How to Reduce Your Freshers Footprint

We are Leeds

You’re 1 of over 60,000 students studying in Leeds this year. Alongside Leeds Beckett, Leeds Trinity and Leeds Arts University, the University of Leeds is the largest in Leeds. As you can imagine, 60,000 students pouring into the city over the next few weeks will have quite a significant impact, otherwise known as the freshers footprint.

Freshers week is the party of the year for some. Shops sitting in the deserted streets of Hyde Park will bounce back into business as students return, bars and clubs will be reaping in the rewards of students’ appetite for lager and VKs, and the surrounding cafés will be shocked once again how much coffee the student population can drink. Crispys will most likely see its profits quadruple and the greasy pig will be rolling down Victoria Road in cash. In other words, business will be booming as students spend on average 135% more in freshers week than they would during a normal week at University.

But it’s not a dandy picture for everyone, and there’s things you can do to soften the blow. For one, the neighbours won’t be getting quite the good night sleep they did over the summer, the police will have their hands full once again with anti-social behaviour and burglaries. The environment takes a knocking too – the luscious green grass of Hyde Park, dependent on the weather, could likely become a dumping ground for beer bottles and takeaway boxes. Whilst the University campus will likely be left strewn with plastic Dominoes bags and millions of leaflets. And these are no light problems. One year, Leeds City Council reported collecting 700 tonnes of ‘student waste’ from Hyde Park after students left for the summer. That’s around 200 elephants worth of rubbish.

So, some things to remember during fresher’s week to make it a breezy week for yourself, your neighbour, your peers and your good friend mother nature.

Reduce – We all go mad for a freebie, but if they’re the type which are going to accumulate in your room only to be thrown away a month later, try to refrain from getting them. Do some research before the freshers fair and think about which societies you really want to join to limit the number of flyers you take then throw on campus.

Reuse – Start freshers week prepared with all of your reusables –  water bottle, coffee cup, food containers and a jazzy bag for life. In the market for some new school year clothes? Instead of heading into town and buying yourself a whole new wardrobe, give the vintage sales around campus or the vintage shops in town a go; say no to new!

Recycle – If you do grab a flyer and later decide you don’t fancy it after all, recycle it. Equally, munch on your cheesy chips and gravy all the way home then pop it in the recycling instead of on the pavement.

Transport – walk, cycle, bus. Try to limit your driving.

Do your bit for Leeds and Leeds will do its bit for you.

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