Sustainability in St Andrews

Emma Gatrell
Friday 26 April 2024

If you’re an Inbound student in St Andrews, you may have questions about how to get around and where to shop. Here are some tips, with contributions from environmental networks in St Andrews, of how you can live a full and sustainable semester or year abroad in Scotland!


It is quite easy to get around St Andrews and the surrounding area sustainably. Buses run all around town as well as to other towns and cities throughout Scotland. If you are under 22, make sure to get a YoungScot National Entitlement Card which allows for free bus travel all throughout Scotland. If you are 22 and over, you can get 75% off Stagecoach bus travel as a student at the University. You can also take the 99 bus from St Andrews to Leuchars for train connections all throughout the country. Another popular way to get around St Andrews, especially for those who live on the outskirts of town, is biking. Through the St Andrews Transitions Bike Pool you can rent a bike for varying amounts of time. 


While you are in St Andrews, you will likely have to pick up items to furnish your room with bedding, organizational storage, and crockery. If you arrive at St Andrews during the first semester, check out the annual St AndReuse Big Giveaway event during Freshers week, during which you can pick up used items for free. If you are looking for some clothes to keep you warm in the Scottish weather, you can also check out their clothing sales, where they sell used clothing at affordable prices. Check out their website to find out the times of other giveaways and shopping events throughout the semester. Within St Andrews there is also a Eco Hub and Refill Shop which is run by Transitions, same as St AndReuse. Head to the Eco Hub on Kinnessburn Road to refill products like laundry detergent, reducing single use plastic.

“St AndReuse is on a mission to make a difference.  Its motto, “There is no such thing as waste!” is a testament to its commitment to reducing waste, carbon emissions, and expenses while building a sense of community by sharing what we no longer need. The program is open to everyone, including locals, students, and staff.

We are passionate about promoting the circular and sharing economies, as we believe that many items can be given a new life by repurposing, restoring, reusing, or repairing them with a little creativity. Our inventory is diverse, ranging from kitchenware, fluffy cushions, and blankets to kids’ toys and clothes, books, and toiletries.

And that’s not all – St AndReuse has an exciting new initiative for students! You can now pre-order Sustainable Bedding Bundles, which include pre-owned bedding that has been professionally laundered locally and packaged in recyclable packaging.

Our ReUse store is open every Monday and Friday from 12:30 -14:30 and every first Saturday of the month.

Head over to the website to learn more about our mission, the location and how you can get involved!”

St AndReuse

Another go-to for sustainable fashion is Sustainable Style St Andrews, a student organization focused on emphasizing sustainable fashion options around town. They put on clothing swaps every couple of months, during which you can shop through their stockpile of secondhand clothing, and trade in your clothing in return for credit to use to buy clothing at the swaps.

Holly Houston, the society’s president, describes their work by saying:

“Sustainable Style is a student-led society committed to encouraging sustainable fashion awareness and consumption within St Andrews and beyond. Through innovative events, collaborative projects, and educational initiatives, we’re rewriting the narrative of fashion. Our events include clothing swaps to give new life to unused clothes, upcycling workshops fostering learning of skills such as sewing or crochet, or creative events such as second-hand fashion competitions. We are also very active on our social media – especially Instagram @sustainablestyle_sta , facebook and our blog – where you can follow us to find out more. In September there will be a chance to get involved on our committee if it interests you as we are always looking for like-minded and enthusiastic individuals to join us.” 

At the end of your time at St Andrews, you can donate any items or clothing you don’t need anymore to St AndReuse and Sustainable Style Clothing Swaps. This way, you know your things will be passed on to other students and community members rather than ending up in a landfill.


St Andrews is also the perfect place to learn more about sustainability! Check out the Events portion of Transition’s website or any of their social media to find out the upcoming events. There are also opportunities for learning in more academic settings, such as attending events put on by departments including the School of Earth and Environmental Science or the School of Sustainable Development and Geography. For example, this May, the School of Earth and Environmental Science is supporting the inaugural St Andrews Climate Week. Take advantage of these amazing opportunities throughout St Andrews and learn more about sustainability in your personal life as well as its growing role in academia and research.

Even in such a small town, there are dozens of opportunities to act more sustainably, and learn more about sustainability, you just have to keep your eye out for them!

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