Published on February 17, 2014 | by Beau Bass0
It is easy being green
With a growing mountain of assignments to complete, a social life to uphold and the daunting prospect of finding a job once you graduate, being ‘greener’ may not be at the forefront of your mind whilst at university.
However, opportunities to create long-lasting sustainability solutions may be closer than you think.
The Students’ Green Fund (SGF) is a green initiative which provides funding so that student unions can develop sustainability projects themselves.
SGF’s Russell Warfield says: “All 25 projects are committed to ensuring that they are self-sustaining and have a capacity to continue to extend their reach and impact in years to come, creating groundbreaking models for sustainability across education.”
Getting involved with SGF is one way students can do their bit to be more environmentally friendly – some programmes include creating growing spaces on campuses and developing sustainable transport for physically disabled students.
Using £5 million from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), SGF provides students with a further education about pro-environmental habits, which will last a lifetime beyond university.
“We are, of course, always looking for new ways to support students’ unions financially, and we’re confident that we’re able to demonstrate a value which puts us in a good position for this to happen in the future,” adds Warfield.
The project educates students on topics such as renewable resources and scientific livestock breeding. From this, we can grasp more about using ecological food sources and learn about the importance of regional sourcing, rural development and gardening. At its core lies the notion that we should think about where our food comes from and what we can do to be more ‘green’.
If you are in doubt as to where to start your sustainability journey, why not try with your fashion? The UK throws away over 350,000 tonnes of clothes into landfills each year. Considering this, we could all do with thinking about how many clothes we buy.
Dimi Giannopoulou, who studies MA Fashion Futures at London College of Fashion, says: “There is no point in trying to change the landscape of the current ‘fast-fashion’ industry by just developing sustainable products. If we do not manage to market these products effectively and replace the consumption of the conventional ones, we only create more waste.”
With all this said, the smallest contributions can make a difference, whether it is recycling your beer cans or growing your own vegetables. Shop smart and avoid produce that has been shipped all over the world by buying in-season produce.
“This is our call to creative arms. We are exploring the power of shared ideas. We all have a duty to use our talents, our imaginations and our rigour to create a healthier planet.” Helen Storey
“This is our call to creative arms. We are exploring the power of shared ideas. We all have a duty to use our talents, our imaginations and our rigour to create a healthier planet,” says Helen Storey, Professor of Fashion and Science at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion.
Having joined forces with Planet Green, UAL is currently running Green Week until February 14, and will showcase activities exploring the themes of waste and recycling. A number of events will be running at all of the colleges, including talks and workshops, in a bid to encourage students to be more sustainable from a creative perspective.
To keep up to date with all things green, search #UALGreenWeek on Twitter.