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    5 Tips To Make Offsite Students Embrace Sustainability

    Are you an offsite student? Are you planning to move abroad and to adopt a new lifestyle? The impact that it may have on the planet is huge. Since we are students abroad ourselves, we would like to give you some precious advice. These tips will help you in finding simple and concrete methods to become a 100% environmentally-friendly individual!

    1. How to move around the city?

    We all know that air pollution is one of the world’s leading risk factors for death and that it causes 9% deaths globally. With this data in mind, why shouldn’t we all take action? By studying abroad, we all have a chance to explore a different country and come into contact with a new environment… What better way to do it than moving by bike or by electric transports such as electric scooters and cars? Since the need to decrease air pollution has become an urgent and compelling issue, many car sharing services have turned into electric cars. Some examples are: E-VAI and Simpla in Italy. Madrid and Paris have the largest electric car-sharing fleets in Europe and some popular providers are Zity and Emov. Also, in both the Eu metropolis, you can find scattered throughout the city the famous “Lime”, the electric scooters.

    The concept of electromobility has been stressed in a recent research carried out by Deloitte: electric cars and car sharing represent a suitable symbiosis. However, in order to reach a successful level of “zero emission mobility” it is necessary to install many charging stations and to establish appropriate regulations or raise subsidies to use an electric way of transport. Also, a successful strategy may consist of the collaboration between Universities and car sharing providers: in this way, students are encouraged to choose to rent an electric car because they can take advantage of a significant reduction in price. Last but not least, do not forget that in most European cities you will find spots to rent bikes. If you are studying in Madrid for example, we advise you to find out about BiciMAD. In any case, regardless of the city in which you will study, you will find many bike sharing companies.

    2. How to get organized with food?

    When living alone, students have to think about meal preparation: this makes them stressed and worried because they are out of ideas and they end up with cooking the same dish everyday. One of the key instruments to reduce waste is recycling and doing the separate collection of rubbish: even if you plan to move to another city/country, don’t forget to maintain this good habit. As we said, the most important concept is: NO WASTE.

    When going to the grocery store, you have to keep in mind that you must buy only what you need and what you are supposed to consume: they must not follow the “save it for a rainy day” rule anymore. In accordance with this key concept, in 2015 was created TooGoodToGo, a Danish company that now represents one of the most useful European mobile applications: its aim is to connect customers to restaurants and local stores that have surplus food. Their vision reflects an extraordinary ambition: creating a world where food produced is food consumed. Lazy students who might don’t want to cook dinner should take into consideration this option which allows them to get fresh food that would rather go to waste at restaurants and shops. Users can buy a Magic Box at a super convenient price, so that this food gets eaten instead of wasted!

    3. How to make purchases?

    Students who travel a lot and live in a country far from their motherland often make their payments by credit/debit card instead of cash. This method is faster and safer; also, they don’t have to carry around large amounts of cash which of course may represent a huge danger, especially in a city that you don’t know well. Moreover, most credit cards often have extra cardholder benefits, such as credit score monitoring and travel insurance. Flowe is a fintech solution launched by Banca Mediolanum dedicated to all the Italian residents. Download the app and request the Flowe debit card, a carbon-neutral certified product which is 100% innovative and sustainable, and you will be able to manage your finances while taking care of the environment.

    Flowe’s mission is to empower people to live a meaningful, sustainable and happy life: it represents the best solution for students because it helps them monitoring and categorising their expenses in order to improve their awareness of economic resources and to make them develop their entrepreneurial spirit. Thanks to the partnership with Doconomy, Flowe can estimate the CO2 emissions caused by the users’ expenses and will intervene by planting a tree in order to compensate the damage. If you want to learn something more about it, inquire about JET, the Junior Enterprise of ESCP Business School : check out what they have in store for you, there could be a surprise!

    4. What accessories to use when going to class?

    As a student, you will certainly need adequate accessories to go to class. There are countless ways to demonstrate your environmental commitment. For example, have you ever considered buying a bottle? Choosing the bottle is a simple operation with enormous positive implications for the environment and for the wallet. Just think that it is estimated that 80% of the waste present in the sea is made up of plastic, of which 49% of disposable plastic, precisely that of bottles! Although many still distrust tap water, in Italy public water was ranked fifth best in Europe, in terms of quality. What you would put in your bottle would therefore be water of excellent quality, also considering that the absence of plastic prevents the proliferation of bacteria and any alterations in the flavor of the content in the bottle.

    There are many innovative brands that offer eco-sustainable and even customizable water bottles. For instance, if you are on Erasmus in the city of Turin, we advise you to find out about the Hub bottles, made in steel as well and equipped with caps made with bamboo. Furthermore, by buying a water bottle from this Turin start-up, you will be given access to the HUB Water application, which will indicate the spots where you can get free water, among 800 torrents, 600 fountains and more than 60 affiliated bars (only in Turin). You can also have a look at 24bottles, their products are also really interesting!

    Let's not forget the most fundamental accessory of all in this period: the mask. The world is facing a pandemic that no one can ignore. It is vitally important to remember to use the masks, and to always have some on hand. However, protective masks represent a new form of pollution that isn't exactly easy to treat. Consider that the masks are composed of three elements: the fabric, mainly made of polypropylene, a very polluting plastic material, the elastic bands and finally the metal bar that allows us to tighten the mask on the nose. These different materials create difficulties as they cannot be recycled at the same time. Namely, if you are studying in Germany, take a look at Armedangels' work. The brand is currently dedicated to the production of eco-friendly masks made with certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. Moreover, by purchasing their products, you can participate in their fundraising for Doctors Without Borders—they are currently halfway to their goal of one million euros!

    5. What purchases could you make?

    This is certainly not a state secret: the fashion sector is the second largest polluter and producer of greenhouse gases in the world, mainly due to the economic model of "fast fashion". To make your ideas clearer, if every year we collectively buy about 80 billion new items of clothing, we will then have to throw away, to make room in the closets, practically the exact same amount. The amount of waste is anything but trivial. It is precisely for this reason that the new generations should be directed towards alternative brands, which offer eco-friendly products, respectful of the planet's resources.

    With the aim of proposing sustainable solutions to your purchases, we have come into contact with a small Italian clothing startup that we think will pique your interest, Detailz. We interviewed one of the founders, Tommaso Patrizi, a 21-years-old student, who provided us with valuable and very interesting information on what an eco-sustainable brand should be. For many people sustainability still means a trade-off. Either you look for traceability and transparency or you opt for comfort. Detailz wants to correct this misbelief by providing products that combine quality with sustainability. Currently the brand relies on different asian manufacturers certified for low-environmental impact. To illustrate its activity, the t-shirts are made from organic cotton, devoid of any pesticides or chemical fertilisers, while phone covers are made with wheat straw fiber (so 100% biodegradable). The swim wear is produced with an italian nylon yarn obtained from waste materials. We found this initiative very interesting, as it was launched by a group of students. Currently the founders are working to further reduce the environmental impact of the brand, trying to move production to Europe. “We want our clients to be satisfied both on a personal level and on a social one”, Tommaso told us when we met him.

    We hope this little curiosity has caught your interest. Many brands like Detailz are aimed at young people looking for something new and original!

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