I’m Malin Faux, Media Secretary from the Green Action society at the University, and I’ve compiled 3 tips and tricks to help you travel more sustainably and spark an environmental conversation.
As a student, if you are new to thinking more sustainably it can sometimes feel difficult, expensive and too time-consuming. However, being environmentally-conscious doesn’t need to be complicated. Many of you might realise that you are already integrating sustainability in your lives without realising, but there’s always room for improvement!
1. Active Travel
One of the easiest ways to start integrating sustainable travel into your routine is through active travel. Walking, cycling or wheeling are some typical examples but even incorporating hobbies such as skateboarding or rollerblading work just as well!
Active travel can be an easy option as it is cheap, little effort and aside from helping the planet, it also benefits you personally by improving your overall physical and mental health. Active travel is as an opportunity to socialise, incorporate daily exercise and enjoy the sunshine. Or if you’re like me, it’s the perfect time of day to listen to some music and create some peace of mind.
Additionally, when you contribute to active travel, it benefits others too — it reduces air pollution around the city and encourages others to follow suit. Check out the University’s Bike Hub for more info on renting bikes, discounted D-locks and workshops to help you maintain your bike.
Plan your cycle journey around Leeds with City Connect’s cycle journey planner.
2. Public Transport
Public transport is another great way to travel more sustainably because, realistically, you won’t be able to walk, cycle or wheel everywhere (especially when relying on the British weather)!
Using buses, trams and trains is a cheaper and more carbon friendly option than travelling by Uber or private cars. In Leeds, public transport is becoming greener by moving towards renewable energy, as many buses are converting to electric vehicles. This also makes public transport a cheaper alternative compared to private car use as it is less affected by rising petrol prices.
Don’t forget to be on the lookout for student deals! For example, LUU offers a night bus for travelling home late at night when public buses have stopped.
3. Private transport can still be eco-efficient
Despite all of this, active travel and public transport are not always convenient options all the time. Being environmentally conscious is not always about achieving the perfect sustainable plan but finding ways to maintain sustainable behaviour in the long-term and finding the best solutions. The beautiful irony is learning how to make sustainability itself, sustainable.
For example, sharing Ubers with friends to do weekly shopping or when travelling home late at night when active travel isn’t safe or possible, can be more cost and eco-efficient than using one all by yourself.
In Leeds, as students, we’re lucky to find ourselves in an accessible area with plenty of walking/wheeling/cycling paths to enjoy in parks, and public transport which makes sustainable travel an enjoyable experience. Get out and give it a try!
Learn more about Green Action society over on our Instagram.
Want to know how the University is taking climate action? Find out more about our Climate Plan.