Sustainable UCL


Small Steps, Big Change: 10 top sustainability changes you can make today.

Want to make a change today? Here are our top 10 ways you can start making a positive impact right now.

21 November 2023

  1. Too Good To Go – Food can be pretty expensive in London. By downloading the ‘Too Good to Go’ app, you can save money and reduce food waste by buying perfectly edible food that restaurants have to throw out at the end of the day. Our own refectory has given away 500 meals so far! 
  2. Ditch the Disposable – Avoid UCL’s 50p charge on single-use cups by bringing your own reusable cup. Once you’ve mastered this, bringing in your own cutlery, water bottles and take-away boxes will be easy.  
  3. Be Powered by Plants - Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your meat consumption. We have a vegetarian option on every counter in the Refectory and a vegan stand. 
  4. Make your voice heard – Apply to be part of the Student Sustainability Council to let us know what change you want to make at UCL. Outside of UCL, you can lobby your local MP (contact them at www.writetothem.com). 
  5. Start swishing – whether it’s at our monthly Swap Shop, or between friends, swapping clothes in favour of fast fashion can reduce the 235 million items of clothes thrown out each Spring in the UK! Not to mention the vast amounts of water and chemicals used to make clothes, or the poor working conditions associated with their manufacture
  6. Check before you chuck – We currently recycle 65% of our waste at UCL, the rest is turned to energy. We want to reduce our waste and increase recycling but we need your help. Get up to date with the more confusing materials, like crisp packets. More guidance is available on our Check before you chuck article. 
  7. Plastic-free periods – Blue Planet 2 made everyone aware of the environmental damages of plastic – but what about periods? 27,000 tampons end up on our beaches every day. Based on your needs, desires and culture, you can choose a variety of plastic-free products. Find out more on our Project Period pages. 
  8. Grow your own – Whether at UCL’s student-led allotment, or on your windowsill, get growing! Be it a plant to lighten up your room, or some chillies on the windowsill, there’s nothing more rewarding then tending your home grown. 
  9. Get on ya bike – Take advantage of the free cycling initiatives within London including free cycle lessons, bike maintenance and cheap bike sales. You can also use multiple apps to rent bikes. Find out more from our Cycle to UCL pages. 
  10. Connect with nature – Get off that screen, and have a break from work! Go for a walk along Regents canal or enjoy our luscious green squares and gardens. The Nature and Conservation Group organise weekly bird walks. Take some time for yourself, for your health – and step outside.