The University of Worcester’s Go Green Week event was run by students and supported by staff. Each day was themed around a different aspect of sustainability, including nature, food and wellbeing, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, re-use and repair, and energy and transport.
Sport and Exercise Psychology student Tomas Tmej, 21, who helped at the event, said: “I think this is a great way to spread the word about the environment and about how people should be more careful about what they throw away.
“It’s a good way to engage with the students on sustainability issues and it’s important that a university does that.”
Students took part in cooking demonstrations, hedgehog-housing making, crafting gifts from leftover materials, sewing repairs, making beeswax wraps as an alternative to cling film, yoga classes and a litter pick.
There was the chance to try out an electric bike, as part of the Woo Bikes e-bike share scheme that the university has been piloting.
Students could also sample vegan food, and there were free plants, bird feeders and wildflower seed bombs available.
Go Green Week: local support
A number of local businesses and organisations, dedicated to various aspects of sustainability, attended during the week to showcase ways we can all make a difference. This included beauty and lifestyle products with zero waste packaging and advice and information on how to waste less food.
Georgie Sherrard, 40, an MRes Biology student, was running a stall on how to make ecobricks – plastic bottles filled with pieces of plastic that can be used to make bricks for houses in the developing world.
“I think Go Green Week is brilliant because it raises awareness of so many different acts of sustainability that need to have their profile raised,” she said.
“It’s all about education, these days, with sustainability, so as an educational establishment, it’s important for the university to raise awareness everywhere it possibly can.”
First year student Sophie Strommen, 22, studying Human Nutrition, was part of the student team leading the events. “I think it has gone really well,” she said.
“There’s a lot to learn and I think having stallholders and organisations come to the university helps spread more awareness about how we can make the world better and be more sustainable.”
Student organiser Jess Bull, 22, also studying Human Nutrition, added: “I think Go Green Week is fantastic – I think all universities should do it because we have learnt so much this week.”
Go Green Week has been running at the university for 10 years and will be followed by a Go Green Week the university holds with partners in the city in April to engage members of the public.
Green Gown’s award winner
The University of Worcester was recently named the UK’s top sustainable university in the Green Gown Awards 2019. It was awarded First Class Honours – for the 11th consecutive year – in the People and Planet University League in 2019, which measures sustainability performance at higher education institutions.
We want to have students who go out into the community, into the world and really make a difference – Pro-vice-chancellor Ross Renton
Pro-vice-chancellor Ross Renton said: “Sustainability is absolutely the core of what we’re about. It’s about educating people; it’s about increasing awareness of the issues around the world and making a difference; and our students and staff do that every single day.
“We want to have students who go out into the community, into the world and really make a difference.”
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