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A Student’s Guide to Sustainable Living on Campus

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Aerial picture of the Curtin Perth Campus

Do you want to make a difference in the world while navigating through your academic journey? Curtin is not only a hub for academic excellence but also a place where you can cultivate sustainable habits. In this guide, we’ll uncover some ways you can increase your sustainability at Curtin and provide some easy eco-friendly ideas for you to try! 

Catch the bus or train 

Students can reduce their carbon footprint by opting for public transportation instead of driving to campus. Taking the bus not only cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions but also alleviates traffic congestion, parking strains and peak-hour travel time to university. Encourage friends to join you, making the daily commute a fun and eco-friendly group activity. You can find the best route to campus through Transperth’s journey planner, or by looking here. If public transport doesn’t work for you, aim to carpool or ride share! This doesn’t just make the financial cost cheaper but helps the environment (and your carpool karaoke skills) too! 

Aim for zero waste with reusable kits

Embrace the zero-waste lifestyle by creating a reusable kit; a water bottle, coffee cup, lunch container and utensils. Keep it somewhere accessible like by your keys or near the fridge, so every day when you go to leave home, you can slip your water bottle into your bag, chuck your packed lunch and fork in, and grab your coffee cup ready for filling at your favourite cafe! Have ready and on display, so you can just pick whatever you need for that day and slip it into your bag. A simple action making your day one step closer towards zero waste! 

Be waterwise on campus

Install water-efficient fixtures in your dorm room or apartment, like low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Notify Curtin Properties of leaky taps in bathrooms on campus, or if you see sprinklers leaking. If you finish a plastic bottle, or see one lying around, tip the water out onto some plants before throwing it in a recycle bin. Plastic drink containers can also be recycled at Containers for Change facilities, which pay you 10c per container, so you could also save and deposit them at a store near you

Reduce paper consumption  

Opt for digital textbooks and online resources instead of traditional paper-based materials. Submit assignments electronically and encourage professors to accept digital submissions to reduce paper use. Print only when necessary and choose double-sided printing to minimise waste. Borrow books from the library, buy textbooks second-hand when possible and share your old books around! 

Embrace meatless Mondays and explore plant-based meal options 

Start by trying out delicious plant-based recipes or vegetarian options on campus. The guild outlets, exchange options and food trucks in the creative quarter have options for all palettes and choices!   

Plant-based foods have a smaller footprint on the environment than animal-based foods according to The National Institute of Health. Even the least sustainable vegetables and cereals cause less environmental harm than the lowest impact meat and dairy products, so choosing vego based foods even once a week can go a long way! 

Embrace repair and reuse culture 

Attend or host repair workshops where students can learn to fix common items like electronics, clothing, and bicycles, fostering a culture of repair over replacement. Head to the Makerspace in the library to use the community resources that can aid your repairs of clothes and items, with free-to-use sewing machines and needle and thread! Support and promote repairing and upcycling of everyday items, when your friends or classmates mention their broken items or desire to buy new items to fix old ones. 

Participate in clothing swaps and DIY upcycling projects to give old items a new life and keep them out of landfills, such as donating or buying from the Guild second life markets. 

Participate in environmental volunteering or on-campus sustainability programs 

Toggle the “environmental” filter on the Curtin Volunteers! website, or set email notifications to remind you when CV! posts environmental-based volunteer opportunities. Join programs like the Sustainability Challenge, that aim to empower students to become sustainability leaders and providing resources or support for environmental projects. 

By taking small, meaningful steps, you can lower your environmental footprint, and inspire others around you to make similar changes. While individual actions toward sustainability are important, try to remember that the responsibility is not solely on individuals. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed but focus on what you can do and don’t bear the burden alone—share ideas and thoughts with those arounds you! Collective action can drive, create and inspire a demand for change from those with the most significant impact! 

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