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Staying Sustainable While Staying Home

In these strange and challenging times the Sustainable Development Team would like to highlight some great avenues for you to continue learning about sustainability and stay on the path towards a more sustainable lifestyle whilst Covid-19 is changing the way we normally live our lives.


Helping you Stay Sustainable While at Home

Below you will find:

  • Top sustainable tips and practical actions for you to try at home
  • A selection of films, books, apps and websites, touching on various aspects of sustainability in different ways, which the sustainable development team has picked out for you to consider.

So, don’t wait… explore more below!

Sustainable Habits at Home

Consider reducing your water footprint:

  • Take shorter showers or run a shallower bath. Did you know that by running your bath just one inch shorter, you can save 5 litres of water on average.
  • Turn off your tap while washing dishes, fill up the sink or bowl of soapy water instead.
  • Check out Waterwise’s water saving tips for more ideas and log your actions on Green Rewards

Set a goal to be more energy efficient:

  • Fully powerdown electronics or switchoff at the plug to reduce ‘phantom’ energy.
  • Likewise unplug chargers that aren’t in use.
  • Make it a habit to only fill the kettle to the amount you need.
  • Consider using as much natural light as possible.

Make your wellbeing a priority:

  • Check out the 'My Health and Wellbeing' activities on NTU Green Rewards for ideas for maintaining your health and wellbeing.
  • Also check out NTU Sport’s daily workout plans for inspiration to keep you moving.
  • And don’t forget to get fresh air everyday if you can, following government guidelines of course.

Read up on the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Check out this short intro video to learn more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, 17 interconnected goals urging all countries to work toward a more sustainable, equitable and healthy world by 2030.

Resolve to reduce your waste and improve your recycling:

  • Take stock of your usual buying habits and identify areas where you could buy less or switch to buying more environmentally friendly or ethically sourced goods.
  • Audit your own recycling practices and make sure you’re putting all that you can in the recycling bin.
  • Check out WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste website for useful storage tips and food hacks to make food last longer and help reduce your food waste!

Take time to connect with nature:

  • Check out our 'Connecting with Nature' page for a full listing of ideas and things to get involved with
  • Head out for a walk and submit a photo of what you've seen via the 'Explore Your Neighbourhood' activity in NTU Green Rewards.
  • If you’re a green fingered type, and/or you’re lucky enough to have a garden or other green space available to you, you might find an app to identify plant species useful! There are lots of different types available but you could try PlantSnap.
  • Curious about the wildlife you see in your own garden or nearby green space? Use the iNaturalist website and app to identify and record wildlife. They’ve even created a guide on ‘Exploring Nature at Home’ in accordance with the Government Guidelines for social distancing and staying at home.
  • Get Growing! Check out the Royal Horticultural Society's tips for plants to suit your outdoor space.
  • Come springtime, you can keep an eye out for the next batch of new chicks from NTU’s resident Peregrine Falcons by viewing the webcam here! 
  • Find out more ways toConnect to Nature’ through NTU Green Rewards programme. Staff and students can download our sustainability app for mobile, or visit the website here.
List of ten book titles

Reading Suggestions

Here are some of our team's favourites:

  1. How Bad are Bananas?: This really useful book outlines the concept of ‘carbon footprints’ and attempts to list the carbon footprint of ‘everything’ from a flight to a plastic bag, a volcano and yes… a banana!
  2. The Overstory: This novel won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 2019 and deals with a wide cast of characters, whose lives have all been impacted in some way by trees, who band together in an attempt to tackle the destruction of forests.
  3. Flush: This humorous novel is an environmental thriller targeted at young adults but many others will also enjoy it. The plot focuses on a family’s efforts to uncover illegal waste dumping on a local beach.
  4. The Uninhabitable Earth: A shocking but eye opening deep dive into the scale of the challenges facing the planet as the climate continues to change as a result of our influence.

For even more ideas, check out the list of Top Ten Climate Change Books put together by NTU's Blackwell's Books.

What to Watch!

  1. Simon Amstell: Carnage. This funny but insightful mockumentary is set in a speculative future where consuming any form of animal product (meat, dairy etc) is seen as a relic of the past and people look back in shock at meat eating in general.
  2. David Attenborough Climate Change the Facts. In this documentary, famous naturalist and presenter David Attenborough thoroughly examines “the science of climate change and the potential solutions to this global threat”.
  3. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet. Another David Attenborough documentary, this one takes viewers across the globe and addresses the key challenges facing life on our planet.
  4. Explained: The World’s Water Crisis. This short documentary investigates the global water crisis and asks how we can ensure access to water, reduce environmental damage and ensure the true cost of water extraction is reflected in the price we all pay.
  5. A Plastic Ocean.This documentary takes us to different locations across the globe to explore the delicate nature of our ocean’s, the scale of the plastic pollution problem and discuss potential solutions.
  6. The True Cost.This documentary film looks at the fashion industry, particularly the concept of ‘fast fashion’. The film examines everything from production to the resulting polluted soils and rivers to raise awareness of the true cost and impact of many of the clothes we see in the shops.
  7. The Game Changers. The Game Changers is a documentary which, on the back of rising global interest in vegetarianism and veganism, focuses on exploring the benefits of plant based diets for a range of different athletes.

What podcasts to listen to!

  1. Outrage and Optimism. Each week, this podcast delivers a round-up of what has made the presenters feel outraged or optimistic that week in the field of climate change, also included are special guest interviews.
  2. Sustainability Defined. Each episode of this podcast focuses on a specific area of sustainability, looking to clarify listener's understanding across the spectrum of sustainability.
  3. The Energy Gang. This podcast provides a weekly update on energy, clean technologies and associated environmental issues.
  4. In Defense of Plants. This podcast focuses on the weird and wonderful world of plants and all the benefits they bring to the world.
  5. Costing the Earth. This podcast brings listeners "fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet".