Blog post


With energy costs increasing, it can be difficult to cover bills as a student. Thankfully, here are five easy methods to save energy, reduce costs and lower your carbon footprint.

By Izzy Moxham-Mead - 17 March 2023

Kettle tips

Kettles can greatly increase your energy consumption if not used correctly. Ensure you are only filling the kettle for the water you are using. For reference, 200ml is the ideal amount for a single hot drink. Kettles often feature a minimum fill line and common measurements, pay attention to them when making a hot beverage. This can reduce your energy and water consumption, which massively helps the environment. Did you know water can remain hot in a kettle for over 30 minutes? Keep this in mind, when reheating a kettle which has just been boiled. This can increase your energy bills with little purpose, so save your coins!

Unplug devices

Do you unplug kitchen appliances when you are finished using them? Plugged-in devices can increase your electricity usage, so simply turn the switch off by the wall when you are finished using them. Additionally, to reduce costs, consider charging electrical devices on public transport, or in cafes and libraries, which often have charging points you can use for free. Spending extra time in libraries could also positively improve your academic performance too, so it’s a win-win situation for all students.

An unplugged plug beside an outlet

Five-minute showers

Hot showers can be a great way to switch off from the pressures of life. However, they may be a lot more expensive than you think. Experts suggest showering for approximately five minutes or a little longer if you are washing your hair. A five-minute shower could decrease your water consumption by at least a third. And if that wasn’t enough information for you to change your hygiene habits, did you know long showers can strip away your skin’s natural oils and open pores?

Oven usage

There have been many recent debates over air fryers vs. ovens. Air fryers are more energy-efficient than most ovens. Although, air fryers can be expensive to purchase. Thankfully, microwaves cook food quickly and save more energy than ovens. Consider using these easy-to-use countertop appliances when cooking at university. However, not everything can be cooked properly with this equipment, so here are my quick-fire tips to reduce your energy consumption when using ovens:

Clothes inside a washing machine

Sustainable clothes washing

Washing clothes can use a lot of excess water. Unless clothes desperately need washing, why not wait until you have a large laundry pile before filling the machine? Not only will this reduce your chore list, but it also helps save money and the environment. Try washing your clothes at a colder temperature. Nowadays, washing detergents are very effective, so there is no need to wash clothes at a temperature higher than 30°C. This is better for the environment and saves you some coins. Do you wash your clothes in eco-mode? This setting on your washing machine saves water and money, so why not give it a go?

Those are my tips on how to become more sustainable when living independently. Everyone has different priorities and ways of living, so perhaps you have your own methods of reducing costs while improving your carbon footprint – let us know @derbyuni.

About the author

Isabella Moxham Mead wears cats eye style eye liner and has long curly brown hair.

Izzy Moxham-Mead
Digital Marketing Student

I'm currently a Marketing (Digital) student at the University of Derby. I work as a Marketing Representative and a Social Media Assistant alongside my course. This has helped me gain fantastic, relevant work experience whilst studying at the University.