It's not easy being green, but as one of our core Game Changers we encourage sustainability wherever we can.
As a Union we're here to support students, and lead the way to help keep it green with Eco Tips, supporting Green Themed Student Groups or running green campaigns!
We also lead the way in our Venues...
Squeezebox offers an oat milk alternative, bring your own mug incentives, PLA cups lids and straws and fairtrade teas all as standard and without passing the costs onto our customers! In our latest Ember Lounge refurbishment looked at Eco-Ways to remake and re-use and we that's just to name a few!
For Academic year 18/19, I am the Officer responsible for leading the Union’s #GreenTeam and making sure that our #SustainableUnion gamechanger really does change the game here at Staffs.
So, I’ve come up with a plan. It’s a SMART plan. That’s a series of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound goals. & here it is:
- Reduce single use plastic in venues
- In Ember, LRV & Verve, move our (fully biodegradable) straws to the back bar to reduce unnecessary usage on club nights with an aim of reducing by at least 1/3 by the end of the academic year.
- Increase percentage of glass bottles to 90% in venues by the end of the academic year.
- Reduce plastic carrier bag use in Union shops
- Promote reusable tote bags in Union shops by holding a design competition and sell at least 200.
- During Green Week, hold a bag amnesty and gain feedback on this.
- Train Union Team Members who work in the shops NOT to offer a single use bag, with the aim to cut single use carrier bag use by 50% by the end of the academic year.
- Reduce single use coffee cup usage on campus
- Aim to have 25% of ALL Squeezebox coffee sales to be in reusable cups by the end of the academic year.
- Promote offers such as Double BYOC discount and encourage the University to give out reusable cups to students at big events such as enrolment.
- Green Week
- Promote and raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on at least 5 of them.
- Demonstrate that making small changes can make a big difference.
- Provide students with ideas and resources of how they can help our planet, while having fun and saving money in the process.
- Gain student feedback on how we can improve our campus and institution.
- Student Switch Off
- Teach students about energy saving through social media and visits to halls with incentives such as competitions and freebies like Ben & Jerry’s. Officers should attend at least one Switch off event before Easter either together or by themselves. Aim to engage with at least 50 students over the academic year.
- Union Sustainability, Environmental & Ethical Policy
- Review the policy to ensure that it’s both easy and impactful to apply to all departments. Have input from each department and a separate list of pledges to ensure individual departments are aware and are actively working to achieve.
- Change policy around Union water fountains to reduce single use plastic to zero by the end of the year and increase reusable water bottle use.
- Green Giant Volunteering Opportunity
- It’s great to do your bit and help out when you can, but creating a work-life balance is hard enough without taking into account being a good person too. By creating a ‘green’ volunteering opportunity, it gives the chance for students to give back to our planet while racking up those volunteering hours which always look great on a CV! We aim to get 10 Green Giants by the end of the academic year, giving 50 hours in total.
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