Blog post

Go Green Week:
Ways to be more
sustainably mindful
as a student

We have put together some sustainability tips to help save the planet, while benefiting you by saving you money!

By Olivia Wilkinson - 15 March 2023

Reduce plastic consumption

You can reduce plastic consumption by making slight changes to your daily habits such as carrying or using:

Reusable bags

Did you know that we go through 10 billion plastic bags nationwide every week? This becomes a permanent environmental pollutant as the plastics used can’t be broken down.

Try swapping single use plastic bags for reusable bags (which most shops sell) or your University of Derby tote bag. Don’t have one? We often hand these out around campus, so keep an eye out!

Re-usable water bottles/cups

80% of the plastic water bottles that we buy end up in landfill, with each bottle leaking harmful chemicals into our environment!
Having a reusable water bottle or cup can help reduce your environmental impact and save you money. We have water fountains located around all our sites for easy access and refill. By carrying a reusable bottle instead of buying a water bottle a day, you will save approximately £360 a year! Ps. If you bring your own cup to Blends, they will make your desired drink at a reduced cost.

Person shopping holds plastic and reusable carrier bags in each hand

Walk, Cycle, Bus

Where possible, try walking, cycling, or getting the bus to your destination to help reduce pollution from cars.

The University offers FREE:

Regular buses to all sites

Our buses run all year round, from a range of locations, across the city. Find out more about travelling to Derby by bus.

Cycle racks

We have bicycle parking at all our teaching sites and storage at our halls of residence. We also have shower facilities to freshen yourself up (located at Kedleston Road and Markeaton street). Cycling is an excellent, healthy way of getting around Derby and we benefit from many good local cycle routes. If you need help with route planning, you can obtain a Cycle Derby map or alternatively from reception at Kedleston Road or Markeaton Street. You can also earn rewards by walking and cycling. Find out more about travelling by bike.

Have friends at university? Perhaps you could cycle to campus together one day. Why don’t you try and incorporate these cost-effective and healthy methods of getting to lectures and around Derby?

Five Alexander Dennis Unibuses at Kedleston Road

Save energy

We’ve all fallen into the habit of leaving our devices on charge – such as our laptops and phones -  even though they’re at maximum power already. How about leaving a light on in a room you’re not using? Got you!

Be mindful and make it a habit to turn off your devices and equipment when they’re not in use. This helps to save energy and reduces your bills and expenses. Timer plugs and smart bulbs can help here as well.

Day and night phone button toggles

Disposing of rubbish correctly

Recycling helps prevent pollution, conserves energy and natural resources, and reduces waste sent to landfill.
We have recycling bins across all sites.

Find out what can and can’t be recycled in these bins below: 

What can I recycle?

Recycle icons created by Pixel perfect -

What goes in general waste bins?

Delete icons created by Freepik -

Reduce and reuse

Reducing and reusing saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to global climate change. 

You can do this by:

Reducing consumption

Try eliminating food waste and re-wearing clothes (not just buying and wearing them for a single occasion)


Get more use out of items by loaning or sharing books and clothes with your friends


Donate unwanted items that are still in good condition to charity. This benefits the environment alongside helping to support great causes

Buying eco-friendly paper

Alongside being greener and more ethical, eco-friendly products are more durable and long-lasting which helps to save you money!  

Let us know @DerbyUni the ways that you are being sustainable as a student! 

About the author

Olivia Wilkinson at graduation

Olivia Wilkinson
Graduate Marketing and Communications Associate

Recent graduate with a first-class degree in Marketing (PR and Advertising). Former ladies' football team player, Communications Ambassador, Social Media Assistant and DRIVEN intern. Now working as a Graduate Marketing and Communications Associate at the university.