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Sussing out Sustainability: Tips from a Sustainability Intern

Hi! I’m Alana, a Sustainability Intern. I work Keele’s Sustainability Team where I support sustainability activities and projects across the campus. I’m also a thirdyear Geography student and the Keele Wildlife Society President. Over the last year I’ve learned that there’s a huge amount of issues sustainability links to, and that we can all help tackle these issues through the choices we make and how we live. I’m excited to share my top tips for becoming a sustainable student whilst at Keele.

Attend an event!

There are lots of green events, including a Green Zone at the Welcome Street Party, a Halloween bat walk, and the Green Christmas Lecture. Keele Green Festival in March celebrates sustainability across the campus. Sustainability workshops, walks, talks, film screenings and more happen throughout the year in collaboration with teams in the SU, Student Services and Sports Centre. They’re also a great way to meet other people!.

Cut plastic consumption!

KeeleSU shop is home to Weigh to Go – a student-led dried goods section of the SU shop. Weigh to Go sells pasta, rice, cereals, spices, dried fruit and nuts, as well as bamboo toothbrushes, refillable shampoo and more. Bring your own container and avoid plastic!

Bring your own mug/bottle

Keele’s Drink, Rinse, Repeat Coffee Cup scheme aims to reduce single-use coffee cup consumption across campus by encouraging people to bring their own refillable cups. Disposable takeaway cups incur a 25p levy which funds sustainability projects. Plastic bottles use ~3 times as much water to make as they contain, so refilling from water fountains can make a huge difference in the fight against single-use, and save you money!

Volunteer with the Campus Green Team

Help with campus conservation projects, litter picks, and gardening sessions at the Student Eats allotments through Campus Green Team volunteering opportunities. It’s a fun way to explore the campus and make a difference too. Spending time outdoors is also a great way to invest in your own wellbeing.

Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle

Much of our carbon footprint comes from consumption. Reducing the amount we buy and throw away can make a huge difference. Donate unwanted items to the British Heart Foundation collection banks at each Hall or charity shops in Newcastle. They’re a great place to find bargains too! The Great Donate collects kitchen/household items from students at the end of the year. Visit the stall during Freshers’, or donate items before leaving Halls. The Library’s Textbook Rescue scheme and SU Community Bookshelf gives old books a new home. Look out for repair and upcycling workshops throughout the year too!

Make your Society sustainable!

If you’re part of a society or sports club, embed sustainability into your activities this year! You could choose vegetarian or vegan food for events, cut paper or plastic from activities, raise money for charity, or hold a volunteering social such as plogging (litter picking while jogging). These simple changes could even help your society achieve the Sustainability Stripe!

Represent Sustainability

Become a Sustainability Voice Representative and explore opportunities for embedding sustainability in your course, or a Sustainability Halls Representative and promote energy saving, waste reduction, wellbeing activities and more to students living in your Hall of Residence. You could even help Keele’s performance in RecycleLeague!

Campaign!

As sustainability covers so many issues, there are many opportunities to campaign. Examples include studentled climate marches, and an Environmenstrual Campaign in October with a sanitary towelmaking workshop to highlight period poverty and hidden plastic.

To find out more about sustainability at Keele, follow GreenKeele on Facebook/ Twitter or visit the GreenKeele webpages at www.keele.ac.uk/ greenkeele.

Concourse is Keele University’s independent student-run publication and has a long history of promoting student journalism. Having been established in 1964, Concourse has become an important part of the university and has been read by generations of Keelites.

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