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Here are some small changes you can make as a King’s student for a more sustainable summer

it’s time to make some steps towards changing the planet for the better

Finally, summer is upon us and exam season has been and gone. You can all breathe a sigh of relief.

I’m sure that everyone has some great things planned for the summer but whatever your summer plans were, you can do things a hell of a lot more sustainably.

You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg but there’s lots of tiny changes aside from the obvious that won’t change your routine all that much: Reusable water bottles (stop buying plastic ones in the supermarket), walk more and avoid public transport and purchase foods that are in season and local.

Unplug from your devices

This is something we all need to do: a digital detox. Put away your laptop, switch off the television and stop scrolling TikTok and go outside girl. It’s clear as day advice, but it’s actually harder to do this than many of us think. Even if it’s for an hour or two – turn everything off (this includes at the switches) and breathe some of that lovely London congested air.

Get some greenery

Not only will this be brilliant for your mental health (in addition to the lack of the internet), and amp up your room décor, but will create clean air. Colombia Road Flower Market close to Brick Lane sells plants at an affordable price every Sunday (lasts until 3pm). Go pick some up and try and keep them alive, please. The later you go, the cheaper they are too.

Shop in person

This is something I need to hear myself. Both shopping online for clothes and food is a habit. And as convenient it is, it is bad for the planet. If you buy your clothes in person, you’re avoiding emissions from delivery services and you’re more likely to try them on there and then and not return them if they don’t fit. You are reducing your carbon footprint and getting your daily step goal in at the same time – result!

Also, as much fun as it is to go shopping with your girls, you save significantly more money doing it alone, and consequently, avoiding fast fashion. We do just encourage our friends to buy things we don’t need. As much as it will look good on them, we are contributing to the unethical world of fast fashion.

Vinted and Depop are great creations to avoid fast fashion – but don’t do it so often that you’re getting new packages every week. These still use delivery services as well, so if you can, shop at charity shops or vintage stores for the most environmentally friendly way to keep up your good fashion sense.

Recyclable materials

Apart from recycling kitchen waste, many supermarkets and shops like Boots have installed the refillable packaging. For example, you can buy the method branded hand soap which you can return in store to be refilled instead of repurchasing in new packaging. Many other brands including the Boots own do this. Also, Supermarkets like Tesco have the R “Reuse” sticker on it’s packaging, on things such as cleaning products – which means you can return these too to be refilled.

These are just a few of the number of small ways you can effectively be sustainable this summer, and beyond into the winter months. The sooner we make these changes, the greater the impact we can have on improving the current state of the planet (which isn’t all that brilliant).