I was welcomed by a decorated Christmas tree and free mince pies when I arrived at the Boiler House. I was there to find out more about how I could be a more sustainable student. The two storey building with its industrial warehouse architecture, helped create the cozy market atmosphere. With a comfortable seating area upstairs. The merchants offered a wide range from products, anything from sustainable gift wrap to reusable razors. Many of them were entrepreneurs, challenging the hyper-commercial markets by providing small scale production to a high quality.
“The Zero Waste movement involves so many different aspects than only minimizing waste”
The Zero Waste movement involves so many different aspects than only minimizing waste. It evolves around sustainability for both producer and consumer, choosing lasting high quality and reducing the consumption overall. This can be translated into repurposing something broken into something else, shopping second-hand or when buying new, favouring products that will last longer than a year. This is where a company like ‘Buy Me Once’ comes into the picture. The small company was launched in 2016 by Tara Button. Tara was tired of buying products, intended to break after just a few uses. Their vision is to offer customers a carefully tested collection of durable products. These products will last longer than its competitors’ but also fill other criteria such as being sustainably and ethically produced. After a thorough interrogation of the poor man behind the stand of their durability, I finally decided to invest in a pair.
Being a sustainable student on a limited budget
As a student with a limited budget, and a restricted access to more sustainable alternatives, it can be a struggle to live up to all the standards you set up for yourself. Since plastic is a difficult material to recycle. To try and be a more sustainable student I try to reduce the consumption and look for other recyclable materials such as paper, metal or glass. When reducing the use of plastic packaging, the biggest challenges can be found among the hygiene and bathroom essentials. A cheap and easy swap is from the bottle to the bar. Soap bars, shampoo and conditioner bars as well as body lotion bars which last for months. A firm brick that either lathers under water in the shower or melts onto the skin as a lotion. There were several alternatives present at the market and most of them were pretty cheap. You don’t either have to think about volumes when traveling with only hand luggage on an airplane, since they are all solid.
On the subject of flying, I find myself in an inner war with myself. Yes, flying puts an enormous toll on our environment. As sustainable students we should do our best to minimise the use of fossil fuels. Although, many of us are dependent on it. I am fortunate enough to live on the same continent as my friends and family so sometimes trains or buses are good alternatives. However, for a large part of my fellow students this is not an option. Although I try to make more sustainable choices in my everyday life, choosing the more unsustainable option is sometimes the only option. The journey back to my home country will this time be one of those. I am leaving in a matter of days and I am looking forward to see my family again and take a break from my studies.
London was a wonderful visit and soon I will be back, but till then, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Feel free to contact me for more info about my story or share your own enthusiasm. Other questions or your own tips for a Fresher like me in the comments below