Following a landmark year in the global effort to tackle climate change, you may be thinking about ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint in 2022. What can you do/not do to play your part in protecting the planet, and what things will make the most impact from a personal point of view?

As a student, having the awareness of where your emissions come from is a great starting point in the journey to living more sustainably. Therefore, in this article, we offer some useful advice, practical tips and helpful contact information for students living in Leeds who want to make a difference this year.


Minimise your student accommodation energy consumption

There are many simple steps you can take to reduce energy use in your Leeds’ student home, as well as reducing your monthly bills.

Using energy-saving LED light bulbs is a good place to start, as well as washing clothes on a cooler 30 degree wash rather than higher, more intense temperatures which consume more energy.

Taking shorter showers reduces your water consumption significantly and wearing more clothes will keep you feeling warm enough without having to crank the heating up during cold winter days.

Did you also know that switching to a renewable energy supplier could save enough C02 to power your student home for 3 months? Therefore, do some research and switch to a green energy supplier provider such as Bulb, Octopus, OVO or Green Energy UK.


Change your diet

While many people will be doing Veganuary this month, there are other ways to reduce food-related C02 emissions if you don’t feel it’s for you.

Although switching to a plant-based diet could reduce your emissions by up to a whacking-great 70%, it’s also a huge lifestyle choice, and one which takes a lot of commitment to uphold. If you don’t feel like a 100% vegan lifestyle is achievable for you, then try a meat-free Monday or veggie Wednesday and see how it goes from there.

Shopping local farmer’s markets and buying seasonal produce grown nearby is a great way to reduce your footprint, as well as limiting your red meat consumption and diary intake too.

Remember, wasting food is avoidable, so shop small and often, and batch-make soups and casseroles to freeze for when you need them – this will save both waste and your budget at the same time!


Choose your transport wisely

Do you really need your car at university? Living in Leeds means you have great transport links to most places in the UK, therefore, maybe now’s the time to leave your car at home, or perhaps even sell it and invest the funds sensibly elsewhere for the future?

Walking or cycling is not only great for the environment, but also for your health and wellbeing, so if it’s safe to do so, set off half an hour earlier than usual and take a power walk into town for your next lecture. We promise you that you’ll feel much more chilled when you arrive rather than following that ring-road of traffic around in the car and then stressing to find a parking space!

For longer journeys, take public transport such as coaches, buses or trains. Remember students get 1/3 off train tickets with a Railcard, which can save you a huge amount of money over the university year.


Join a local action group

Jo0ining groups and pushing for systemic change are also crucial in tackling the wider impact of climate change.

There are many environmental action groups in Leeds and the surrounding areas, so round up a few of your housemates and check some out to see which you feel suit your views the best.

Leeds Friends of the Earth is part of a movement creating a safer climate, flourishing nature, and healthy air, water and food. They campaign for change in the community to make a difference to the environment locally, nationally, and globally.

Climate Action Leeds is another group who are campaigning to make Leeds a zero carbon and nature-friendly city by the 2030s. They believe climate change should be community led and offer many ways to get involved in the campaign.


Joining the conversation and raising your voice against climate change is a powerful way to get involved and make a difference, so look out for the posters around your Student Union or do some online research in your local area to find out more about why your actions really matter.