Living sustainably in Tampere – on a student budget

Trift shop.
Photo: Visit Tampere

Do you care about environmental sustainability? Are you concerned about how to live sustainably on a student budget in Tampere? And are you wondering what the city and the university community might offer in this respect? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are just like me when I came to start my degree studies at Tampere University! So, let me help you answer these questions.

Thrift shopping

When moving to Tampere, you will most likely need a lot of things – from furniture to household items to decoration for your room. The first advice I can give you here: Make sure to check out Tampere’s second-hand shops! There are plenty all over the city. Some have mostly clothes such as Uff, others offer a vast variety of kitchen utensils, electronics, decorative items and even furniture, for example Kyttälän Kirppis and Fida (the latter even offers 15% student discount!). For a better overview of Tampere’s thrift shops, see this map made by which was created by a fellow student of mine; it doesn’t only map second-hand shops, but also recycling points and places that offer sustainable food.

Shopping second hand is not only sustainable, it is also very compatible with a student budget! 😉

ESN FINT services

As for student associations, you might have heard of ESN, the Erasmus Student Network. In Tampere, there are two local sections, FINT and INTO, which both offer so-called Starting Kits to newly arriving students. These kits either include kitchen utensils or bedding and can be rented for a small fee. More importantly, ESN FINT has recently started a Recycling project in which they collect and store reusable items from students leaving Tampere and hand them out for free to newly arriving students at the beginning of each term!

ESN FINT's ad banner, "Recycling & donation time!"

Let’s talk about FOOD: Eating sustainably in Tampere!

Reducing food waste

There are many dimensions to sustainable food consumption and reducing the amount of food that goes to waste is clearly one of them. Food waste is a global problem which has an immense impact on our climate. Luckily, in Tampere, there is ResQ Club. ResQ is an app which is used by restaurants and cafés to sell their leftovers of the day (or previous day), often around closing time. Not least because the food is offered at a lower price than normal, the app is quite popular among students!

Organic food (Luomu in Finnish)

Tampere has several places where you can find organic goodies, for example Kauppahalli and Ruohonjuuri. Unfortunately, there is a hard truth you need to know: organic food in Finland is pricey! However, if you buy food in a bulk, you might be able to make a good deal. It is also possible to order organic produce from delivery services like Tietäväinen Foods. Tietäväinen has delivered its vegetables directly to the main campus in recent years and students could even get a discount on their order.

A Sustainable Student guide

Of course, there is more to living sustainably than reusing others’ items and eating consciously (although this is a good start!). In spring 2019, I myself took part in a course by in which students were supposed to tackle a sustainability challenge of their choice. Three colleagues of mine actually took the challenge and started EKO TUNI – The Sustainable Students Handbook. Many of the things I wrote about here are also covered in their handbook – but there is a lot more. So, I really recommend you have a look at their guide to find out more about sustainable student life in Tampere!

EKO TUNI – Sustainable Students Handbook

I hope to be able to tell you more about living sustainably in Tampere soon!

– Tatjana

About the writer: Tatjana (or Tati) came back to Tampere after an exchange semester during her Bachelor’s to study the Master’s degree in Leadership for Change – Governance for Sustainable Change. She’s very enthusiastic about sustainable lifestyles, all sorts of animals and Game of Thrones.

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