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We're sharing what we do at the University of Chester to help promote sustainable choices while managing a student budget. But what exactly does sustainable spending mean?

You’ve most likely heard of the term sustainability. Think climate, eco-friendly and reduction in waste. Sustainable spending then is all about how our spending habits fall into the practice of reducing, reusing and recycling. It also means shopping with a conscience! That might be up-cycling unwanted or unused items, being more conscious about spending on fast fashion, growing your own food or using more sustainable methods of travel. This all goes a long way to saving your student pennies and the environment too.

Here are the Top 5 things we do at the University of Chester to help our students spend more sustainably:


1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Students can shop more sustainably and with a conscience from our new campus store on the University’s Exton Park site. The store is open to students, staff and the general public. Just bring along your own containers to re-fill with dried food goods, get top-ups from the milk machine or buy fresh local produce. If you have plenty of unused clothes at home and fancy swapping them for something new, then you can also use the shop’s Clothing Swap and Drop scheme to get yourself a bargain.

2. Drop ‘n’ Swap

All of our University catering outlets have ditched disposable cups in favour of a more eco-friendly approach to waste. Single-use paper cups have been replaced by a drop ‘n’ swap scheme where students pay a one-off fee of £1 to join. They can then pick up their chai latte or cappuccino in an eco-friendly reusable cup from any of our catering outlets. Students simply return their non-disposable cup and, in doing so, can earn points to claim some great discounts, rewards and prizes!

3. Good to Grow and CHEW

The Good to Grow project, led by students in our Volunteering and Mentoring teams, have created space for a University allotment for students and staff to grow fruit and vegetables. The University of Chester’s commitment to sustainable food see our catering services use this fresh produce to add to their dishes. This means your student money will be well spent on freshly cooked sustainable food.  

If you want to know more about cooking healthy and affordable meals while on a student budget, then check out CHEW!  Chester Healthy Eating Workshops (CHEW) is a student-led project that runs cooking tutorials on how to make simple, healthy and affordable meals proving that good food can be prepared using inexpensive ingredients.

4. On your bike!

It’s good to know that Chester is an easy city to get around on foot or by bike, so you don’t need to rely on public transport. This will certainly help keep your costs down as a student and is better for the environment. If cycling is your preferred mode of transport, you’ll be interested to know that there are cycle shelters on all of our sites and cycle fix-it stations to help with any repairs. Remember repairing, not replacing, is the key to sustainability! You can download the Chester cycle network map to see the cycle routes between our Chester based sites.

5. Pack for Good

The University has partnered with the British Heart Foundation to set up the Pack for Good initiative.  This encourages our students to donate unwanted, good quality items to charity, helping to reduce waste at the end of an academic year. As well as donating items, you can also support local charity shops like the BHF by buying second-hand goods like furniture, clothes or books while supporting a good cause. Did you know the BHF currently offer a 10% student discount at their furniture and electrical stores? Remember, not everything you buy for your student accommodation has to be brand new.

More about Sustainable Spending...

If you would like to learn more about the University’s commitment to sustainability, click here.

For more ideas and resources on sustainable spending, download the  National Student Money Week 2022 Campaign Pack. You can also visit Student Money Matters on our Outreach webpage for information, activities and resources to help you learn about student finance and money management for university.

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