Top 10 tips for a sustainable 2021

As 2021 starts, thoughts inevitably turn to resolutions for the year ahead. Make some changes this year that will not only benefit you but that are good for the planet too.  

Here are 10 tips to start you off on your journey to becoming more sustainable, wherever you find yourself working or studying from this year. 


1. Start by calculating your carbon footprint. Find out how many Earths it would take to support everyone in the world if their lifestyle was like yours. Then use the tips below to begin reducing your footprint.

2. Buy more reusable products, e.g. rechargeable batteries and menstrual cups, and less disposable items such as razors and coffee capsules.

3. Repair or upcycle items to lower your consumption and reduce waste. Learn how to repair clothes and electrical items. IFIXIT offers guidance on fixing common household items and can supply spare parts too.

4. Eat more plant-based meals. It doesn’t have to be every day, it doesn't have to be every meal, but eating less meat is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

 Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle in a circle

5. Improve the energy efficiency of your home. The Energy Saving Trust offers advice on actions for any budget, from PV panels to only boiling as much water as needed.

6. Switch to a renewable energy supplier and reduce your carbon footprint. If nothing else, choosing a green tariff demonstrates there is the demand to move away from fossil fuels.

7. If you have a garden or outdoor space, start composting. Food rotting in landfill produces methane and contributes hugely to climate change. Composting at home is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of kitchen and garden waste. Plus you will be rewarded with an excellent soil improver for your garden.

A Lightbulb hanging in front of a patterned wall

8.Reduce food waste by learning how to store your food correctly. The Love Food Hate Waste A-Z of Food Storage provides guidance to reduce the chance of your food going off.

9. Plant a tree. As the Chinese Proverb says: 'The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.' Some councils and charities run free trees schemes annually.

10. Finally, perhaps one of the most important actions you can take is to talk to others about the changes you are making. Our peers are some of the biggest influences on our behaviour so be positive and share your solutions. If you'd like to read more, Climate Outreach discusses how to talk effectively and persuasively about climate change.

Students enjoying an outdoor lesson

Following on from number 10, if you are feeling inspired and want to share the changes you are making, add your sustainable pledges for the new year to our Padlet wall! Please add your name if you wish.

If you have any ideas, questions or comments, get in touch with us at

Posted on Thursday 7th January 2021

Sustainability Team

Estate Office, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD