I am a 21-year-old 2nd year Human Geography student from London. Being a Geography student I have studied the effects of sustainability, and I have seen how it can have a long-term effect on the planet. While we are only at University for around 3 years, I truly believe the changes we make now can have a lasting impact on the environment. I want to encourage everyone to think about the global effects local changes can make. I am committed to both helping the environment and Exeter students’ lives. I want to voice your concerns and thoughts on ways the University can become more sustainable, and will work with the Students Green Unit and Student Ideas to do so. I want to encourage everyone to Go Green in 2017.
- Reduce the amount of paper cup waste on campus
- Introduce a clothes bank on Streatham campus to recycle unwanted clothes
- Add more recycling bins around the campus in appropriate and accessible areas
While in this role I want to achieve a number of things to help the University and the Guild become more sustainable.
My first promise is to reduce the paper cup wastage on campus because, contrary to popular belief, paper cups are not as easily recycled as people may think. As these cups have a plastic lining they need to be sent to specialist recycling centres, of which the UK only has two. Instead these cups more often than not end up in landfill. While the Guild is implementing paper cups with a plant based PVA lining, making the cups completely compostable, I want to to get easily recyclable paper cups used throughout both the Streatham and St. Lukes campus outlets, while also promoting students to use reusable cups and thermoses.
My second promise is to introduce a clothes bank onto Streatham campus to give students the ability to recycle old clothes. The UK throws away around £25 million worth of clothing a year, which generally ends up in landfill. I want to work with a charity to provide students with a clothes bank, enabling them to recycle their old clothes on campus, either going towards the homeless or for textile recycling.
My third point is to add more recycling bins around the campus in appropriate and accessible areas. The University has numerous recycling bins around campus, however none of them seem to be in the right place - there is no point in having a recycling bin in a corner no one is going to walk past. The library, along with other study areas, has a lack of paper recycling bins, and outside more food and drink outlets there should be special bins for paper cups. I want to put useful bins in useful locations.
I also believe that the University should add more water fountains around the campus in highly used areas, such as outside lecture theatres and the Forum. I want to work with the University and Guild to lobby for the addition of more water fountains, as I believe this will encourage people to reuse water bottles, and reduce plastic bottle waste on campus.
My final point is that while the University is creating new buildings with low-energy lighting, some of the older buildings don’t seem to have energy efficient lighting used. I want to work with the University and Guild to help determine which buildings are lacking energy efficient lighting, thus wasting energy and I want to aim to reduce this electricity wastage.
I want to work with students to hear their thoughts on what could be improved, and to continue on the work that current DVP Sustainability, Natasa Christofidou has achieved over the past year.