Tag Archives: Campus sustainability

Dr Bike is back for Semester 2

Bring your bike down to C Block Lawn every Tuesday morning and get your bike serviced…. for free!

Dr Bike is a free cycle fix-it clinic available to both UC staff and students. This service provides basic cycle maintenance such as tuning brakes, oiling chains and puncture repairs.

This semester, we are running extended Dr Bike sessions to help you get your bikes safe and ready for winter riding. You’ll find Tom and Sam on C Block Lawn every Tuesday from 10am – 11.30am during term time. Come past and say hi, and get your bike looked over while you’re there!

If you’re interested in seeing how Dr Bike fits into the bigger picture about planning for cyclists at UC, you might like to look at the UC Cycle Plan 2014-2022.

Keep an eye out for these guys on Tuesdays!

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. If you’re interested in learning more about services and facilities available for cyclists at UC, check out our website.

Plastic Free July is here!

We’re gearing up for an entire month of celebrating all things plastic free during the worldwide Plastic Free July Campaign.

Take the challenge and ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics with us during the month of July!

Want to get started?

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup to campus, and make the most of the $ savings that come with BYO mugs
  • Bring your lunch from home and avoid plastic cling film or if you’re buying food on campus, bring a container and avoid using a takeaway box or plate!
  • Take your own bags to get your groceries – and don’t forget smaller bags for loose produce
  • Drink loose leaf tea – did you know tea bags contain plastic?
  • Keep some reusable cutlery in your bag or office, so you’re not caught short if you do buy food out. A reusable straw is always handy too!
  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle to fill up on the go
  • Want to challenge yourself? Get inspired with these ‘next steps’ for taking your Plastic Free July to another level.

Remember: The most sustainable item is one you already have! If you need reusables or other items to help you ditch single-use plastic, we encourage you to use what you have first. Nothing wrong with a jam jar as a coffee cup, or an ice-cream container for a lunch box we reckon…

Want some more help?

We’ve got a whole bunch of plastic free activities planned this month to help you along the way, including a free DIY beeswax wrap workshop, student bloggers sharing their experiences about taking on the challenge, and heaps of awesome plastic free giveaways over on our Facebook page!

Join us for a month of ditching single use plastics for good!

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Plastic Free July, where we encourage our UC community reduce single use plastics for the month. For more information and tips, see the Plastic Free July website.

Greening UC Challenge winners

The Greening UC Challenge was the first two-day challenge in the UCE Disrupt series for 2020.


Participants were asked to transport themselves to 2030 and design a venture that will help UC transition to being carbon net neutral, with the potential to be used in other universities and businesses in New Zealand and beyond.


More than fifty challenge participants came from a huge variety of backgrounds, from first year to postgraduate students, studying everything from education to engineering and economics to environmental science. Teams were randomly formed to allow for a multi-disciplinary approach, with each team’s range of expertise helping to produce creative solutions. 

The challenge involved two busy days of idea generation, speed mentoring, and pitching at the showcase, all fueled by sustainable and delicious food. At the end of the challenge, each team presented to a judging panel made up of Tony Sellin, Energy Manager at UC, Michaela Balzarova, a UC Associate Professor with an interest in business sustainability, and Jill Borland, Impact & Change Strategist at Enable Change.

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First prize was awarded to the Lean Mean Grean Team, consisting of  Nadhirah Hisham, Patricia Coutts, Savannah Egerton, Samuel Sheung, and Charlie Barker. Their idea was to establish a pyrolosis plant at UC which could thermo-chemically decompose any organic or carbon-based material, such as food waste, plastic and paper into biofuels. It would provide ample research opportunities for the university as well as a potential income source, as excess fuel that is generated can be sold.

Second place went to team Kayam, made up of Maliha Gangat, Alex Manikam, Yutika Rangari, Catherine Hattaway and Amelia McLuskie. Kayam impressed the judges with their solar paint concept, which involved painting buildings around UC with bright solar paint which generates electricity like solar panels. The team made a convincing argument for their paint idea over traditional solar panels, as it will be cheaper to implement, and would make the UC campus more attractive.

Team Baby Fish took home third place with their carbon offset solution. The team was made up of Jessica Goodall, Josef Power, Kayla Drummy, Hamish Winstone and Kíra Lancz. They proposed a new approach to carbon offsetting, using a crowdfunding-style model. To offset the carbon emissions created by travel or other university activities, money is paid into a fund that goes towards supporting local offset activities, such as Student Volunteer Army tree-planting and other community projects.

Other solutions included plantings on roofs of UC buildings to offset carbon and reduce energy use, fitness equipment for the UC RecCentre that converts people’s efforts into electricity and educates people on energy use while they work out, and an on-site compost plant for compostable food packaging.