The great thing about living and studying in Canterbury is that we have all the benefits of a buzzing student city, but we are never far away from some of the best beaches in the country.
Unfortunately, our oceans are in danger due to pollution. Things like plastic bags kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate and often end up being eaten by sea creatures.
Have a read of this handy list of the little things that you can do to reduce your plastic usage whilst at College.
Many places are now providing paper straws – but not everywhere! Plastic straws end up in the ocean and can take over 200 years to decompose. If you don’t need a straw – don’t use one. If you really enjoy drinking with a straw, consider purchasing a metal, reusable straw that you can carry around with you.
When you’re buying food you’ll often be faced with using plastic cutlery. These single-use forks are convenient but come at the cost of your environment. If you carry your own cutlery you could save a lot of unnecessary plastic waste. If you must use plastic cutlery, try and reuse it. It may not last as long but it’s helping to reduce your plastic footprint, meaning less of it ends up in the ocean.
When you’re getting food at College, place the plastic cutlery in the recycling bins provided and be safe in the knowledge that all your takeaway boxes are biodegradable.
If you are a coffee-drinker carry a reusable coffee cup or flask. It is thought that 7 million coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK, each one spending up to 50 years in a landfill.
Lots of coffee shops offer a discount when you use your own cup, and some offer eco-friendly options. All our coffee shops on site will give you a 20p discount for bringing your own coffee cup, and if you forget – all of our takeaway cups are compostable.
Plastic bottles for water are obviously very harmful too – the lids are especially fatal to seabirds who try to eat them. Reuse your bottles or better still, buy something like a Chilly’s bottle so that you never have to buy a plastic bottle again!
Kent’s coastline offers up some of the best beaches in the country and they are great locations to spend a day with friends and family. It’s important that you enjoy these beaches responsibly so that you are not harming wildlife.
Go one step further – take part in a beach clean. You can join community groups that will go out and pick up litter off the beach so that it doesn’t end up in the sea. You’ll be helping the environment whilst making sure your local beaches stay in great condition.
Get involved in Community Week at College and consider taking part in beach cleans with your fellow students and tutors.
When buying things be very mindful of just how much unnecessary plastic you are buying. For example, look for toothbrushes that are made from bamboo rather than plastic.
Check out shops like Unboxed in Canterbury, who provide waste-free items and food where you can bring along your own container to refill your essentials.
Don’t forget to bring your own bag out with you! Plastic carrier bags are very harmful. If you must use one, always keep it and try to reuse it in the future.
At Canterbury College, we encourage social responsibility amongst all our staff and students. Explore why social action is important here.