Supporting sustainability: what you can do

AuSM Sustainability Club membersThere are many things you can do to promote and support sustainability at AUT and at home.  

Study sustainability at AUT

AUT invites you to be a part of a more sustainable world. Find out how you can study sustainability across AUT's faculties and schools.

Act sustainably: on campus and at home

These tips describe what you can do on campus and at home to make a positive difference to a range of sustainability issues.

12 tips to help our journey towards sustainability 

1. Reduce waste and get discounts

Who doesn't like discounts? Bring your own coffee cup to AUT cafés and get a discount on your coffee. You are also supporting AUT cafés that are Conscious Consumers-accredited for recycling, eco-packaging, BYO cups and containers, and vegan/vegetarian options.

2. Discover the AuSM sustainability club

Get involved in the AuSM Sustainability Club, a movement that explores how we can make a difference to big sustainability issues.

3. Rethink your printing habits

Trees are our planet's lungs. Always choose double-sided (except for assignment printing) and only print when necessary.

4. Say no to single-use plastic

Plastic is designed to last forever, but is often used for a few minutes and then thrown away. Limit landfill waste by investing in a reusable water bottle, declining plastic bags in shops, and choosing reusable shopping bags, plates and cutlery. 

5. Think about your mode of transport

Public transport, cycling, walking, AUT shuttle buses and carpooling are some more sustainable options for getting around.

Travel to AUT (getting to our campuses)

6. Eat fewer meat and animal products

Reducing the amount of animal food products you eat (like cheese, milk and meat) supports the environment. Explore vegetarian options – buy meat-free meals from one of AUT's cafés.

7. Eat local, seasonal and ethically produced food

Try growing vegetables in pots or in your backyard. Buy in-season produce to limit your carbon food miles and, when you buy food, think about whether it's been ethically produced. AUT’s cafés sell only Fairtrade accredited coffee.

8. Know how to recycle effectively

Recycling is a common practice, but are you recycling effectively?

When you're on campus:

  1. Put any glass, cans, coffee cup lids and numbered plastic (from 1-7) in yellow recycling bins.
  2. Put coffee cups into general waste bins.
  3. Put paper into blue bins (ask your tutors where the nearest bin is, or find a photocopier – there's usually a paper recycling bin nearby). 

Download guide to recycling at home (Auckland Council) 

9. Be smarter about food waste and wasting food
  • Food waste: According to a United Nations food report, around 1.6 billion tonnes of food scraps are produced globally each year, contributing to landfills and creating greenhouse gas emissions that could be avoided by composting. AUT's Refuel café offers food waste collection facilities for composting on campus – and you can find out how to compost at home by checking out Compost Collective
  • Wasting food: According to Love Food Hate Waste, Kiwi households throw away $560 of uneaten food each year. This is not only costing us money, but it's also bad for the environment. Learn more from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
10. Rethink your products’ lifecycle

We often throw a product away once it reaches the end of its useful life, creating a culture of wasted resources which puts pressure on our planet. Instead try buying second-hand goods, investing in quality items that are built to last, and upcycling broken or worn out items.

Consider buying items from companies accredited with the Ministry for the Environment’s voluntary product stewardship schemes

11. Conserve energy whenever possible
  • Turn off lights 
  • Take shorter showers
  • Switch off electronic equipment at the wall
  • Turn down the brightness on your smartphone to prolong battery life
12. Vote for change with your dollar

Businesses can only succeed when customers are happy with their services and products. Research your favourite brands' stand on environmental and social issues, and bring any issues to the company's attention – or switch brands. 

Use sites like Child Labor Free to find out if a brand or organisation is operating ethically. 

Websites, videos and campaigns

Last updated: 22-Jun-2016 4.04pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.