Tag Archives: student experience

It’s not too late to have your say

UC would like feedback from some current students (200 level up to taught masters). Your feedback will help us improve the student experience at UC. 

Check your UClive email to see if you were selected to take part in the survey, look for a message with the subject line “Tell us what you think about UC and be in to win” (sent on 5 August and 13 August).

The survey should only take about 15 minutes, and if you complete  it by midnight Sunday 25 August you will  go in the draw to win one of three Ultimate Ears Wonderboom bluetooth speakers.

Survey responses will remain confidential. If you have any questions please email the survey coordinator, James Maguire at  surveys@canterbury.ac.nz 

UC Sustainability Champion: Meet Mikaila

Mikaila Ceelen-Thomas | Masters in Commerce, Green Marketing Guru and Eco Volunteer

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 next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Mikaila – our social media superstar, ray of sunshine and Eco Volunteer (all while studying towards her Masters in Commerce). You might even recognise her from the latest issue of Canta – fittingly, it’s the Environment Issue!Mikaila zooming on her bike in the latest issue of Canta (photo credit: Java Katzur)

Tell us about yourself!

I am currently doing an MCOM Majoring in Marketing, my focus mainly on over consumption and why people choose to consume less / follow a sustainable lifestyle. Marketing for me is the gateway to reduce environmental impacts in the workplace and society – raising awareness about green marketing and leading by example. A fun fact about myself I love marmite on ice cream (don’t knock it till you try it).

Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.

 After coming home from my exchange in the Netherlands I realised the huge passion I had for the environment and ensuring we maintain our relationship with mother nature. When coming back to UC I sought out for sustainability focused clubs and the got in touch with the Sustainability Office. I found some pretty awesome clubs in relation to making a difference and getting involved, and joining the Eco Volunteer team was a great move, allowing me to meet and hang out with like minded people at sustainability events on campus. I also gained a better understanding of my personal relationship with sustainability and where I fit in. The UC Sustainability team played a big role in helping me get more involved – now I work with Chloe from the Sustainability Office on social media and communications to promote sustainability events we have around campus. Helping get the message out and showing students how to get more involved with sustainability is key to increase engagement for students both on campus and in their personal lives.

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Mikaila (right) at UC Sustainability’s Rethink Your Wardrobe Clothes Swap event earlier this year, where she coordinated the social media coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?

One area for me would be combining sustainability and engagement through social media. My main focus is communicating with students and staff the work we are doing around campus and our upcoming events. Ensuring that students are aware of the cool events we put on such as our Bike Breakfast or Zero Waste Workshops and then sharing a snippet of the action through blog posts, Instagram takeovers and Facebook. It’s so exciting to see all the people who come along to the events, and you can see this is often the start of something bigger for them. For example, we had 100 students come along to our Plastic Free July workshop! Right now I’m helping Chloe run some really cool giveaways over social media for Plastic Free July and Fairtrade Fortnight, and boy do students love giveaways!! It’s been really cool seeing students tag in their friends and flatmates in the competitions, and watching how excited people are getting about winning eco products like reusable straws and beeswax wraps is so cool!

I’m also a major contributor to the latest edition of Canta, which is the Environmental / Sustainability Issue (find me in Flat Famous – wohoo!!), and I’m doing some Plastic Free July blogging for the Sustainability Office on campus this week, so watch this space!

Mikaila with the pile of eco giveaways for Plastic Free July and Fairtrade Fortnight, where she has been coordinating the content for social media giveaways and competitions

What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC?

How UC is continuously striving to become more sustainable, little things such as the Cup Library in both the Eng Core and the Undercroft are big for me. Since being a fresher at UC I have seen some pretty cool developments and become much more aware of how sustainable our campus is. Who knew we have plenty of fruit trees on campus? Also how the UCSA’s Tea Party and other events have switched from plastic disposable cups to reusable ones – and not to forget our beautiful community garden – it makes me proud to be a student at UC.

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Mikaila (bottom left) and her flatmates featuring in the Environmental Issue of Canta (photo credit:  Java Katzur)

Where to next for you?

This is my final year studying (woohoo), after finishing my thesis I shall step out into the real world and find myself a job. Ideally I will be working with a clean, green company that’s positively impacting the way we consume products. However, I would love to help guide businesses with sustainable practices, helping them grow and gain a better appreciation for our environment and why we need to take great care of it.

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.

 

DIY Beeswax Wraps for Plastic Free July!

