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What you can do to be more sustainable

Here's some things you can do to live more sustainably.

From giving a little extra consideration to how you dispose of your waste, do your shopping or get around campus, to getting more involved and joining societies or initiatives across campus and the local area, every step you take towards being more sustainable is a positive one.

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Sustainability at York

1. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Recycling and waste

2. Travel more sustainably

  • Live or work at Uni? Use the cycle pool to borrow bikes
  • Pick up a subsidised staff or student bus pass
  • Save up to 42% on purchasing a bike with our Cycletowork staff salary exchange scheme
  • Join our car club scheme to access reduced price parking and vehicles for occasional use
  • Receive cycle training and cashback from our Transport Team

Sustainable travel

3. Shop more sustainably

There are many ways you can implement sustainable measures into your shopping routine; from bringing your own bags, to buying local or sustainably labelled products and purchasing items made from recycled materials, or reused goods from second hand stores.

  • Scoop is a student run co-operative providing organic, exploitation-free and local produce at affordable prices
  • Swap Shop is a Facebook page that allows members to post unwanted items that can be swapped/sold to other students.
  • Look out for our new scheme aimed at reducing food waste and saving you money
  • Staff members on Slack can join our #recycle-chat and #recycle-for-sale-or-wanted groups

4. Embrace One Planet Living 

  • One Planet Week runs every year during Week 6 of Spring Term to celebrate sustainability, promote awareness and share knowledge with staff, students and the general public
  • Each year a One Planet Living Principal is chosen to provide the focus for social events, seminars and workshops run for the week
  • Catch up with some of the talks on our YouTube Channel
  • Find out the winner of our OPW23 Art and Nature Competition

One Planet Week

5. Reduce your carbon footprint while working from home

  • Reduce sending excessive emails and large attachments
  • Change your search engine to help plant trees
  • Switch off your work appliances after use
  • Install a SMART meter
  • Unplug your electronics
  • Switch to a sustainable energy provider

Working from home

6. Join the Green Impact Scheme

Green Impact is an environmental accreditation programme that recognises and rewards staff members’ sustainable actions at work. 

  • Students can get involved by working as a Green Impact Auditor and receive IEMA approved training. You'll visit participating departments and review the actions they have implemented.
  • We also have roles available as Green Impact Project Assistants, where can you take part in a day-long training course and then work with a staff Green Impact team over the course of the year.

Green impact

7. Get carbon literate

Get Carbon literate with our free training. Open to both staff and students, our courses on Carbon Literacy will be running in the Spring and Summer terms.

Training is in the form of 2 morning workshops plus some self-led learning using materials provided in advance of the course.

On completion of a final individual action plan you will receive Carbon Literacy accreditation from the Carbon Literacy Project. Register your interest here  and you will be sent more details of when the courses are running.

8. Do some citizen science

Interested in wildlife? Why not do your bit for citizen science and record your campus wildlife sightings? Be it ducks or ladybirds, plants or lichens, we want to know!

Not only will it help with wildlife conservation on campus, but it could also be used in local and national conservation research and policy-making! Submit your records at

9. Join a group or volunteer for charity

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Sustainability at York