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A Sustainable Challenge: One Week of Sustainable Living

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Lifestyle Editor, Megan Tarbuck, takes on the challenge to live as sustainable as possible for a week on a student budget in revision season. She’s taking tips from our lifestyle writers and featuring the stops on Wild Magazine’s York based Zero Waste Tour.

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Me taking part in a York based strike for climate change


Over the Easter holidays a lot changed regarding intensity of climate action and real momentum has been achieved. Protests throughout the Easter period placed considerable pressure upon the UK government, amounting to the UK taking the action to become the first country to declare a climate emergency. We’ve seen David Attenborough appear on BBC1 presenting ‘Climate Change- the Facts’ and Netflix’s documentary series ‘Our planet’; the agenda for climate change is pushing on.  As reported by the Guardian, two-thirds of Britons agree the planet is in a climate emergency, and a staggering “76% of UK voters would cast their vote different to protect the planet”. So, as stressed and skint students, what can you do for sustainability now?


I actually don’t have an answer to this question specifically, but whilst being WILDs lifestyle editor i’ve read many fantastic articles about all the work we can do on an individual level and thought it was high time I put it to the test on a student budget. Welcome to my extremely ambitious project, to live for one week under a set of sustainable living rules in York.


My rules are as follows:

1. No Plastic (well as much as I can avoid) – the issue here is most certainly diet, I usually only spend an average of £18 a week on food so it’ll be interesting to see how this changes when buying without plastic.


2. No waste – unfortunately inevitable, but any waste I end up with I shall collect to keep track of.


3. Travel – I have a bike, so an easy swap from the car. However to save money on membership, a gym trip requires a car… or more importantly a car share!


4. Pescatarian – My diet still includes meat and fish, but for this week I will not be eating meat and will limit the amount of fish I consume.


5. No new things – Although I’ve only planned a week’s experiment I thought it’d be interesting to have a look around York for ethical fashion options.


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My sustainable living basics


So these rules are incredibly basic, most of which I try to loosely follow usually. The whole point of this week is to come to some sort of conclusion whether or not this sustainable lifestyle is possible on a student budget in York. Not to mention being able to visit some of the great places our York team visited on their Zero-Waste Tour! Along the way I also hope to find some new sustainable living items I can add to my collection, whilst this is classed as consumption, it’ll help limit my future consumption which is what I’m all about.


The week commenced on 6th May, and I will keep you all up to date over on our Instagram: @wild_magazine_uk and a specific instagram for the experiment @thesustainablelivingchallenge.


About the Author: Megan Tarbuck is a 2nd year Geography & Environment student, the lifestyle editor for WILD Mag.

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