how to be a Green Name on Campus

With the new academic season kicking off, September is an exciting month as students from across the country travel to their new university homes.

While the joy of student living brings much longed for freedom, for many, this freedom comes with increased responsibility – both in academic life and at home. Gone are the days when parents would take out the bins and sort out the recycling. Now, it’s time for students all around the UK to give some extra thought to going green.

Whilst research suggests that under 24s are the most clued up on the benefits of recycling, it’s surprising that they are also the least likely to recycle. So, here at Beyond the Box, we’ve gathered some tips on how you can stay on top of your recycling game whilst living away from home. GNOC (or Green Name on Campus) here you come!


Brush up on bin etiquette

Whether you’re starting university for the first time or returning after a summer of fun, moving into shared accommodation means it’s time to brush up on your bin etiquette. No one likes a poorly packed bin, so we’re going back to basics here.

First of all, it’s important to flatten all your cardboard boxes and crush any cans to make use of all the space in your recycling bin and ensure that all your cardboard packaging and other recyclable items are processed correctly. It also means there will be more room in your bin – no more bin Jenga in your kitchen!

It’s also important to utilise all the different types of bins provided by your university or local council. From general waste, paper recycling, and food waste, put the correct item in its correct bin. Even if it takes a couple of minutes longer to separate all your rubbish and sort into separate piles, it reduces the amount of waste we send to the landfill.  


Re-fresher your recycling:

We can’t discuss university without mentioning the iconic fresher’s week. A time for socialising, meeting new people, and perhaps enjoying having a drink or two, it’s almost certain there will be a lot of empty glass bottles and cans to dispose of the next morning.

When you’re cleaning up the next day, remember to add all your empty bottles to the glass recycling bin and gather any cans so they can be placed in the correct recycling bin too.

Ordering a hangover treat? Nothing beats a pizza takeaway with your friends after a big night out.  Just don’t forget to recycle your pizza boxes once you’re finished. Even if they contain small traces of grease, pizza boxes can be added to the recycling bin with the rest of your cardboard packaging.    


Go green on the go:

Whilst out and about exploring your university campus, keep your eyes peeled for any recycling points. Your university will have various general and recycling bins located across the campus so you can continue to practice your recycling wherever you may be.

Some student unions will even provide you with recycling bags to take home with you, so recycling will never be easier. If this isn’t the case at your university, why not write to your student union to voice your concerns.

Having a busy day and need a caffeine top-up to get you through? While disposable coffee cups aren’t normally accepted in household recycling schemes, more and more universities now have dedicated coffee cup recycling stations on campus. So, keep an eye out for them when you’re in between lectures – and, wherever possible, try to avoid throwing your used coffee cups into general waste bins.

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your recycling game and learn about cardboard, the UK’s sustainable packaging choice, check out our helpful tips and tricks for more inspiration and how you can make a difference to the planet.