HAZAAR! Simple ways to be a sustainable student
When being a student it can be difficult to be environmentally conscious. So, we asked Hazaar, the zero waste student marketplace, their simplest top tips to being a sustainable student.
As a student, operating on a limited budget, and possibly being away from home for the first time in a new place, can hinder efforts to be environmentally-conscious. Harriet Noy, from Hazaar, however, is trying to make big changes for students and create an easier way of creating less waste.
Hazaar is a zero waste student marketplace where students can buy and sell anything from clothes, textbooks, and household items to those important fancy dress costumes for student nights. Unlike other online marketplaces, Hazaar cuts out postage which eliminates the need for wasteful packaging and travel miles. Instead, students message within the app and meet up in person which not only makes Hazaar more eco-friendly than other marketplace apps but also makes it quick and convenient.
Every small change does really make a difference.– Harriet Noy, Founder, Hazaar
Being a student herself at the University of Birmingham, Harriet knows how difficult and overwhelming it can be to be environmentally conscious when on a budget and when there’s limited accessibility to sustainable products. So, we asked Harriet for some easy changes which make being a sustainable student simple.
Minimise the meat
According to the 2019 IPCC Climate Change and Land report, agriculture is responsible for 8.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. This means cutting down your meat intake is a good thing for the planet. However, it doesn’t have to happen all at once. Harriet advises to start by just taking meat out of your diet one or two times a week.
If you’re a caffeine lover, aim to take reusable coffee cups onto campus with you! By purchasing a coffee on campus every day using a single-use cup you’re contributing to the 16 million paper cups added each year to our global waste. When using your own cup on campus Harriet points out you’re saving at least 5 disposable cups going to waste each week.
Whilst many people look to Amazon for cheap, quick costumes for nights out, this adds to the mass amounts of waste shopping Amazon creates. In 2019 Amazon generated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging waste, and of that waste an estimated 22.44 million pounds entered and polluted the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems.
When you need a new sports night costume, look to buy second-hand rather than new. By buying second-hand and utilising thrift stores, and apps like Depop, Vinted, and Harriet’s app Hazaar, you can avoid buying new and limit your waste and contribution to the problematic throw away culture of today.
Borrow, don’t buy
Fast fashion companies such as Pretty Little Thing and boohoo entice and target students with student discounts and mass sales. However, the fashion industry is one of the world’s largest water wasting industries, contributing up to 20% of global water waste. Additionally, textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined.
So, next time you’re going out, ask your friends to borrow their clothes and limit the impact of the fashion industry on our environment. It may not be a brand new piece of clothing, but it will be new to you! Harriet adds, “‘I think some people find it embarrassing or awkward asking to borrow people’s clothes, but I really think we need to normalise that”.
When you are unable to avoid buying a new piece of clothing, think thirty! Harriet explains when considering purchasing new clothes, think whether you will wear it thirty times? If yes, then buy it! If no, then leave it. The more we can get out of our clothes, the better.
The future of Hazaar
The official Hazaar app launched this week at the University of Birmingham, but Harriet has her sights set even higher for where Hazaar can go. “I’d love for every uni in the UK to use Hazaar. So, if a student needs anything at uni, the first place they look is Hazaar, so that we can encourage second-hand buying between students and discourage single-use consumption.”