Students get active on climate change!
Over 130 Schools, Colleges and Universities took part in Go Green Week 2012, with over 25,200 students engaging in the many activities arranged to raise awareness about climate change and encourage students to take positive action. Many Go Green Weeks involved themed days including Meat Free Monday, Travel-light Tuesday, Waste Not Wednesday, Switch-Off Thursday and Friday’s National Day of Action.
Oxford Brookes People & Planet (P&P) launched their first ever Meat Free Monday and sold over 400 vegetarian meals. Birmingham University’s iconic clock tower turned green all week! 220 people at Warwick University attended a panel discussion with Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party whilst Aston University had 70 people at a thought-provoking talk by Robert Newman, comedian and activist, entitled ‘Capitalism or a Habitable Planet’.
Promoting sustainable food and energy-efficiency
Eight student groups launched new Scoops (student food co-ops) that provide access to affordable but sustainable food in Go Green Week. Students at Birmingham, Manchester (pictured above), Durham, East Anglia, Newcastle, Kent, Brighton, Sussex and many more signed up new coop customers and volunteers, sold veg bags, held stalls and gave out vegetarian freebies. Watch our Scoop video
York University, Exeter, Sheffield, Chester, Western Scotland and Swansea P&P all launched a Big Green Makeover project aimed at helping students reduce energy use within their homes. They promoted energy-saving with activities ranging from Big Green Makeover stalls to energy pub quizzes and a national competition to win a year’s free supply of renewable electricity from Ecotricity.
National Day of Action
As part of Go Green Week day of action, students demanded the Coalition government live up to its promise to become the greenest government ever and take urgent action to secure the education sector’s transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future that can create green jobs. 474 students wrote directly to Universities Minister David Willetts throughout the course of Go Green Week.
A wide range of academics, MPs and representatives for literally millions of students and staff signed an open letter which was published in the Times Higher Education magazine.
• Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students
• Caroline Lucas, MP
• Sally Hunt, General Secretary, University and College Union
• Ben Brangwyn, Co-Founder, Transition Network
• and many more
Building stronger partnerships each year
Better World Books: Provided 33 groups with resources to collect unwanted books that are now being redistributed to literacy charities or recycled.
Every Can Counts: Provided 13 groups with the resources needed to stage a ‘Can Film Festival’. Groups co-ordinated film screenings with an environmental focus and the entrance fee was paid in used cans to promote can recycling.
NUS: The NUS encouraged each of its 220 student unions to get involved with Go Green Week and supported us with marketing & media work throughout the week including blogs, live forums, a bespoke website and their printed newsletter Spotlight.
Increased media Coverage & social media
Go Green Week received over 90 different mentions in media ranging from student union blogs and university websites, to local radio and sectoral and national newspapers. A number of groups also produced short videos about their Go Green Weeks and for the first time we saw university and Student Union Twitter accounts proudly using #gogreenweek hashtag. Facebook was also a key platform for student organising & events promotion.
Exeter People & Planet
Students at Exeter University took over their brand new Forum Piazza on campus in aid of Go Green Week’s national day of action and arranged a Come Veg With Me event. Exeter People & Planet group leader, Eleanore Henderson, said: “We created a large ‘Go Green’ slogan out of plants borrowed from the Campus Grounds, produce from our Community garden and recycling to try and be as visible as possible and attract lots of interest as part of Go Green Week’s national day of action. We also invited the Vice-Chancellor to attend our Come Veg With Me Dinner where we asked him to sign the letter for David Willetts.”
Chester People & Planet
Chester students are storming ahead with their Big Green Makeover project and have trained 45 volunteers in energy auditing. They’re currently doing 6 home energy audits every week! Student and project leader, James Taylor, said: “The mission of the Big Green Makeover is to engage with as many students and staff at the University as possible. It attempts to redefine sustainable lifestyles as a smart, fashionable and fun way to live.”