The Green Impact blog is being handed over to the SITraN team this week! This post is by Charlotte Enright, a student on placement at SITraN. If you or your team would like to contribute to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week SITraN is hosting the Green Impact blog and as a placement year student it’s been great to see how university departments care about their carbon footprint, and how they’re trying to make themselves more green and sustainable. SITraN has been part of the Green Impact scheme since 2011 and as a department does a lot in order to keep itself green.
SITraN has completed many of the Green Impact challenges over the past few years and kept most of them on. If you pop downstairs into our labs you’ll see labels on a lot of the equipment saying whether they can be turned off by the plug or not when they’re not in constant use, signs on our kettles about not overfilling them, and even in the showers signs on how to reduce water waste. In addition to this we try to keep on top of turning all light switches off when they’re not needed and in all rooms there are recycling bins in order to encourage recycling of plastics, paper, cardboard, and tins.
Some of the best campaigns to come out of Green Impact at SITraN have been the tomato plant competition, the Fair Trade Baking, and both staff members and students attending the SusSEd talks. The tomato competition was completed last year (2014/15) which sparked up some healthy competition between the teams at the department. You can check the previous blog post about the tomato competition; when I arrived at the department in September it was still being talked about!
For Fair Trade Fortnight (29 February – 13 March) we hosted a Fair Trade bake off for the department in which staff members and students brought in many dishes with the idea of promoting Fair Trade breakfasts. We also held a Fair Trade lunch for the department, where people brought in home-made dishes suitable for vegetarians/vegans or were made of locally sourced ingredients. Both of these events were thoroughly enjoyed by the department and it was really fun making all the food!
Staff members have also signed up for SuSSED talks which often get discussed as they’re extremely engaging and interesting. We’ve also opted for implementing a car share scheme at SITraN as it seems silly that you may live only 5 minutes away from a colleague, yet you both drive in independently – so why not car share to reduce your carbon footprint?
Completing Green Impact for just over 4 years has been incredibly beneficial for the department. Buying items such as a compost bin for the building may seem like something small to bring in but all these small actions eventually have a massive impact on keeping the department green, especially as a scientific department where lots of energy can be wasted, therefore it’s in our best interest to try keeping that to a minimum.