Green Impact Sheffield
The University of Sheffield

What really IS the point in Green Impact? 5 reasons it’s relevant to me.


January 6th, 2014 - Posted under: Green Impact 2012/13 - Leave a Comment

questionAnyone who knows me will know that I like to ask questions. I’m not satisfied until I understand WHY something is as it is, and one of my favourite questions is ‘what’s the point?’ I’m driven by purpose. Arguably many things in life have a purpose but if we forget what this is to us, there is a temptation not to continue to care, so today I’m asking a big (and possibly stupid question): What really IS the point in Green Impact?

My quest for understanding started like this: “A computer left on overnight for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double decker bus”. So what? I have a bus full of carbon, but apart from it being hard to hide a bus, what’s the impact of that volume of carbon?

There’s a lot I still can’t get my head around, certainly in terms of quantification, but that doesn’t mean Green Impact isn’t relevant. So here’s how I make it relevant to me:

  1. (Busses aside) Is ANY possible impact worth the gamble? As Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s commissioner for climate action, said following the latest IPCC report: “What would you do if your doctor was 95% sure you had a serious illness? Would you act on 95% certainty or gamble on the remaining 5%?”
  2. I’ve seen the consequences. Having spent time working in International Development, I’ve seen the repercussions of actions I may otherwise have thought insignificant: buying (or not buying) Fairtrade, climate change induced drought, flooding etc.
  3. Saves me money. Let’s be selfish. Whatever your thoughts on carbon, climate change or social responsibility, you can’t deny the clear financial facts. Over just one weekend, switching off everything that didn’t need to be on in the Arts Tower, saved £93. If this happened every weekend, we would save £4836 a year.
  4. It improves my workplace environment. Big consequences aside, it’s easy to appreciate the improvements of greater biodiversity, increased efficiency and happier colleagues.
  5. It’s fun.  Sometimes I (and others) can be persuaded not to ask philosophical questions when the answer might simply be, Green Impact provides a fun and positive interjection to the everyday treadmill of life.

Question of the day: What motivates you to do Green Impact?*

Tip of the day: Capitalise on current trends. It’s New Year; can you make one green resolution?

*There’s no right answer to this, but if the answer’s ‘nothing at all’ then we need to talk!



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