It’s not easy being Green.
Keele University has a slight penchant for working its way up the University League Tables, showing off its academic prowess and having the gleaming reputation of innovating the dual-honours degree programmes in Britain. Yes, Keele has managed quite a lot in the past sixty-two years since its founding. But it’s really time to start climbing another league table, and this one is a bit more daunting than your run-of-the mill University League Table.
And that would be the Green League- run by People & Planet, a student based campaign group that promotes awareness in the UK about environmental issues. The Green League Table, posted by the Guardian in June this year, posted Nottingham Trent University as the ‘greenest’ university in the UK, scoring 53.5 out of a possible 70 points in the criteria. Meanwhile, further down the table…much further down, lies our beloved Keele University. In 63rd place. While this table contains 138 universities, 63rd place is right around the middle 50%, which in all honesty, is not terrible. But why would we strive for just alright? We strive for academic greatness and to climb the academic league tables and we take an immense amount of pride being in the top ten of the Student Satisfaction survey. Should we not aim to climb this table as well?
Keele has began taking initiative in becoming environmentally friendly. Our halls of residence recycling competition that is ongoing through out the year has promoted recycling within the halls and has proven to be a fair success. In the library, there are motion detecting switches for the lights to conserve power in places that aren’t being accessed. We also have more motion detecting devices throughout campus- the showers are powered by motion sensors and have lower water pressure than an average show and motion detecting fans in the kitchen. The weekly farmer’s market is a great success for providing local produce and promoting other locally made goods that radically environmental damage caused by transportation. We have taken great first few steps, but we need to up the ante and really focus on reducing our waste and energy use.
We have the biggest, and possibly the most beautiful campus in the UK, and there are so many ways to support it in a healthier manner. Our food waste could become compost and we could begin to recycle glass. Keele could promote a ‘green week’, where we could shut off our lights for an hour during the day to conserve energy. We could promote more fair trade products on our campus shops.
As Kermit the Frog ever so elegantly stated, it’s not easy being green. But it is worth the effort, even if it’s as little as taking the time to recycle your beer can instead of chucking it into the woods behind your block. Keele could do so much more- not just to climb up the Green League, but to support our beautiful, expansive campus and the environment around us. Why waste it?
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