Waste and recycling
The Green Erasmus Research showed that a large number of students are already engaged with the topic of sustainability. This undoubtedly includes the question of (zero-) waste and recycling. OECD statistics show that in 2020 there was the incredible amount of waste generated by each EU inhabitant - 500.4 kilograms per capita!
Regardless of whether you already deal with recycling in your home country, or not, you may be confronted with it during your semester abroad and you may want to reduce your waste production. Refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle - the big 5 - might become your mantra for your stay abroad.
Actions you can take
- Refuse: avoid buying products in excessive packaging. Try instead buying your food from local markets. Especially shortly before they close when you can often get discounts on fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce: buy only what you really need. This may refer to all aspects of life. Food, furniture, clothes. Avoid single-use plastic, like disposable razors, try instead a safety razor with replaceable blades. Buy shampoo bars instead of bottles. Try drinking tap water, instead of buying bottled water.
- Reuse: take always a reusable bag with you, most are really small and fit in every pocket. If you once had to buy a plastic or paper bag try to use it as often as possible.
- Recycle: many things we use in our day-to-day lives can be recycled. Make sure to sort things you’re throwing away correctly so they don't end up in landfill when they could be recycled into a new product. Have a look at these recycling tips and check the recycling rules and facilities valid for your accommodation during your exchange. Recycling is a core aspect of universities too! Check these recycling ideas to make your campus greener.
- Repurpose: Use glass food jars or empty ice cream or margarine containers for storing small items or food.