbish bins you have access to in your rooms or your residence. Put your recyclables in the yellow bin and your general waste into the red one!
- Ditch the disposables. Bring your own water bottle, coffee cup, containers and cutlery around campus.
- Get yourself some green bags and get into the habit of taking them with you when you do the grocery shopping to avoid throwing out plastic bags.
- Donate your old and unwanted clothes and food to charity. When you move out Student Living has bins on-campus, but you can also find clothing donation points at Stockland Wallsend throughout the year!
In 2016, the accommodation precinct used 3,249,448 kilowatts per hour of electricity – with that amount of energy, you could drive around the world 391 times.
To help save energy, you should:
- Turn off your appliances at the wall when you’re not using them – including your TV, phone charger, laptop charger and microwave!
- If it’s not raining, step away from the dryer! Hang your washing out to dry instead and save $2.50 – that’s at least a pie from the Bakehouse.
- Shut the windows if you have the air-con or heater going (and while you’re at it, turn down your heater by just 1-degree!)
- Only put the amount of water you need in the kettle and you won’t have to wait as long for that morning coffee.
Every time you drive to Stockland Jesmond, you’ll use $1 of petrol. Factor in car insurance, rego and your Residential Parking Permit and a once-a-week shop can become more than 10 bucks round trip. Think of all the things you can do for $10!
- To get around campus you can walk (make sure to take some mosquito repellent) or bike. Head to Bike Hub East (next to the Student Services Building) and grab a $50 bike deal.
- Save on petrol when getting your groceries and take the free Stockland Shuttle bus or go for a quick cycle following the shared paths.
- Need to get bulk items or heavy goods? Car pool with your roommates!
- Want to go in to Newcastle CBD or get to the beach? Take the free bus to NeW Space or use the public transport available from UON.
Feature image by Lina Trochez