The rise of living costs is hitting us all hard, so we've come up with a list of ways to still make more sustainable choices while at College, or out and about, that are free and low cost - meaning you can save money while saving the planet!
Travel tips to save money on fuel costs
- If you drive to College, sign up to our Liftshare site (with your student email address) to share the journey and cost of your drive to College with pals.
- Try to change shorter journeys to walking, cycling or public transport. Use the Travel Time Map to see the locations near you that are reachable by walking (and other modes of transport) within 20 or 30 minutes.
- Got a bike that's needs some TLC? Bring it along to one of the free, drop-in Bike Maintenance sessions run by the Wee Spoke Hub in May. Check out cofirmed campus locations, dates and times at ecsa.scot/events so you can start commuting with zero fuel costs.
- Collect free bike lights, bells, inner tubes, and high visibility items from your campuses ECSA office.
- Young people who are 5-21 years old living in Scotland can now apply to access free bus travel. Just make sure that you have a new or replacement National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot National Entitlement Card (Young Scot NEC) before hopping on board.
Save on the weekly food shop and cut food waste
- Get free food that has been saved from going to waste through our on-campus Community Fridges which are stocked once a week.
- Access free surplus food from local businesses anytime via the food-sharing app Olio or at SHRUB Coop's Food Sharing Hub.
- Batch cook meals to use up fresh produce that goes off quickly and freeze additional portions you make for future meals.
- Set aside some time each week to plan your meals before you go shopping - this means you can budget by buying only what you need and ensure that any food you buy won't be forgotten about or wasted.
Reusable products that also cut down expenses
- Collect a selection of reusable period products (menstrual cups, washable sanitary towels, period pants) from the Students' Association office or order online through the College's Wellbeing Team.
- Pick up a free reusable water bottle and/or coffee cup from your local ECSA office (limited stock).
- Can't get through the day at College without a cup of coffee? Pack your reusable coffee cup or reuse a disposable one multiple times to get 10p off your order at the campus coffee shop. You could save even more if you buy your coffee from Costa, Starbucks or Pret - up to 50p for using a reusable cup.
- The same goes for carrying a reusable water bottle. Make sure you always have one in your bag and you'll never need to buy a plastic bottle of water again! The free Refill app lists businesses who will refill your bottle of water, no questions asked.
You don't have to spend money on new clothes either
- Our on-campus Swap Shops mean that you can refresh your wardrobe for free! Shop a selection of women's, men's and children's clothes, shoes and books that have been donated by the College community - some are second-hand but some are brand new with tags!
- Share clothes with friends - one persons trash, is another persons treasure.
- Got an item that doesn't fit right or is a little broken? Before spending money replacing it with a brand new item, why not try and fix it yourself by watching Youtube tutorials or join a Repair What You Wear event at SHRUB to access all the equipment you'll need and in-person advice.
- Need an outfit for a special occassion? Event wear is often bought, worn once and then never touched again. This means that they are some of the best outfits to buy second-hand as they are in near-perfect condition but at a much lower cost. Check out second-hand apps like Depop, Vinted and even Facebook Marketplace.