Green Impact Sheffield
The University of Sheffield

3 March, 2014 12:19


March 3rd, 2014 - Posted under: Green Impact 2012/13 - Leave a Comment

Starting out at the Dental School

This week the team of Green Impacter’s here at the Dental School are taking over the GI blog. We follow a week of excellent tips and successes by the fantastic Sustainable Behaviour Assistant Miriam Webb. To kick off our week I’m going to talk about getting started, warts and all.

So this whole thing started off at the staff development day last summer at the Hilton. I was drunk on free bacon butties when my faculty manager said the Dental School needed a Green Impact champion. I had a chat with Kim, who was then doing the job of Miriam, and she said it’d be easy and great thing to be involved in, so I said “Sure, I’ll do it” and I gave her my coveted email address.

Fast forward 3 months and the workbook was released. I clicked the bronze award tab expecting to see my invitation to the awards dinner and a suggestion that I should turn off the lights at home time. How wrong I was. Out of pure terror I clicked close.

Starting off was hard.So hard that, like a cat in headlights, I froze.

Fast forward another month and Miriam told us we could have a Green Impact Personal Assistant (GIPA). Thankfully the GIPA I was given was really experienced and enthusiastic and that changed everything.

So we got going, divvying up all the simple tasks between us and cracking on. After a month we’d ticked off half the workbook and started to feel like it just might be possible to get the bronze in our first year.

The hardest thing for me to get past was the anticipation of apathy from my colleagues. I have struggled to get round to doing some of the workbook items (Hello lighting and equipment responsibility plan!) purely because I’m expecting my colleagues to snub any activity that might inconvenience them.

This has not been the case. All the staff I’ve asked for help have given it, and the actual levels of apathy are really low. I think we’re all willing to make changes to our working life to make a better world.

These are the big lesson I’ve learned from this; don’t expect apathy, don’t be scared of the workbook and the more people you get involved the better. Like Miriam said; 10 people doing 2 things is a lot easier than 1 person doing 20 things.



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