Budget-Friendly Sustainability: Uni Student Edition

Our top tips on incorporating more sustainable habits while on a budget.

Being sustainable doesn’t have to mean wearing $300 staple wardrobe pieces, purchasing only organic produce from a local market every weekend, and biking everywhere. Incorporating more sustainable habits can be accessible for the everyday student, and any effort made makes a difference! Here are some ways you can reduce your impact as a university student while being budget-friendly.


Reusable Coffee Cups

If you’re a coffee lover – making the swap over to reusable coffee cups can drastically reduce single use waste. Its estimated that up to 1 billion single-use or disposable coffee cups are thrown out every year.

You can get affordable reusable coffee cups from places like Kmart or Secondhand Texts & Stationery, or purchase one from Darwin’s or On a Roll Bakery with a free coffee included.

We also run the Green Caffeen Program, where you can borrow a reusable coffee cup for free. You just use, swap and return. Available at Darwin’s and On a Roll Bakery!


Recycle Stations

We all know the common and most accessible form of recycling is cardboard and drink bottles and cans – but you can recycle lots of different things!

A Reuse and Recycle Station is available in the Kingham Room Foyer in the Union Complex where you can recycle items such as DVDs and CDs, oral care products, stationery, mobile phones and more! You can read more about the service here.


Carry a Reusable Bag

Ever realise you need to pick up some stuff while you’re out – only to find that you can’t fit those extra stuff into your bag? But you also don’t want to buy ANOTHER Coles/Woolies bag because you have so many of them at home already? We’ve been there.

You can pack a canvas tote bag as they are lightweight and you can get fun prints on them – or alternatively you can get reusable foldable shopping bags that pack neatly and take up little space.


Buy Secondhand or Borrow

Want something new, old, or vintage? Secondhand can be just what you need! You can head to a thrift store, a flea market or simply browse through Facebook Marketplace for the best deals on clothes, furniture, home décor – and more! One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.



Upcycling is a great way to reuse something as something else! Got some old fabrics? Turn them into rags or a bag! Pasta sauce jars? Instant water jugs for drinking or plants. There are repair cafes available that also can repair items such as clothes, furniture, appliances and more that need a little TLC.


Reusable Water Bottles

Did you know that single use plastic bottles generate an enormous amount of waste that ends up in landfill or environment? Not considering the amount of waste, the financial costs of purchasing bottle water is much more than tap water (estimated about $2.50 versus a few cents per litre of tap water).

By getting a reusable water, you can reduce your impact drastically and stay hydrated more often! Many places have refillable water stations available for free or for a low cost. You can find refill stations around UQ campuses!


Try incorporating some of these habits and services to be more environmentally friendly!

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