At BU we recognise the increasing importance of living in a sustainable way and being a conscientious member of the local and global community. We’re committed to playing our part in delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which is why...
- We're investing in biodiversity and a sustainable campus with things like wild flower gardens and a biomass heating system in Poole House
- Our newest buildings, The Student Centre and The Fusion Building, have earned 'excellent' BREEAM* ratings and are kitted out with PV solar panels, ground source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting, LED and natural lighting - this and more will be included in the buildings under construction
- PV solar panels are currently being added to Poole House
- We're working with Chartwells to promote greener eating
- You'll soon see new waste bins where you can pour away liquid before disposing of cups and lids
- Finding out how you travel to campus was so important to us last month and why we'll be sharing new plans for sustainable travel next semester
- This year we employed 'Green' ResLifeBU Assistants.
There are lots of things you can do to develop your sustainability knowledge and skills too - through both your curriculum and learning, and extra-curricular activities such as volunteering, or getting involved wth joining SUBU's Sustainable Action Hub.
We met with the current Green ResLifeBU Assistants (RA), Joe and Leone, who use their passion for the environment to organise sustainability-themed activities for students living in BU accommodation to learn about global issues in interactive ways: “This role is so much more than we thought it would be. It’s so varied and flexible, and we’re working with lots of people to deal with relevant or contemporary issues and make the biggest impact that we can.”
Over the past few months Joe and Leone have worked hard to encourage students living in BU accommodation to be sustainable in all aspects of their lives by running a variety of events ranging including handing out free vegetables and getting students involved with re-vamping the courtyards at various halls by planting new flowers.
Joe considers the importance of their relaxed and friendly approach as being vital to student involvement: “Part of our role is to give students a chance to actively engage with their peers and discuss green and sustainability issues. Our events allow people to laugh and enjoy themselves as well as discuss the topic in a very informal, casual and fun environment.”
The Green RAs are also working with the wider BU community to improve sustainability on campus. A big focus at the moment is the ‘Student Switch Off’ campaign, which challenges students living in BU accommodation to turn off devices, lights and other ways to reduce electricity consumption, with prizes for the winners.
Dawn Parman, BU’s Welfare And Communities Officer said: “With lots planned for the future, the Green RA role is able to have an impact on both BU’s sustainability and the students of BU who are being introduced to more sustainable ways of living and thinking. Their work contributes to the bigger goal of making BU a truly sustainable institution which creates conscientious and forward thinking-graduates.”
Going Green: Joe and Leone’s top tips
- Cook with the lid on your pan - it’s quicker and saves energy
- Turn the water temperature down to save water and energy on heating
- If you’re able, take the stairs, not the lifts… or even do half and half!
- Share cooking duties with your flatmates – this is a great way to spend time together and you’ll save money, energy and time!
- Use a reusable coffee cup - only 1 in 400 coffee cups gets recycled in the UK - you’ll get discount at BU outlets too
- Take reusable bags when you go shopping instead of buying new ones each time
- Recycle! Either by reusing food containers or putting waste in your recycling bin so it can begin a new life as something new
- Wash your clothes at 30 degrees to cut the energy used by 40% and protect your clothes
- Ask for a china cup at BU outlets instead of using a single-use one
- Switch off your lights and devices when you’re not using them… it’s simple!
*BREEAM - Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
Written by final year BA (Hons) English student and ResLifeBU Assistant, Phoebe Watkins.