A Guide to Sustainable Living in Your Student Rental

It’s more important than ever to start living more sustainably — it’s an incredible chance for us to utilise our current resources and make them last for future generations.

With that being said, sustainable ways of living and student life can often clash. So how can you start making sustainable choices as a student? If you’re unsure how to begin, read on for our guide, where we’ll explore a few simple ideas for sustainable living as a student.

What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living is a lifestyle choice you can easily adopt with a bit of extra knowledge under your belt! It’s a way of reducing your ecological footprint, and you can do this by changing a few lifestyle habits such as transportation, energy consumption, and diet.

By taking a more conscious approach to day-to-day living and intentionally limiting your use of Earth’s natural resources — which generate waste, CO2 emissions and pollution — you can make better choices for yourself, our world, and the future.

What are the benefits of eco-friendly and sustainable living?

The obvious benefit of living sustainably is that you can reduce excessive waste and harmful emissions, and contribute to a healthier planet.

The secondary benefits are more personal. When you decide to be more eco-friendly in your lifestyle, you may find more joy in the little things knowing that you’re doing your bit.

So, where should you start?

Make recycling easy

Recycling can feel like a hassle at first. Many pieces of packaging have multiple components — with some parts being easily recyclable, and some not so much. But once you have a consistent routine, it’ll soon be a breeze.

If you’re living in a shared house or flat, start by putting your postcode into a Recycling Locator. This tool will tell you what you can and can’t put into your kerbside recycling bin for collection, and where your nearest recycling centre is. In Newcastle, you can also use the City Council website to check your bin day and order replacement bins and caddies.

To make things even easier, why not invest in a multi-compartment bin?

Multi-compartment bins are great for recycling as they split your waste into different materials such as glass, plastic, and cardboard.

Opt for sustainable transport

As a student, it can be extremely convenient to get around the city by car. It’s quick, and you can navigate bustling cities like Newcastle with ease. However, cars emit around 4.6 metric tons of carbon emissions per year — a huge negative for our environment and atmosphere.

Instead, try commuting via public transport, walking, cycling, or even grabbing a Neuron e-scooter. If you’re a student in Newcastle, then you’ll know that our city has incredible transport links across a variety of Newcastle’s neighbourhoods. From the metro to buses and trains, there’s always an alternative available for a similar journey time.

In fact, if you fancy a day out, why not hop on the metro and explore some must-see destinations across the North East? Alternatively, embrace the fresh air and go by foot — we recommend taking a walk around the Quayside, where you can enjoy amazing views of the River Tyne.

Avoid single-use plastics

Single-use plastics are everywhere. From meal-deal packaging to single-use water bottles, it can be hard to get away from them.

The simplest way to start removing single plastics from your life is to carry a reusable water bottle and mug. Many cafes and restaurants will make your beloved brew for a discounted price when you bring your own cup — and they’ll be more than happy to fill up your water bottle, too.

In Newcastle, you can also find many zero-waste, refill shops such as Something Good and Nil Living. From washing up liquid and fabric softener to oils and spices, you can take a few old jars and containers and fill them to your heart’s content for a zero-waste solution.

Hit the charity shops

Fashion on a budget? It’s entirely possible and an effective way to reduce waste. According to recent research, around 92 million tonnes of clothing ends up in landfill sites as a result of fast fashion practices. Instead, venture into a few of the charity shops in your city.

In Newcastle, wander down Grainger Street and nearby Nun Street for old-fashioned charity shop central — the best place to grab a second-hand bargain. Why not go through your wardrobe and put up a few old items on second-hand sites like Facebook Marketplace, Vinted, or eBay? This is a great way to make some extra cash from belongings you no longer use.

Put up reminders

It can be annoying if you’re choosing to live sustainably but your housemates have other ideas for your student rental property. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about your decision to live sustainably — it’s something to celebrate! Who knows, they may even join in with you.

Remind your housemates to keep sustainable practices in mind by adding posters,labels, or rotas around the house. You can easily purchase or make labels reminding you to turn off certain electrical appliances and lights, and you could also add a label to your black bin urging your flatmates to check whether what they’re throwing away is recyclable.

Turn switches off

Another of the most straightforward sustainable living ideas at home is to turn appliances and plugs off when not in use. Rather than letting your TV or games console go onto standby, turn it off completely once you’re done with it — and don’t forget the light switches! Remembering to turn switches off will help reduce your energy consumption.

As a bonus, you’ll also save money!

Embrace sustainable living in Newcastle

When you live in Newcastle, there’s no reason why you can’t start being more sustainable in your lifestyle choices as a student. With excellent transport links and charity-shop-lined neighbourhoods, Newcastle is the perfect city to start your sustainable living journey.

For more information about living and renting in Newcastle, feel free to get in touch with our friendly lettings team. Alternatively, if you’re a landlord in Newcastle, visit our Landlord Hub for up-to-date advice and guidance.