Sustainable Living as an International Student

The motivation to live as environmentally friendly and eco-conscious daily life as possible certainly seems to be considerably more prevalent in the younger generations.

Sustainable living isn’t only about making small changes and decisions, but also the coming together as a population at large and following what you should do when living as an international student.

Student’s photo attending SIT’s Study Abroad program in Madagascar on Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management.

Use Public Transport Methods

First and foremost, the negative impact on the environment from the hundreds of thousands of cars in just one state causes both short-term and long-term problems and can contribute to everything from acid rain to global warming.

In the United States, vehicle pollution is the largest cause of air pollutants, as all trucks, cars, and other motor vehicles emit greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide. As an ethically minded student, if possible, walking to your lectures with your friends and classmates is naturally the best choice, but if this simply isn’t an option, choose public transport instead.

Sensible Shopping Choices

University life, especially as an international student where every day you’re exposed to new ways of thinking, cultures, and a wide variety of different types of people, is such that it can be easy to shop with a disposable view in mind.

However, how and where you choose to shop has a huge impact on your personal carbon footprint, so follow these tips to shop more sustainably and move toward sustainable living in general:

  • Choose to buy your clothes secondhand
  • Do some research into the supply chain and manufacturing processes of the brand
  • Buy groceries from smaller, independent, and local stores
  • Think long and hard before you buy something about whether you actually need it

Get Involved in Green Groups

Whether your university is on the smaller or larger side, undeniably there are a huge number of people who can be influenced to make much more sustainable and ethical choices in their day-to-day life, and joining a student group can help make this a reality.

From recycling drives to holding talks and informal meetups to discuss how to make university life a blueprint for a more environmentally conscious student life will not only help to reduce the institution’s negative impact on the planet but will also inspire a generation to look after the environment.

Student’s photo attending SIT’s Study Abroad program in Iceland and Greenland on Climate Change and the Arctic.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Working to become a more energy-efficient nation is fast becoming a necessity, and luckily, as an international student, you’re in an influential position at the forefront of change.

Some simple yet effective ways of reducing your energy consumption as a student include turning off the lights in your dorm when you leave and also ensuring that each and every lightbulb is an energy-efficient one, and only using the volume of water you need when washing.

Instead of using the oven and hob, use the microwave instead which uses far less energy to cook food, keep your thermostat turned down to a minimum, and also work to keep appliances such as washing machines at a lower temperature.