The Green Impact blog is being handed over to the ACS teams this week! This post is by Kate Iotova, one of the Green Impact Project Assistants for the ACS teams. If you or your team would like to contribute to the blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year I became a Green Impact Project Assistant at the University of Sheffield. This role has given me a great opportunity to do what I love because I have a long-standing interest in environmentalism. Personally, I believe I cannot spark change until I immerse myself in my own beliefs. For years now, I have worked towards reducing my own carbon footprint and consciously refuse to consume palm oil. Also since September 2015, I have devoted my spare time to volunteering in the non-for-profit shop New Roots that promotes zero-waste, palm oil-free, organic and locally-sourced produce, which inspired my dissertation.
Green Impact and the staff I have had the pleasure to work with have been very open to my suggestions for becoming more environmentally friendly. My knowledge built in the process of independent research and transformation of my personal lifestyle allowed me to introduce the teams to new ways of reducing their carbon footprints. I exceeded expectations with my ‘Zero Waste Challenge’ initiative, which involved two teams of staff minimising their waste for a month. Anything unfit for recycle or compost is collected in a mason jar, which becomes a good visual representation of a reduced carbon footprint. I am certain that the teams, who followed my SMART proposal to eliminate general waste, will receive a gold standard award for environmental accreditation by the National Union of Students.
My close working relationship with Andrew Woffindin, the Environmental Coordinator for Accommodation and Commercial Services at the University of Sheffield, has been mutually beneficial and I am very thankful my passion and determination were appreciated. I have found that to create a tangible impact as a GIPA, one has to be very driven and ready to act in a purposeful and proactive manner. Only then can real dedication to the work stand out truly and facilitate change towards sustainable development. I upheld my role as a Project Assistant even during the busy exam period, and discovered working with like-minded people such as everyone at Green Impact encourages my stout dedication to environmentalism and vision for a truly sustainable future.