Did you happen to see some magnificent owls flying around the Quad, or some intriguing bottle caps lined all the way up the concourse recently? Well, that’s because it was Green Week 2019!
On 21st – 25th January, the Union ran its annual Green Week campaign, which was led by our passionate Environmental and Ethics officer, Ana. The week aimed to raise environmental awareness on topics like plastic pollution, wildlife and bees, as well as to inform students of the environmentally friendly initiatives they can find right here at Brunel.
On Monday, we gave students the opportunity to enter into a raffle, to win an awesome eco-friendly hamper full of environmentally friendly goodies. The lucky winner will receive a reusable coffee cup, water bottle, tote bag and straw set as well as a bamboo toothbrush set, grow your own seed kit and eco-friendly notebook. Thank you to everyone who entered the raffle by completing our survey, which will help us understand what environmentally-friendly schemes students are aware of and how we can promote these better. The winner will be announced today on our Facebook page, where you can also find a photo album with some of the snaps from the campaign!
On Tuesday, we focussed on plastic pollution which is one the most devastating threats to our oceans and marine-life today. We walked around Brunel to discover just how much plastic we’re leaving laying around and managed to collect 380 bottle caps, which we lined up to demonstrate the impact we’re having on our planet. We’re sure you’ve all seen the shocking state of our seas and beaches on the moving docuseries by David Attenborough ‘Blue Planet II’. If you haven’t, go watch it – and in case you missed our facts, here are a few to fill you in:
- Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually.
- Approximately 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.
This is just the tip of the iceberg with the damage we’re doing to our planet, and we all have a responsibility to learn about sustainability and look after our planet as best we can. There are things we can do to today to lessen our negative impact on the environment including little things like recycling your water bottles and bottle caps (Check out our funky new recycling bins below!) or even better – Don’t buy so much plastic or paper cups by instead opting for reusable water bottles and coffee cups. We even offer a 40% discount on Starbucks at Locos, if you bring a reusable coffee cup! For more information on recycling and waste at Brunel, check out the University page here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/about/environment/recycling-and-waste.
On Wednesday we focussed on native wildlife which included the popular ‘Falconry Experience’. We welcomed the award-winning bird of prey centre, CODA Falconry, onto campus who taught us all about these fascinating birds and even delivered an epic flying demonstration. Thanks so much to CODA Falconry, we’d love to have you back in the future!
We also had the London Wildlife Trust Charity come along, who were promoting local council schemes and volunteering opportunities as well as raising awareness of local species and sites. If you’d like to get involved with Hillingdon wildlife and perhaps fancy a spot of volunteering and more time outdoors, check out their website here: https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/. The day was topped off with our very own Animal Art Exhibition at the Lancaster Hotel, where we invited local artists to exhibit their pieces of photography, sculpture, and paintings. A huge thank you to all the artists who took part, the Lancaster Hotel for having us and to everyone that came to enjoy this beautiful display and celebration of nature.
Thursday was ‘Bee Day’, where we gave information on our NUS Student Eats business ‘Bees at Brunel’ – yes that’s right, we have our very own bees here at Brunel! We spoke about how to get involved as well as the ethical-environmental benefits of keeping bees. We also raised £60.00 for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust with a delicious bake sale.
Finally, Ana launched her Bees at Brunel business with a celebratory evening taking place in the Michel Sterling building. Here we acknowledged those who have made Bees at Brunel possible while also releasing the winning honey pot label design. Congratulations to Ana and everyone else who has been involved, for the launch of this fantastic business and congratulations to our talented winner, Matt Whitehead whose brilliant Brunel-tailored design has been selected to wrap our delicious honey. For more information on the Bees at Brunel project, please contact Ana at Environmental.Officer@brunel.ac.ukand stays tuned for our new webpage coming soon about Bees at Brunel.
A huge thank you and well done to Ana for delivering this important campaign which engaged over 1600 students! We hope you enjoyed it and were able to learn more about the environment and ethics surrounding our University. We urge you to care about the planet as much as we do, and we would love for even more to be done around sustainability here at Brunel. Help us look after our planet by raising awareness of these issues and what we can all do to make a difference. For more information, check out the resources here: https://www.wwf.org.uk.
A final note – We’re sure you’re aware that Elections season came and went in February, and unfortunately, we didn’t have any students put themselves forward to be our next Environmental and Ethics Officer. We will be running another election in the near future to try and fill this post, so if you think you’ve got what it takes to run our next Green Week campaign, look after our awesome bees and continue the amazing work Ana has been doing, then please stay tuned for more info on our bi-election, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.