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5 Eco Friendly Tips for Students

Active Transport CDU

Background on this blog: I’m currently doing a stint with Charles Darwin University and one of the things I get to do is help write content for the blog: Here is one of the blogs I wrote as we lead up to Plastic Free July.

I know! You are studying, maybe working, maybe have a family, you socialise and have many, many commitments. Being green probably isn’t high on your priority list. But, it should be! Why? It’s easy to make a few small changes that are good for the environment and good for the wallet. Let’s be honest, anything that saves money while you’re studying is going to be very handy.

5 Top Tips on being an Eco-Friendly Student 

1. Buy Good Quality & Products Made for Recycled Content

There is a great range of products available that are made from recycled content or can be reused over and over again. Here are some suggestions:

  • Buy 100% recycled paper for printing.
  • You can buy pens and other stationary made from post consumer waste.
  • Enough with the plastic bags, use reusable/recycled bags such as Boomerang Bags
  • Addicted to coffee? Get your own CDU Keep Cup. Some coffee shops will charge you less if you bring your own cup.
  • Make bottled water a thing of the past! Use reusable drinking bottles.

Stop buying paper all together! Don’t by a printer, buy a good quality computer, the best you can afford. A good computer will last for years. Learn to type your notes and reading off the screen will save you money.

2. Recycle

Councils provide curb side recycling in Australia. Think about all of the paper you use for your notes, assignments and then include takeout containers, plastic water bottles, beer and wine bottles or cans, just to name a few. It takes very little effort to make sure that these items are placed in the correct bin at home or on campus. See Darwin City Council’s guide on recycling.

Did you know that in the NT there is a container deposit scheme? You can make money by recycling!

Recycling isn’t just about putting your papers and containers in the correct bin though, think about your old clothes and study books. Don’t throw them, resell them and make some money back. If you don’t have the time, at least donate your good quality clothing to your local second hand store.

Old study books you can’t be bothered selling? Give Now is another option or contact CDU Library to see if they will take them.

3. Sustainable Transport

Gyms can be expensive! Getting around by active modes of transport (walking, cycling or using public transport) is a great option. Active modes of transport are well known to result in:

  • Increased capacity, and reduced congestion, in the overall transport network
  • Reduced environmental impacts
  • Improved public health and reduced healthcare costs
  • Improved community wellbeing and social cohesion.

Source: Enviro Collective CDU

It’s also cheaper than owning and using a car all of the time! Next time you need to go from A to B, consider other forms of transport.

Free or cheap exercise options are provided by Darwin City Council’s community Program.

4. Reduce Your Power Usage

When it’s not in use, turn it off at the power point. Standby power wastage is a thing! It’s easy to turn off your appliances off at the wall, your wallet and the earth will thank you.

Turn off lights and use LED light bulbs. LED bulbs cost a bit more than normal bulbs, but the saving comes in the electricity bill, as well as the long-term cost savings. Use energy-saving LED will use approximately 1/5 the energy a regular globe use and will last longer.

5. Buy Local, Eat Local and Reduce Your Meat Consumption

Local and organic can sometimes be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Think about farmers markets, get your fruit and veg fresh, cheap and hopefully it hasn’t traveled far, won’t be mass grown, covered in chemicals and will taste better. In Darwin? Check out the list of Darwin markets. Alternatively, find where your local Community Garden is, Lakeside Drive Community Garden is run by CDU.

A number of health food stores around Australia now offer bulk buying. Bring your own containers and pay a lot less than you would if you were to buy it in the supermarket. It also reduces the need for packaging and when the items are grown locally a lot less food miles involved. A couple of places you can bulk buy in Darwin are Wicked NRG & Greenies.

Reduce your meat consumption! Meat is expensive and the amount of resources it takes to grow and prepare meat is ridiculous! There are also proven health benefits to reducing your meat consumption.

That’s it! Remember, every little thing you do can make a difference!

The island affectionately known as “Maggie”

Magnetic Island, Townsville

Magnetic Island, Townsville

From Mackay we continued northward to Townsville. We did stop along the way at Bowen and took a couple of pics with the big mango. A local news crew accosted us on the way back to the car and asked us some questions about what we thought of the local area from a tourist’s perspective. Having not prepared for the interview and not seen anything of the local area, our responses were somewhat lacking and rather embarrassing ‘cringe!’

Anyway we arrived in Townsville and we did a day trip over to Magnetic Island, also known by the locals as “Maggie”.

We found that as we are RACQ members we were able to get a 10% discount off the ferry to Maggie, bargain! We caught the early ferry across and waited until the car hire place opened. We wanted a Moke to get around the island, but they were really expensive so we hired the Topless instead.

Me in a Topless, Magnetic Island

Me in a Topless, Magnetic Island

Picnic Bay Wharf

Picnic Bay Wharf

The island is only 12kms long so we drove From Nelly Bay down to Horseshoe Bay to see if there was any good snorkeling to be had. Unfortunately there was a strong breeze and the lifeguards told us that there probably wouldn’t be any decent snorkeling that day.

Undeterred we drove down to Picnic Bay, changed into our snorkeling gear and attempted to go in. Dammit, the lifeguards were right, we could barely see a metre in front.

So we had a quick stop off at the local museum and the island’s memorial park and drove back to Horseshoe Bay for some lunch.

Lunch at the local pub was lovely and after a quick lie down on the beach we drove back to the ferry and called it a day.

King of the Mountain

Last Sunday a friend and I got up early and drove from Brisbane to Mount Cooroora, Pomona for a few hours of mountain climbing. Image

Pomona is a sleepy, small town inland from Noosa. Mount Cooroora is home to the annual Pomona, King of the Mountain Festival where a number of fearless entrants attempt to go up and down Mt Cooroora the fastest to win the race.

The track starts off at a medium gradient and advances to the point where you are climbing on your hands and knees up rocks. There is a safety chain to hold onto for the majority of the climb and then near the top it disappears and you’re on your own.

ImageAs we were heading up there were a number of people who were obviously training for the King of the Mountain event. It was very scary to watch these people running, jumping, careening, sliding up and down, and barely dodging the recreational climbers in training for the big event.

We eventually reached the summit and were rewarded with sweeping 360-degree views of the country side around Mount Cooroora.

The decent was scarier then the ascent. In some areas we were free sliding down on our butts or crab walking down on our hands and feet. It was a relief to get to the bottom in one piece.

It took us about an hour and a half to go up and down Mount Cooroora.

The weather was amazing, we had clear blue skies, a hot sun, and you would never have known it was the middle of winter.

Pomona Hotel

Once we got back to the town we have a bit of a wonder around. We stopped in at the Pomona Hotel had a beer and the best chips and gravy I’ve have in a long time.

It was a lovely daytrip which I would definitely recommend to others.

Happy Wine Days

Before I moved I had some doubts, and so did my friends, about me moving to the Sunshine State. Basically the problem was that Queensland doesn’t have any wineries, of so I thought. Since moving here I have been very pleasantly surprise by the fact that while driving around we have come across a number of wineries and the wine has been quite good!

These are a few I’ve been to:

Flame Hill Vineyard

Ocean View Estate

Maleny Mountain Wines

These are the wine regions I plan of visiting:

The Scenic Rim

Mount Tamborine

The Granite Belt

What a fantastic surprise 🙂

Check out Stu and I!