Sustainable Money Habits: National Student Money Week 2020

24 February 2020

Link to Manage your money (section)

Worrying about the climate crisis may have become normal for many of us, but it’s good to remember that there are small practical actions that you can take to reduce your impact on the environment.

And some even better news: what is good for the environment is also often good for your bank balance. Buying only what you need, being mindful of waste, reusing what you can and making things last – all these things can save us money whilst helping the planet at the same time.  

The theme of National Student Money Week 2020 ‘Sustainable Money: Spend Healthy, Live Healthy’ encourages students to take care of their finances and the planet by adopting good sustainable habits. Here are some ideas that can get you started on your journey to a more sustainable lifestyle:

At home

  • Switch to a Green Energy Provider

A great way to save money and help the environment, investment in infrastructure has meant that renewable energy is no longer the expensive option when it comes to powering your home. Read Money Supermarket’s Guide to Green Energy and use one of the many switching services available to go green with your gas and electricity.

  • Embrace the cool wash

The majority of the energy your washing machine uses is for heating up the water. Switching to a cooler cycle will mean your clothes get cleaned with less energy and less expense.

  • Make your own cleaning products

Shop bought-cleaning products can be overly chemical and nearly always come in plastic bottles. For basic cleaning, consider making your own with natural products – lemon juice and baking powder can be surprisingly effective.

Eating and drinking

  • Shop smart and reduce your food waste

Apart from meat production, food waste is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. UK households waste 4.5m tonnes of food each year – equivalent to £14bn. This puts your money and the planet’s resources straight in the bin. By getting organised and meal planning at the start of each week you can make sure you only buy what you need and make the most of what you have.

  • Make your own lunch and coffee

Cast your eye around the sandwich aisle of any supermarket and you’ll be confronted by a great deal of single use plastic. Add to this that some 16 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year and the environmentally friendly solution to lunch becomes clear – bring your food and drink from home.

If you do have to visit the coffee shop take a reusable mug – you’ll often get a discount.

  • More plants, less meat

Meat is not only more expensive to buy, it also costs the planet as well. By reducing your meat intake – even if it’s just going meat-free one day per week – you can save money and make a huge impact on the environment too.


  • Holiday local

After cars, flights contribute the most to global emissions per passenger. The decision to avoid flights and take your holidays locally could make a huge impact on your carbon footprint, and save you money.

  • Walk or cycle

Getting around on foot or by bike can not only be beneficial for physical and mental health, but is better for the environment and costs far less than motorised transport too. Check how long it might take you to walk or cycle to university and see how much you could save.

  • Get organised

Being disorganised before travelling can mean spending on plastic, disposable and single use products as you go. Before you travel, make a list of what you’ll need and create a plan of where you’re going. Going on a road trip? Plan a lunch stop with a packed lunch to avoid fast food and disposable packaging at a motorway service stop.

This National Student Money Week visit the Student Funding Adviser's stall in the Student Centre for the chance to win prizes and learn how to improve your financial wellbeing.

Tuesday 25 -Thursday 27 February 2020, 10am-2pm, Student Centre