This week, the Green Impact blog interviews Jane Antcliff, last year’s team lead for the University Library team! This post is by Lee Morris, Lucia Bizos and Veronica Love, three students volunteering for Green Impact. If you or your team would like to contribute to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Green Impact blog!
Today’s interview took us to meet Jane Antcliff who had last year’s honour of winning the Environmental Hero Award to which she is still ‘dumbfounded’ as to why she won it! But she was, nonetheless, pleased to have won the award. Jane kindly added that everyone involved with Green Impact is a ‘hero’ and that everyone should win the same honour and privilege.
Jane first become an active Green Impact member around three or four years back when she was offered the chance to act as an environmental champion for the library. Having already a keen interest in the environment, animal welfare and the planet she was delighted to take up the role which she has maintained.
When asked how her team took to the challenge, Jane informed us that everyone was immediately serious about the task (although there is much fun to be had). One of the challenges came in simply putting a team together as people were unsure of what they had to do. However, once everything became clear, more and more people joined in and now, years down the line, the team is solid in their conviction to make their workspace the most environmentally friendly place possible.
“What did you enjoy the most?” was the next question posed to Jane. A moment of thought and then she gushed “I enjoyed the biodiversity and the community section.” The team were allocated a small area where they set up bird feeders and bug boxes (a safe, secure and comfortable home for insects) and this caused higher engagement across the team because they could see the impact that they were making. This even encouraged Professor Osborne to give a lecture on biodiversity! She also very much enjoyed the Christmas switch off as it really shone through how much money and damage could be saved from waste.
Of the many things to do with Green Impact, which did Jane find easiest? ‘The fair trade events!’ was her enthusiastic response, saying that it is much easier to get people involved in an event if there is coffee and cakes available. The hardest of the many things to do was getting her head around communicating with the external bodies who controlled the university heating, but Jane, our Environmental Hero, overcome this challenge and was a success in her Green Impact.
One of the long-term issues Jane and her team had, was the waste of plastic cups. Jane gave special praise to her colleague Amy Foster who came up with the innovative idea of a ‘Bottle for Life’ which, with a small sum of funding, enabled the entire team (around 200 people) to be given a bottle. This solved the long-term issues of recycling plastic cups and saves a whole ton of money!
The Student contribution has definitely raised awareness, certainly amongst staff in the library, people act now as if helping the environment is second nature. Jane praised the Green Impact Project Assistants as ‘worth their weight in gold’ (so be sure to make the most out of the voluntary support!). There is definitely a reason for optimism.
Thank you for reading, will bring more posts to you soon!
Lee Morris, Lucia Bizos and Veronica Love.