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Green guide for students coming to AU

Green guide for students coming to AU

On this page you will find inspiration on how you can have a greener stay at Aarhus University

Preparing to go abroad

  • If you are taking the opportunity to tidy up and get rid of unwanted items, do not throw away items that could be useful to others.
  • Give them away or sell them - e.g. via Facebook Marketplace or to your friends and classmates.
  • You can also donate them to a secondhand bazar for exchange students if your university has one.

Getting here

Begin your adventure abroad by travelling green from your very own doorstep by taking the train, bus or a carpool while exploring the world and meeting new people.


  • Reduce your transport-related carbon footprint
  • Visit more cities while travelling to Aarhus
  • Get the positive feeling of starting a journey
  • Experience the changing nature and landscape
  • Travel with non-aircraft-friendly luggage


  • Green travel can be more expensive 
  • Green travel is often more time consuming  


Check out our Green travel tips to see if they can help you save time and money, and reduce the downsides of green travel! 

Green travel tips


  • Travelling internationally by train can be expensive, especially when taking multiple journeys  - perhaps you can save money and get more value by getting an Interrail Pass.
  • Seat61 has many tips on train rides all over Europe and the rest of the world - the timetables, prices and links to websites where you can book your trip.
  • Other relevant websites to check are Band.deHappyrailNS International and Raileurop.
  • Try to book your tickets well in advance, many trainlines offer cheaper prices for advanced bookings!


  • Flixbus is Europe's largest intercity bus network.
  • If you want to compare different travel options ComparabusBlaBlaBus and Omio are good websites to check.



  • Carpooling is a great way to travel green and meet people - perhaps you will meet your very first friend in Aarhus on the way here!
  • You can find carpool rides via Facebook or websites such as BlaBlaCar or Carpool.



  • Take a night train to avoid accommodation costs while exploring the world.
  • Find greener accommodation options on websites such as EcoBnb and Green Pearls.

Sometimes flying is unavoidable, but you can still lower your emissions when travelling by plane:

  • Bring as little luggage as you can.
  • Do some research into the airline – are they doing as much as they can to lower their emissions?
  • Try to take direct flights, or as few stop-overs as possible.
  • Consider offsetting your carbon footprint - this can usually be done by paying a small "Carbon Offset" fee when purchasing your flight ticket.

Arriving and settling in

Where to find necessary items:

  • "Genbrug" is the Danish word for secondhand. In Aarhus, there are many secondhand stores selling everything from clothes to furniture to kitchen supplies. Several organizations have stores around town e.g. Røde KorsBlå Kors and Kirkens Korshær.
  • Facebook Marketplace and DBA are also popular places to buy and sell secondhand items.
  • You can also become a member of the Facebook group "Storeskrald I Aarhus kan du finde her!" (Bulky waste in Aarhus can be found here!).
    • Most of the posts are in Danish, but you can use this as an opportunity to learn new Danish words.
  • In Denmark it is quite common for people to leave thir unwanted items out on street corners for others in the community - so if you see something sitting out on the street feel free to give it a new home.
    • Have a quick look around to make sure the items are actually unwanted, and someone is not just moving apartments!

Waste and recycling:

  • In Aarhus we have a recycling system, which means that the waste from your household must be sorted before you dispose of it in the waste bins near your home. The sorting categories are: "Glass and metal", "Plastics, food- and beverage cartons", "Paper, cardboard and textile waste", "Food waste", "Residual waste", and "Hazardous waste". There is also a service to have your "bulky waste" picked up for free! Find more information on Kredsløb.
  • In Denmark we have the Danish Deposit System (Dansk Restursystem), which ensures that disposable beverage packaging made of plastic, aluminum and glass are recycled. When you buy certain bottles or cans you pay a small deposit called 'pant'. You get this deposit refunded by handing in your deposit-marked empty bottles and cans at collection machines or deposit stations. You can find these machines in most supermarkets and petrol stations, otherwise you can usually hand over your bottles or cans to the staff.
    • Please be aware that your cans and bottles should be recycled in their original shape i.e. not crushed, as the scanner in the collection machines may not be able to recognise the deposit-mark otherwise.

Living here

Getting around:

  • When possible, get around by walking, biking or using public transport.
  • Renting a bike (e.g. through Swapfiets) is a great alternative if you do not wish to purchase one - you often get free repairs and when you leave, you simply return it.
  • You can look up timetables and buy tickets via Midttrafik (bus and tram) and DSB (train), when planning to travel with public transport.
  • The "Midttrafik Live" app provides live updates on bus and tram times. 
  • Rejsekort (Travel Card) is an electronic ticketing system for travelling by bus, tram, train, and metro.
  • If public transport is not an option, your can carpool as a green alternative - have a look on GoMore and see if anyone is driving your way.


  • Minimise your purchases and buy secondhand when possible.
  • Borrow or share clothes with your dorm mates or fellow students - e.g. if you are going to a specific event.
  • Bring your own resuable bag - as a part of the Danish government’s strategy to bring down the consumption of plastic carrier bags and increase recycling, you must pay a minimum of 4 kroner (EUR 0.54) for a plastic carrier bag and lightweight plastic bags are banned in general.
  • Try visiting environmentally conscious stores such as Tinc and RAA, they sell sustainable and plastic free items such as toiletries, make up, kitchen equipment, cleaning products, and even food!


  • Try swapping out meat for plant based alternatives.
  • Buy locally harvested and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Utilize Aarhus' "Reusable" to-go cups to minimize dispoable cup waste
    • 53 cafés and coffee shops in the city offer reusable to-go cups that can either be used more than once OR deposited back into one of the 27 deposit machines around the city!
    • You pay 5 kr when you ask to use a reusable cup, and then you can either keep it or deposit it and recieve the 5 kr back 
  • Minimise your service waste by:
    • Making your own packed lunch and using reusable boxes and bags to store your food, instead of buying something in disposable packaging.
    • Bringing your own mug to campus or keeping a reusable to-go cup with you when you're out and about.
    • Checking out Tinc and RAA - it is possible to buy loose items such as pasta, rice, and lentils without any plastic packaging but you will need to bring your own container from home.
  • Minimise your food waste
    • Stop spild af mad can provide some inspiration and recipes for using leftovers.
    • TooGoodToGo is an app where restaurants and stores sell any unsold food from the day for a cheaper price.

Books and papers:

  • Buy your books secondhand - most programmes have a Facebook group for this purpose.
  • If possible, avoid printing - use digital notes and e-books as alternatives.
  • If printing is unavoidable, print on both sides and in black/white to minimise the use of paper and ink.


  • Most radiators in Denmark have a manual on/off switch. Remember to turn off all radiators when the windows are open - otherwise, you will just be creating "fyre for gråspurvene" (fire/heat for the sparrows).

Preparing to go home

Getting rid of your stuff:

  • Do not throw away items that could be useful to others.
  • Give them away or sell them - e.g. via Facebook Marketplace or to friends and classmates.
  • Donate them to a secondhand store or AU's secondhand bazar for exchange students.

Sustainable souvenirs:

  • Think twice before buying souvenirs - make sure the items will be used and appreciated.
  • Try to avoid plastic souvenirs. 
  • Buy sustainable souvenirs such as food, spices, tea and locally produced things.
  • Buy light-weight souvenirs in order to travel with as little luggage as possible.