It’s Easy Being Green: Musings of a Student Eco Warrior
It’s a running joke with my friends that I am notoriously eco-conscious. Yep, I’m that annoying person. But I wasn’t always this way!
It all began after I signed up for an expedition to Iceland as part of a renewable energy program for ambitious students. My eyes were opened; every local I met shared the same concern and appreciation for the environment around them. There seemed to be a different bin for every single piece of litter, so almost nothing was wasted. Being green was just common practice for this country.
As soon as I’d left the arrivals lounge back in the UK I was a new person! I had a brand new attitude towards the environment, immediately signing up as a volunteer for the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign and taking measures to make sure the family house had the smallest environmental impact as possible. As an example, there’s now a rule that nobody buys wrapping paper to wrap birthday and Christmas presents anymore, instead we use newspaper and old magazines. Simple, cheap, no extra waste and it looks pretty cool too.
On arriving back at uni, initially everyone seemed to find my eco-lecturing quite entertaining (although sometimes even I question myself when I’m getting emotional about friends switching on their portable heaters…). But as much as my friends laugh, they’ve picked up a lot of my habits themselves. I’ve now got them well trained to automatically set the washing machine to 30 degrees and to recycle their waste.
That’s the general feeling I’ve picked up since I saw the light (or should I say switched off the light?); the main constraint we face is that the majority of people are stuck in some bad environmental habits, and all they need is a little push in the right direction.
That’s where Green Impact comes in. This is what it’s all about, inspiring and empowering others to make positive lifestyle changes. There’s a real team spirit with so much support for teams and GIPAs alike that even the smallest concerns are quickly resolved. I’ve been lucky to be paired with a fantastic and motivated team at Dentistry, and it’s a great feeling seeing Green Impact paraphernalia popping up not just in our department but all over the University! I’m proud to have played a part, and can’t wait to help them to achieve silver next year.
So keep going everyone! We’ve got a good thing going here, and while we shouldn’t expect a climate revolution overnight, with the help of all you enthusiastic individuals we can continue to change the world, one workbook at a time…