This post is written by Bai Zheng, Green Impact Project Assistant for the Student Services English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) Green Impact team. Here, Bai describes her experience of working as a Green Impact Project Assistant alongside fellow GIPA Rian Thomas and team lead Deborah Cobbett.
After volunteering with ELTC (English Language Teaching Centre) Green Impact team for 5 months, as Green Impact Project Assistants, Rian and I have experienced working in a small and varied team. As an international student, I am warmly welcomed by the team and I always feel free to apply my own knowledge to our group work. Thoughout the project we have been able to showcase our own passions towards different aspects of increasing sustainability. We have completed a variety of roles with our team leader, Deborah. We’ve encouraged staff to be greener from doing small things, such as recycling and using public transport. It has always been said that ‘great things are done by a series of small things brought together’. These small behaviour changes which we have encouraged will make a more sustainable world. It is important to encourage people to make these behaviour changes in order to make a bigger impact towards a ‘carbon neutral’ world.
We’ve not only helped the staff to be more sustainable, we’ve also given a lecture to over 200 international students about the importance of sustainable transport and managing food waste. During the lecture, we encouraged them to calculate their carbon footprints which gave them an idea of how much their actions can contribute to climate change. We hoped that students would then act to reduce their carbon footprint. We received some feedback from our lecture and we felt students were more aware of environmental issues. Me and Rian combined our advantages in using design software and different subject knowledge to create posters to raise awareness of Green Impact Projects. As part of our project, we helped Deborah to organise some events for the ELTC during the ‘Go Green Week’, which included recycling unused phones and jewellery for charity.
During this volunteering, Rian and I have improved our time management abilities, managing time during the busy exam period. This experience also developed our communication skills with staff and international students. During this experience, we strongly believe we are making a positive impact and creating a sustainable vision for the ELTC.