Our Sustainability Smart Action Plan 2017-8
From our 2018 research the top things that our student body are concerned about on campus are:
Littering | Lack of recycling bins | Inefficient old buildings | Lights being left on | Air con in Locos
So, what are we doing?
Littering is being tackled by our Environmental and Ethics Officer Ana alongside our Wildlife and Conservation Society; they recently ran 'The BIG Brunel Clean Up' highlighting the amount of litter left within the Library. They are using these findings to push for more reusable packaging.
Within our Venues, we have stopped using plastic straws for all drinks. Should you wish to have a straw please ask our bar staff for one of our paper ones.
Lack of recycling bins, we have looked at this within the Hamilton Centre and have added extra bins within the Atrium and our Union corridor.
Inefficient old buildings, our President and Environmental and Ethics officer now sit on all University Committees regarding new buildings. They are lobbying for solar power, efficient heating systems and bat boxes to be built into the structure of new developments, currently the John Crank building.
All new lighting in Union offices is on motion sensors. The Wildlife Society carried out the 'Black Out' campaign and has published this to the university to highlight the areas which require improvement.
Air con in Locos has been upgraded to give wireless access to everyone working in the Venues, so that we no longer have to wait for an engineer to come and switch it off.
Top tips for being environmentally friendly!
Being sustainable doesn’t mean you have to give up everything in your life; it simply means using resources better to ensure we have enough for the future. We will always require some resources to live comfortably such as fuels for energy however we can all make small changes which will help preserve the environment!
Cut down the waste – Waste comes in all different shapes and sizes and is an ever increasing problem for everyone. We have become a throwaway nation and are increasingly sending perfectly good resources to landfill. There are loads of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle items to avoid landfill, many are fun and practical.
Buy local and in smaller quantities – Buying local can help you reduce food waste as you buy what you need on a daily basis. It can be tempting to buy a big bag of fruit, however how many times have you found you throw away the contents? Buying what you need each day can also save you money in the long run.
Don’t buy extra packaging – A lot of products we buy have excess packaging attached; cardboard sleeves, boxes and plastic wrapping. A lot of the time, the price you pay for the products includes the price for this excess packaging. Getting items with no packaging saves resources, on waste and cash in your pocket.
Up-cycle and recycle – Old items can be new items with a bit of creativity. If you have something a bit old and tired don’t throw it away, take some time and transform it into something unique. If you can’t do anything with your stuff, make sure it is recycled in the right way. Useful Websites - Recycle Now l Wrap
Use less energy – Everyday electrical items and technology are becoming increasingly energy efficient. However, the number of items per person has increased significantly which has resulted in more energy use, not less! Ensure energy is not wasted by turning off all electrical items which are no longer needed or when you leave a room for a longer period.
Turn down the heating – A quick way to save lots of energy is to turn down the thermostat in your house to a heating level around 21C. Reducing heating temperatures by 1C can save 10%. Another key way to save energy is to turn down radiator valves in rooms which are unoccupied. Useful Websites - Energy Saving Trust l Carbon Calculator
Travel a greener way – There are a number of ways to get from A to B, however, the most loved form is by car. The number of cars on the road has increased significantly over the last 2 decades, which has also seen an increase in the amount of pollution released into the air. Travelling by other forms such as by bus and train can decrease the amount going into the atmosphere compared to travelling by car. Walking, running and cycling are even better ways to travel and can improve your health.