How to be an environmentally conscious UCKAR student

Living a greener lifestyle seems like a challenge in an age of convenience and faced-paced living. However, it’s easier than one might think to integrate environmentally-friendly practices into everyday life – and Grahamstown is the perfect place for it! Whether you are staying in residence or digs, sustainable living is a few steps away.

UCKAR has efficient recycling systems in residences, collecting waste from each residence – all you need to do is separate waste into the right bags. When recycling in digs, separate rubbish into the right bags for collection by the municipality. If you can get your digsmates on board, you’ll be greener in no time.

While sustainable transport is generally difficult to implement in South Africa, Grahamstown – being as small as it is – is the exception. Almost everything you’ll need in town is within a 20-minute walking distance. But if the sweltering summer months are too much, there are many ways to get around with a minimal carbon footprint. Grahamstown has our very own Tuk-Tuk service, and many people carpool. Cycling is also popular, and why not? It’s cheap, convenient, healthy and environmentally friendly!Food waste is a severe problem. Approximately one third of all food produced for humans is wasted, amounting to roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste every year. Using organic, biodegradable materials such as vegetable peelings and used teabags to create your own worm farm can help to reduce this waste. You can use the products to fertilise a herb garden.

Use glass instead of plastic wherever possible. This may seem insignificant, but when one considers the damage caused by the vast accumulation of plastic produced all over the world, glass is clearly a more environmentally-friendly alternative.

So go for a walk or a cycle instead of driving, or develop your green thumb! It’s a new year, and there are so many great opportunities to branch out and create a more environmentally friendly, sustainable life at university.


Words by Rochelle Duvenage