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  10 Mar 2023
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Sustainable Student Housing: What You Need to Know


Across the whole world, sustainability is a big subject in every business. Rightfully so. The lodging industries should prioritize developing more environmentally friendly student housing alternatives since the harm that has been done to the environment can be undone if everyone works together.

There are many methods to eliminate waste and decrease carbon emissions in BTR and PBSA, but as private rentals are the most popular kind of student housing, we also wanted to address the best ways to provide sustainable student accommodation for landlords.

Introduction to Sustainable Student Housing?

So what is sustainable student housing?

Sustainable student housing is considered to be any student housing that is remarkably efficient in the following areas: 

  • Using renewable energy
  • Recycling waste
  • Using eco friendly materials

In addition to benefiting the environment, having a plan in place to increase sustainability is crucial if you want to rent out your property to younger age groups.

A 2020 poll that was conducted in 27 countries found that 59% of Gen Z members wanted to modify their lifestyle "a great lot" to be more eco friendly. 32% more people indicated that they would "moderately" alter their lifestyle to benefit the environment.

The battle against climate change is being spearheaded by youth. They want to be linked with people, things, and organizations that are contributing to a better world.

Since students are your primary market, whatever you can do to increase sustainability on your property will win you favor with them.

How to Develop Sustainability for Student Housing

Though it may appear to be a difficult procedure at first, building sustainable student housing is not that difficult. All you need is a little bit of property modification and a positive outlook. We recommend the following:

Create Awareness

Many students' first experience living away from home will be at university. A helping hand on how to be more sustainable would be helpful because it's likely to be the first time they've had to totally care for oneself and a property.

When raising awareness, you don't have to go crazy. Best sustainable practices can be promoted by placing a sticker over light switches to remind students to turn off the lights.

It also involves providing a cheat sheet on how to use the washing machine (especially at lower temperatures), installing smart meters, and marking the kitchen calendar with the collection day for recycling bins.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels were costly while they were still a novel idea, and they have battled to overcome that reputation. Actually, during the past 10 years, the price of solar panels has decreased by more than 50%. The average cost of installing solar panels fell by £288 only between 2019 and 2020.

Solar energy is a terrific option for making your student housing more sustainable because of the much lower prices. Solar energy is a renewable resource that can be utilized forever without emitting any greenhouse emissions. 

According to the Energy Saving Trust, solar panels may, on average, cut a property's carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes annually.

Choose Your Furniture Vendor Wisely

Sustainable student housing requires careful consideration of the furnishings that are put in place.

Using a reliable furniture seller that has a lot of expertise finding items intended for student housing should be your first point of contact is advised. Utilizing an expert reduces the possibility of furnishings being harmed and discarded. 

With 18 years of experience working in PBSAs and private student housing, we are fully aware of the furnishing requirements to keep you and the students satisfied.

But sometimes things need to be thrown out because of accidents or because they are dangerous to use. As far as possible, some furniture vendors use environmentally friendly materials to reduce their company's impact on the environment and facilitate recycling.

Along with the packaging that was used to contain and preserve the new components, we also remove broken furniture so that it may be recycled.

How Can Students Housing Be More Sustainable?

The patterns your student property owners adopt now might have a significant influence on their life and the health of the earth in the future. It's the simple things that make a big difference.

You may motivate students to live more sustainably by doing the following things:

Provide Reusable Bottles or Thermoses

In the UK, disposable cups are used and discarded in excess of 2.5 million times annually. That sum is astounding and, to be honest, unneeded. By giving the pupils their own reusable bottle and thermos, you can reduce that number.

Not only will it save trash, but your tenants will also enjoy the kind touch. We believe that is more than a fair exchange for the price of a few pounds at any store.

Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

An average incandescent light bulb has a lifespan of 1000 hours. In contrast, the lifespan of energy-saving compact fluorescent lights ranges from 3000 to 15,000 hours. 

Some brands of LED light bulbs continue to function well beyond 50,000 hours, making their lifespan considerably greater than that.

You students won't need to change your lights too often if you use the correct bulbs. However, just in case, have a few energy-saving light bulbs around so they won't be tempted to purchase any conventional bulbs.

