Here at Chester Students’ Union we are very passionate about Going Green and helping to save the environment. And the best way to Go Green is to have everyone on board! Below you can find out different ways that we are trying to have an impact, and how you can make a difference too!
But first, let us introduce to you the S.U. Green team!
The three of us will be leading on improving our sustainability over the coming year, with a large amount of help from the rest of the staff and officer team who are just as keen to Go Green! <Photo missing>
From left to right; Savannah Miles (Campaigns & Activities VP), Laura Pearsons (General Manager), and Samantha Stewart (Welfare Officer).
The new Going Green branding will soon be visible around the Students’ Union to help you identify how we are working to lessen our impact on the environment, and how we would love YOU to also be a part of making a more sustainable S.U.
The main logo features 6 colours relating the 6 core themes of Going Green; these can be found below.
Available within the S.U. offices on Chester and Warrington campuses are the new and improved Recycling Hub areas. These have been created to give you the opportunity to donate your recyclables rather than just dumping them! All items that are collected will either be re-used within the Union, or will be donated to a wide range of ethical charities or local children’s centres for creative play.
Our current collections include the following items, however if you would like to suggest a new item to collect we are more than happy to hear from you!
We can accept Batteries, Books, Cans and Bottles, Cardboard, CDs and DVDs, Clothing, Envelopes, Fabric, Greetings Cards, I.T. Equipment, Mobile Phones, Paper, Plastic Bags, Postage Stamps, Printer Cartridges, Shoes, Spectacles and Toilet roll Tubes.
You can find your nearest recycling hub on the 1st floor within the Chester Campus S.U. Office, or within the Warrington Office at the base of Padgate Hall.
***This page is currently under development, so please do not be alarmed if information is missing***
Community cleanup! – On Saturday 17th May, your Campaigns & Activities VP will be out in the Garden Quarter running a recycling and clean-up event, so if you live in the area and want to have a sort out before leaving for the summer, now is the time to do it! There will be opportunities to donate items to the British Heart foundation, and Blaken furniture re-use will be on hand to take away any unwanted furniture, as well as additional recycling bins provided by Cheshire West council, for all those recyclables that you can’t donate. So get sorting! Not living there but want to have a sort out? You can collect some British Heart Foundation bags from your nearest SU office, and bring them back in to donate.
Farmer’s Market – Did you know that all items sold at farmer’s markets come straight from your local farms? Can’t get fresher than that! Pop along to your nearest farmers market; there are monthly farmer’s markets held near the campus!
Big Butterfly Count – Coming Summer 2014! Come join us for a day of activities surrounding the wonderful world of butterflies! We’ll be taking part in the national big butterfly count on the day, as well as hosting other activities to help you to encourage butterflies near your home. Won’t be on campus? No problem! Email email@example.com for a copy of the butterfly monitoring form to join in from wherever in the country you are!
Do Nation – Want to do something but not sure how you can get involved? Why not sign up to Do Nation and pledge to change something in your life for two months. There are a wide range of pledges available, including using stairs more instead of lifts, car pooling, sharing clothing or books with friends, and boiling the kettle less! Take a look at what you could do, and sign up for a pledge or two!
Carrier Bags – To reduce the number of carrier bags we are adding to the growing amount of non-biodegradable items filling up landfill, we replaced our carrier bags with more environmentally-friendly options, and introduced a small charge if a bag was required with the items bought. You can help us to stay green by re-using carrier bags, and donating them to the recycling hub when too worn to re-use, or by using your free CSU tote bag. If you didn’t receive a tote bag during fresher’s week, we have a limited stock remaining, so pop in and get one!
We also promote the “less bags, less waste” to all fresher’s fayre stallholders who are asked not to bring carrier bags with them to the fayre as all students attending should receive one of our tote bags on their way through the door.
Domestic Air Travel – All CSU staff are requested to consider other forms of transport for short domestic flights, and specifically disallowed from doing so for Union business, due to the large impact a planes can have, with air travel in the UK totalling a minimum of 6% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. You could reduce your own impact by considering using trains or other forms of transport to travel within the UK particularly; taking a train from Edinburgh to London would produce just a third of the emissions that flying would.
Snap It Off! CSU actively supports the NUS campaign Snap It Off, which runs with a simple purpose; turn off the lights – save electricity!!! So many unnecessary lights are left on across Universities nationwide, that it prompted NUS to start up the campaign. They even run competitions, giving out a £50 John Lewis voucher every month for the best photo. Go to http://snapitoff.nus.org.uk/latest/ to upload photos of any that you see in Chester or Warrington and help us to cut down on the amount of electricity wasted!
Turn off appliances when you’re not using them
Did you know that leaving products like your TV, DVD player, games console, laptop or Hi-Fi on standby:
* uses approximately 70% of their “on” power?
