< I live in private housing

Student halls

Sustainable accommodation

Each participating university runs an annual competition within their halls of residences. Find out if your university is taking part and how the competition is run by visiting our university pages.

Throughout the year students can take part in additional competitions and quizzes, join online webinars and participate in our volunteer opportunities.

Join us in making university living more sustainable!

Sign up to our newsletter


Universities and halls of residences have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions, from sourcing renewable energy, to providing and managing waste facilities and more. As individuals, we can also change our behaviours and take actions ,from volunteering and voting, to having climate conversations and reducing unnecessary energy use. We can all do something about the climate crisis, some can do a lot more than others but our choices and individual actions can collectively help to influence systems change.

Within halls of residences, you can take actions such as switching off lights and encouraging friends to change behaviours, as well as lobbying for improved facilities and completing sustainability audits to find areas for improvement.

♻️ Waste Action Week

Take part in Waste Action Week!

We have two new competitions: take a guess at defining the circular economy to be in with the chance of winning a £25 voucher (you don't have to get it correct to win!)

Our second competition asks how wasteful are we! By giving it a go, you can win a £25 voucher!

Want even more? Join us for an Instagram Live on Thursday from 5pm with The Restart Project, where we'll discuss how we can all reduce waste, and how to take action on a higher level.

You can also take our masterclass on zero waste and the circular economy to test your knowledge.

🌟​ Volunteer

Take climate action and volunteer with other students to increase the positive environmental impact across your university campus, meet like-minded people and gain transferable skills. Volunteers raise awareness of sustainability and help to increase the chances of your student accommodation being announced as winners of the competition.

We are running 60-90 minute in-person and online volunteer training sessions for the campaign. These sessions will provide details about how volunteers can support the running of the campaign and will cover themes of sustainability in student accommodation; the climate crisis and climate justice; personal sustainability actions and systems change. The sessions are also a great opportunity to meet new people who you can share ideas and collaborate with, and will provide you with some practical actions that you can take to make your campus more sustainable.

You can also earn a digital badge from SOS-UK showing the skills you will use in the role.

Already trained as a volunteer? Find more volunteering information.

Student reads book in their room


Volunteer and become a sustainability leader!

Take climate action and volunteer with other students to increase the positive environmental impact across your university campus. Volunteers raise awareness on sustainability and help to increase the chances of your student accommodation being announced as winners of the competition.

📣​ Volunteer with SOS-UK

We run programmes and campaigns about various sustainability challenges, and often have opportunities to get involved! Check out our action pages and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about them.

💡 Sustainability audit

Complete our mini-sustainability audit to see how your accommodation scores!

Students hold pots and pans


Through the campaign, students are taking personal action on the climate crisis within their halls of residence. This is important because:

  • Halls of residence are energy and water intensive buildings.
  • Electricity, heat and water are one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis, with the majority of Europe’s energy coming from fossil fuels.
  • When bills are included in rent, we may not be as inclined to save energy and water.
🏡 Masterclass on your rights as a tenant

Take a five minute masterclass to find out about your rights as a tenant in the private rented sector.

📧 Sign up to our newsletter

Stay updated with the latest information about energy saving, ways to win prizes and how to get more involved in the campaign.

💡​ Sustainability advice

Report issues and share feedback

Sometimes a lack of facilities or faults with them can create barriers to sustainability. If you notice a broken light, dripping tap, missing bins or recycling posters, broken seal to your oven or fridge, then report it to a member of staff in your residence. If you have ideas about how to improve sustainability within your halls then share these too with your residence staff team or university sustainability team.

Switch off lights and appliances

Some communal spaces in your halls may have motion sensor lights but where you have control, remember to switch them off when not needed. If lights sensors are faulty, make sure to report them to a member of staff in your halls. Don’t forget bedside lamps, fairy lights and bathroom lights, too. Switching off your appliances and plugs at the socket is a great way to prevent energy wastage as items use energy in standby or sleep mode.

Don’t overfill the kettle

Don’t use additional energy or waste your time by overfilling the kettle with more water than you need. 200 ml is the ideal amount of water for a single hot drink.

Put a lid on your pan

Putting a lid on your saucepan significantly reduces the amount of energy required to cook your food and cooksyour food quicker. Also try and use the right size hob/stove ring for the size of your pan, otherwise you are just heating the surrounding air.

Put layers on, not the heating

When the temperature feels a little cold, instead of turning up your heating straight away just put on a jumper or an extra layer. A jumper can add 3°C of warmth to your body. If your halls run a little hot, make sure you’ve turned down the radiator or thermostat (if you can) before opening a window.

Put on full loads of washing

Washing machines and tumble dryers use a lot of energy and water. Try to put on fuller loads rather than lots of small loads; coordinate with flatmates if needed and 30°C is generally a good temperature to wash your clothes and will help them to last longer.

📺 Webinars

26th October, 12pm, Getting to grips with energy bills: This webinar covered the topic of energy bills, including how to choose an energy supplier and/or tariff to meet your needs, how energy bills are charged, and some top tips for reducing your energy bills.

22nd November, 12pm, Warmer homes and managing damp when renting privately: This webinar covered managing damp and mould in rented accommodation, and some top no- and low-cost tips for a warmer home when living in the private rented sector.

8th December, 12pm, House hunting for a warm home: This webinar covered the topic of house hunting in the private rented sector as a student, particularly focusing on how to make sure your next house will be warm, in good condition and free of damp.

Watch our other recorded webinars, covering topics including moving into the private rented sector sustainably, the 2022 energy crisis, and careers in sustainability.

🏘️ House hunting checklist

Check these details when looking at renting a new place

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) All rented accommodation will have an Energy Performance Certificate which the landlord is legally obliged to let you see. The EPC has an A to G rating system, where G is the poorest level of energy efficiency and A is the best. You can search for your homes EPC online.
  • Signs of damp. When looking around a property, it’s important to look out for the tell-tale signs of a damp – smell, mould and condensation. A damp property is hard to heat and can have a significant impact on your wellbeing. Try and avoid damp properties or ask the landlord to take action. You can find more information on damp online.
  • Energy-rating of appliances. Appliances have a rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The more efficient the product, the less it will cost to run. Find out more.
  • Heating. Heating is important to avoid problems of damp and to live comfortably. Check if the house is heated with gas or electricity, and ask the current tenants (if possible) how they find the heating.
  • Insulation. Insulation, including double glazing makes a home more energy-efficient, and therefore easier and cheaper to heat. Ask the landlord what insulation there is for the windows, walls and roof.
  • Gas safety certificate. If your property uses gas, your landlord must provide you with a copy of the Gas Safety Record. They must provide a copy to each tenant within 28 days of each check.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their property. The landlord must make sure the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy, and tenants are responsible for checking them and requesting new batteries or a replacement alarm.
  • Speak to current tenants. The best way to find out what a property is like, and how much it costs to run, is to speak to the current tenants. If you can, ask them what their experience has been.

🤔 Learning Masterclasses
Student works at their desk

Find your residence

No matter where you live you can follow our advice for a more sustainable home. If you live in accommodation provided by one of the universities listed below, click on the logos to find out how your residence is doing and activities you can get involved in.