Supply Reusable Bags

A sizable student residence will necessitate frequent excursions to the grocery store. Reusable bags that the kids may use on their own will eliminate the need to purchase single-use plastic bags.

It's another lovely touch that demonstrates you went above and beyond in providing the children with everything they need, just as the bottles and thermoses did.

Recycle Used Materials

The act of gathering waste materials and converting them into new goods is known as recycling. The community and the environment both benefit when waste materials that would otherwise be dumped are turned into usable goods. 

There are three different types of recycling processes, and each one has the same fundamental elements. The collection and sorting of recyclables from trash is the first stage. 

The residue undergoes one of these three processes in the second stage before being converted back into raw material. The raw material is transformed back into a completed product in the last phase. 

These three recycling types include:

1. Mechanical Recycling

Mechanical recycling is among the most often utilized strategies for finding new uses for wastes. Plastics that have been discarded domestically, commercially, or from industrial scrap are recycled using this technique. 

The leftovers' chemical structures are preserved when they are mechanically changed into new materials.

Making plastic wastes usable by mechanical recycling involves carrying out operations including grinding, washing, sorting, drying, re-granulating, and compounding. The polymers are undamaged by this procedure and may be employed repeatedly to create the same or a product that is comparable to it. 

Garbage bags, flooring, hoses, automobile components, and packaging are all made with these mechanically recycled plastics. Polyolefin recycling frequently involves mechanical means (PE and PP).

2. Recycling Energy

Energy recycling is the process used to transform polymers into thermal and electric energy. Utilizing leverage and incineration, heat is generated and then released as fuel. This recycling method can diversify the energy matrix and make the most use of the space available in densely populated cities because it only needs a small amount of space. 

It requires significant investment and the involvement of government agencies because it is not financially viable. In Japan and Europe, this recycling technique is frequently practiced.

Additionally, energy recycling is a sustainable approach. Waste incineration facilities have catalysts to stop the emissions from the energy recycling process. The Social and Environmental Institute for Plastics' CEO, Miguel Bahiense, claims that:

Energy recycling was seen unfavorably in the 1970s and 1980s because its emissions had a detrimental impact on the environment. As incineration technology has improved, emissions are now guaranteed to be environmentally acceptable.

3. Chemical Reuse

Chemical recycling is the trickiest kind of recycling there is. After being reprocessed, the chemical compositions of plastics are altered in this process. The finished product is created to serve as the raw material for many industries. 

It can also be employed as a fundamental component in the production of new plastic goods. It is a costly operation that calls for a lot of plastic to be on hand.

The procedure for recycling chemicals is still being developed, according to Miguel Bahiense, CEO of Plastivida. Therefore, it is too early to discuss its potential. Chemical recycling offers alternatives to mechanical and energy-based technologies for these processes. "We cannot refer to the chemical recycling process as a real-world phenomenon," he stated. 

This procedure is currently in the early phases of development. It is a difficult procedure that calls for significant technological advancement.

The Impact of Sustainable Student Housing

Every action we take to benefit the environment is worthwhile. Developing more ecological student housing will have a big, beneficial influence on the planet because student housing is such a big industry in the United States of America.

There are a lot of resources that help student housing property owners with their sustainability mission. 

They make sure to only sell or supply furniture made of environmentally friendly materials, and we never discard anything that may be reused or recycled. Even the furniture's packaging is disposed of properly.

Some companies also exist to make sure renewable and sustainable energy is available to student housing real estate ventures. They manufacture and/or supply products for renewable energy sources to power the residents. 

Examples of such energy resources include solar energy, plant materials (biomass), falling water, wind, the heat of the earth (geothermal), waves, temperature  ocean currents, differences in the oceans, and the energy of the tides.

Finally, since products composed of renewable materials can be composted or recycled, there are several recycling options available for you.

Key Takeaways

To help you focus on building and maintaining student housing that's sustainable while also being profitable, you may need to employ a student housing property management system like Booking Ninjas.

Our software has task automation features that help property owners and managers increase productivity and accuracy while performing the necessary managerial operations.

Get in contact with a member of our team regarding your sentiments and requirements to make absolutely sure that you're doing your bit to create a sustainable layout for your college or student housing.

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