Last week, UC Sustainability held a DIY workshop to celebrate our favourite month – Plastic Free July!

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be a part of the solution to plastic pollution. It’s a month long challenge which encourages all of us to ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics – like takeaway coffee cups, drink bottles, straws, bags and plastic wrappers. We decided we would tackle Plastic Free July by showing our UC community how to make their own alternatives to single use plastics – and we had so much fun doing so!

Almost 100 students (and staff too!) came along and learnt how to make a DIY beeswax wrap and a produce bag with us, so we could all ‘choose to refuse’ this month (and hopefully longer!).For those that missed out, we’ve put together a guide for making your own wraps at home – they make great presents for friends and family too! Read on to see how we made our own beeswax wraps with nothing but some organic beeswax (grated), cotton fabric, scissors, baking paper and an iron. We hope you’ll be inspired to tackle Plastic Free July with us!

Step one: gather your materials

We recommend using only 100% cotton for making beeswax wraps – but don’t feel as though you have to rush off to a fabric store! All the fabric in these photos are either old tee shirts, or are from second hand stores (sheets and pillow cases are usually 100% cotton, and come in funky patterns – just give them a wash and an iron before use). If you want to buy new, Spotlight often has sales on cotton, and there’s a heap of different fabrics to choose from.

We sourced our beeswax from a friend who has bees, but you can get unpackaged beeswax in a small block from most Farmers Markets (including Riccarton Bush and Lyttelton). Binn Inn also sells beeswax in small cubes, but we prefer a block for grating.

We went through a whopping 1kg of beeswax making 100 wraps, but 100g – 200g of beeswax will be more than enough for making your wraps at home!

Step two: cut to size
What sizes you’re after is totally up to you! Here’s the guidelines we used:

  • Small (17cm x 20xm) is good for covering leftover dips, the end of a cucumber, half an avo, or the last mouthful of cheese
  • Medium (31cm x 27cm) is the popular size – it covers a small plate, wraps a sandwich, fits over the end of a 500g block of cheese and perfect for smaller snacks and treats
  • Big (35cm x 33cm) perfect for a large sandwich, wrap, easily covers salad bowls and leftovers in the fridge, and also doubles as an excellent plate on your picnic!

Step three: let’s make your wraps
Now for the fun part!

1. Place your fabric onto a piece of baking paper (we put a towel down first, to avoid a mess!). Sprinkle a small handful of grated beeswax onto the fabric (less is more, as you can always add more afterwards). Make sure the beeswax is spread evenly.

2. Place another piece of baking paper on top of the fabric.

3. Using the iron, firmly press down onto the baking paper. You’ll see the beeswax melting almost immediately. Iron the baking paper as you would normally iron fabric – making sure the beeswax is pushed all the way into the corners (you’ll be able to see through the baking paper – see the pictures below).

4. When all the beeswax is melted and your fabric looks wet, you’re done. Remove the top layer of baking paper and check the beeswax is melted. It should look like the picture on the left below, with an even amount of melted beeswax. The picture on the right needs another go with the iron to melt and re-spread some of the beeswax that has already started to dry.

5. Next, remove the beeswax from the bottom piece of baking paper and hang to dry before it hardens and sticks (you have to be a bit speedy here, but be careful as the wax will be hot). We recommend pegging the wet wrap to a coat hanger or a washing line. It will only take a few minutes to harden and dry completely.

6. You’re done! You’ve just made a beautiful beeswax wrap which will help you say goodbye to plastic cling film for good (plus it makes for much prettier lunches!). To use, wrap around your food or bowl as you would with plastic wrap, and use the warmth of your hands to ‘seal’ the wrap in place. Instant eco-warrior!

Just a few things to note…

  • to clean your wrap, gently hand wash in cool water with a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Hot water will remove the beeswax!
  • please don’t cover raw meat with your wrap – if you need to cover raw meat, use a container or cover it with another plate in the fridge
  • if your wrap starts to lose its ‘stick’ – simply begin the process again! You’ll be able to re-wax and continue to use your wrap for years to come. If it eventually starts to look a little worse for wear, pop it into your compost bin (another reason we love cotton!).

Thanks to everyone who came along to the workshop last week, we hope you had as much fun as we did, and are enjoying using your beeswax wraps. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more Plastic Free July activities later this week, including student bloggers and the last of our plastic free giveaways!

If you make these at home, we’d love to see the results! Send your best wrap pictures to sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz. 

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.