* reduces their life by around 15%
* causes CO2 emissions that harm the environment and add to global warming?
In the UK around 15million TVs are left on standby for 20 hours per day. If they were all switched off, we’d save enough energy to decommission an entire power station! FLIPPIN AWESOME!
Taking the recycling hub out of the equation, CSU has made some giant steps forward for recycling this year:
Warrington Recycling! Warrington & Satellite Campus VP, Dan Lee, campaigned for recycling points to be put in place on the piazza in a central point for the majority of the campus’ halls of residence. Green Chester assisted with this, by providing all on-campus students with bottle bags to allow ease of transport for students taking their empty bottles and recycling down to the bins.
Provision is also now in place on Warrington Campus to match Chester Campus for students to donate their unwanted clothes, shoes, books, etc. to the British Heart Foundation via an on-site donation point.
Stationary Amnesty – CSU has recently started regularly participating in in-house stationary amnesties! Every two months, our staff will be having a good sort out from around their desks and popping any unwanted/unused stationary back into the main stationary cupboard for other staff to use. This means that we can keep our ordering a lot lower for new stationary, and reduce the number of deliveries we receive from the same company. If you live with a group of other students, why not pool your resources and save yourselves money?
Inevitable waste… or is it?
We can be drawn into thinking anything that isn’t plastic bottles, cans and paper isn’t recyclable. But its always worth checking! Looking out for a symbol similar to our Going Green logo on any packaging to see if it can be popped into the nearest recycling bin.
There are recycling bins all around the University, Halls of residence and we also have them here in the CSU foyer so there’s no excuse to put paper, cans or plastic bottles in the normal rubbish bins.
You can also recycle at home using the Council’s recycling boxes. Your collection date depends on where you live but you can get an up to date calendar by phoning Cheshire West and Chester council on 0300 123 7026.
Reduce the amount of water you use – It may sound silly but even turning off a running tap while brushing your teeth can help reduce water wastage (not to mention reduce your water bills if you’re on a meter) A running tap wastes 6 litres of water a minute. If everyone in the UK who currently leaves the tap running when they brush their teeth turned it off instead – we would save 446 million litres of water – enough water to supply 2.9 million people for one day – that’s the entire population of Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield (the UK’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th largest cities) for one whole day.
Don’t use your toilet as a dustbin – An unnecessary flush uses another cistern full of water. Put your face wipes, cotton wool balls in your dustbin rather than down the toilet. If everyone in the UK who currently uses their toilet as a dustbin, stopped doing this, we would save 27 million litres of water a week – that’s enough to supply the population of Chester for one day!
Water Fountains – Your elected team have been working hard and as a result you will soon be able to find water fountains set up across Chester and Warrington campuses! Once we have a full list of locations we will pop them on here. Water fountains are a lot better for the environment than alternatives such as bottled water, due to the water coming from our own water supply and not from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away! So why not get yourself a water bottle and start topping it up from your nearest fountain?
Where possible buy Fairtrade – Anything with a logo on that looks like the one below means that it’s a fair trade product and has been ethically produced. In short it means that the farmers and workers in developing countries that have contributed towards making the product, have received fair pay, worked in decent conditions and you can rest assured that it’s from a sustainable source. Each time you buy Fairtrade you are helping to address the injustice of conventional trade which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. We stock a variety of Fairtrade products in our Students’ Union shops such as coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit, flapjacks, soft drinks, and sell Fairtrade drinks in our Starbucks outlet. Over the coming months, we will also be looking at ways to increase our Fairtrade provision further throughout our buying practices.
Policies – Chester Students’ Union’s environmental policy is currently under review, to ensure that we are either currently doing or aiming to do more to improve our sustainability. Linked below are our current Environmental policy, and most recent aspects and impacts review documents. If you have any questions about these documents or suggestions for the review, you will be able to direct these to our sustainability champion via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Working with the Uni – We work closely with the University to assist them in reducing their own carbon footprint. We are proud partners of Green Chester that is the umbrella term for all things Green.
Click on their facebook page for lots of tips and information.
The University are also working hard to help you and them cut emissions. You can get involved by making pledges to carry out simple actions such as turning off your lights in your room when you go to a lecture. Simply click on this link to start pledging. CARBON CUTTERS or check out more about what the Uni are up to by clicking HERE.
Green Impact is another NUS initiative which the Union takes part in each year, which involves a large series of criteria for Union’s to strive to achieve in order to receive the Green Impact accreditation. Last year, we received the bronze award for our work towards reducing our impact on the environment, and are currently working on improving this to a silver for 2013-14. This ultimately means that we are doing our best to improve upon our impact year-on-year.
We also participate in the Green Impact Universities and Colleges, which looks at how departments within the University are reducing their individual impact, and we are pleased to say that the Students’ Union won the award in 2013! We will aim to match this again this year, and improve upon which criteria we were able to tick off.