Tag Archives: Campus sustainability

What is UC’s carbon plan?

At UC we hear about all the amazing sustainability-oriented research happening here – and many of us are involved in this research – but then we hear that UC is burning coal to keep us all warm. Why?

We are updating the Sustainability webpage ‘Our Energy Journey’  to explain where UC is at, and where we are going next, but in a nutshell…

Good news: UC is moving to biomass boilers, which burn carbon-neutral forestry waste-wood. The Ilam campus boiler upgrade is planned for the 2020 summer break and the Dovedale campus boiler upgrade for 2021 summer break.

John Britten Engineering facility 

Bad news: until then, UC has to burn coal to heat its buildings.

Good news: UC will move to clean ground-source heat-pump (GSHP) energy, when all of the university’s buildings have been upgraded ready for the new system.

What can you do? Check out suggestions for reducing fossil fuel dependence here. 

Plastic Free July is almost here!

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

Interested in taking part? All you have to do is ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics for a month (or longer), and you’re automatically an eco-warrior!
Want to get started?

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup to campus, and make the most of the BYO cup discounts on offer
  • Bring your lunch from home and swap out plastic cling film for a reusable beeswax wrap or a container. Or, if you’re buying food on campus, bring a plate or bowl from your flat and avoid using that takeaway box!
  • 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?
  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle too!
  • Already got those covered? Why not try some simple swaps at home – like switching your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, or giving solid shampoo bars a go!

Want some more help?

We’ve got a whole bunch of plastic free activities planned next month to help you along the way, including a DIY zero waste workshop, student bloggers sharing their experiences about going plastic free on campus, and heaps of awesome plastic free giveaways over on our Facebook page!

Join us for a month (or more) of ditching single use plastics for good!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page during July for event updates and those giveaways – you don’t want to miss them.

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 quit single use plastics for the month. For more information and tips, see the Plastic Free July website.

 

UC Sustainability Champion: Meet Varvara

Varvara Sidorenko – Community Gardener, Op Shop Enthusiast, President of UC DigSoc and Eco Volunteer

Varvara Poster

This year, we’re proud to be profiling students and staff who we believe are contributing to the culture of sustainability at UC. We are running this campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so get thinking about who you’ll be nominating this year! Nominations for the Awards are open from the 5 – 31 August.

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our first Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Varvara – our passionate Community Gardener, Op Shop enthusiast, Eco Volunteer and President of UC DigSoc (among many other great things!).

DigSoc Spring equinox party
Varvara at DigSoc’s 2018 Spring Equinox Pizza Party in Waiutuutu Community Garden


Tell us about yourself.
This year I am finishing off my BA in Political Science and Economics. I speak passable German and fluent Russian. I love art, Lord of the Rings, and really awful indie films. I am really passionate about community engagement, and the power of local initiatives to make the world more sustainable.

Tell us how you became involved with sustainability at UC.
To be honest I don’t quite remember. I think it was mostly me showing up to workshops, events and the campus community gardens. I got to know quite a few people in the sustainability network, and essentially hung out at various things. I never thought of myself as the volunteering kind of person, but I think that if you find a cause you care about you’ll be surprised by how much time you can and want to give.

What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?I think seeing the Dovedale Community garden grow over the past two years from a relatively unused space to a thriving community garden. Though I had little to do with the transformation, it has still been incredible to see how much some willpower and commitment can do. Two of the longstanding community gardeners, Jane and Michael, have put so much time, love and effort into Dovedale. They have made it a really inspiring place to be and have been amazing positive role models for all of us who come along.

What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC?
Meeting some of the staff who are doing amazing things for sustainability behind the scenes. Many of them do relatively thankless jobs to keep the campus running and to make it a nice place to be, and seeing their positivity and enthusiasm is really, really touching.

Where to next for you?
My next mission is to start up and/or participate in sustainability projects at my work. I think in the future, businesses will be held to much higher ethical and environmental standards, and I hope to help the company I work for to prepare for these new challenges.

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 blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.