How to Sustainably Source Student Essentials

Moving out to university often begins with a haul of kitchen essentials and bedroom accessories, flat-packed furniture and unnecessary clutter. In our sustainable packing guide, discover how to source your essentials list with a little more consideration for both the planet and your bank account. 

With A-Level results being published this week (best of luck!) and September fast approaching, moving to university is suddenly becoming much more real for those taking the next step into higher education. Once results have been published and the anxiety has settled, the next step is to fill shopping trolleys with pots, pans, tea towels and wooden spoons. The novelty of moving out can often mean overloading on newness, unnecessarily buying cheap homeware that you’ll most likely end up with duplicates of upon arriving in your shared accommodation. Moving house, be it into student housing or your first family home, is always an opportunity to reassess your living situation, making it the perfect time to reconsider the sustainable practices, tips and tricks you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

Hand Me Downs and Secondhand
With any luck, you’ll have been planning this move for a couple of years and hopefully will have started to source bits and pieces to take with you. Hand me downs of old saucepans and kitchen appliances are perfect for the chaos of student kitchens. This goes for furniture too, with charity shops and car boot sales offering old chairs and tables for a fraction of the price of their flat-packed alternatives. In another bid to save money (and paper), do some research into whether your university has a secondhand textbook scheme; these can often be expensive and leave a significant dent in your student loan, with secondhand options helping to reduce this.

Natural Investment Pieces
Having saved money on buying primarily secondhand, investing in a couple of pieces you truly love means you are much more likely to take good care over them, therefore expanding their lifespan beyond that of the three years spent in student accommodation. Taking the time to create a green home will hopefully make your student house feel a little more like a home and less like a temporary living situation. One easy swap is investing in ethical bedding, as let’s be honest, most of your time spent as a student will be lounging in bed. In opting for natural materials, your comfort levels will be maximised, with studies having proved their benefits regarding heat and moisture regulation.

New Uni, New You
Starting university can be a great opportunity to make some changes, be it how you approach education or how you want to dress. Rather than heading to the high-street in a bid to find a whole new wardrobe, arrange a clothes swap with your friends. In avoiding fast fashion and the allure of student discounts, you can leave for uni with new pieces that didn’t have to cost you or the planet a thing. 

Bulk Buys and Brownies
In an effort to reduce the amount of single-use plastic wasted in your move, especially in your food shop, bulk buy student staples such as rice and pasta before heading off. This, therefore, means only buying one big bag and consequently one piece of plastic, that will hopefully last the duration of the term. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to get all this from a bulk shop, then that’s even better! Food is always a great conversation starter and nothing is more daunting than the thought of moving in with a group of people you’ve only briefly conversed with over messenger. Turning up with a container full of plant-based bakes is almost always a sure-fire way to break the ice, plus it’ll help you to make a great impression from the start.

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