Tag Archives: UC Sustainability Office

Bike Fest is coming!

Come and celebrate spring and all things cycling with us at our Spring Bike Fest!

What: Bike Fest, a cycle celebration! Come and meet other cyclists at UC, plus:
• enjoy a FREE sausage sizzle and beanbags to relax on,
• on-the-spot cycle repairs and DIY workshop sessions thanks to Dr Bike and UC Bike,
• the chance to sign up to our UC Bicycle Users Group (UC BUG) or ask us any questions about joining up to our commuter cycling community (if you haven’t already!)
• make a pedal powered banana smoothie with the famous smoothie bike!
• Learn more about the best cycle ways and routes in the city,
• Pick up your Biketober calendar and passport from us to see even more cycling events and activities during the month of October, and join us as we celebrate Christchurch’s annual festival of cycling,
• Sign up and learn more about some cycling skills and confidence rides we are holding thanks to Connie from Go Cycle Christchurch,
• Plus prizes, competitions and more!

When: Monday 1st October, 12pm – 2pm
Where: C Block Lawn
Who: Anyone with an interest in cycling!
What should I bring? Yourself, your friends and collegues who already cycle, your friends and collegues who would like to start cycling to UC but don’t know where to start, your bike if you’d like it tuned, and a cup for your pedal powered banana smoothie!

For more event details and any updates, please see our Facebook event here. No need to RSVP, however to get an idea of numbers please click ‘attending’ if you’re planning on coming along.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected, and be in touch with us!

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or check out our website for more information about what we do, and upcoming events.

ot a question or want to know more? Email us at sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Fair Trade Fortnight – let your wallet make the choice

This Fair Trade Fortnight, we’re encouraging our UC community to vote with their wallets for the kind of world they want to live in. Read on to find out how, and discover the mysteries of your Fairtrade coffee on campus…

As part of a four part blog series exploring the recently adopted Sustainability Framework, the UC Sustainability Office is this month turning its attention to partnerships for sustainability, and there is no better time than Fair Trade Fortnight to explore UC’s partnership with the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand.

In July 2017, UC became recognised by the FTA as a Fair Trade University, one of only two in Aotearoa New Zealand (and the first entirely Fair Trade campus!).

Basically, this means you’re allowed to eat as much chocolate and drink as much coffee on campus as you like, guilt free… because it’s 100% guaranteed Fair Trade certified!

But seriously, what does this mean for UC?

One of the FTA’s key ‘Minimum Requirements’ of becoming a Fair Trade University, is to provide Fair Trade and World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) certified products in as many on-campus cafes and retail outlets as possible.

But UC’s commitment to Fair Trade doesn’t end at just coffee and chocolate – Fair Trade drinking chocolate, tea, flavoured barista syrups, sugar, cotton clothing and soft drinks are either available in campus cafes, or in your department kitchens.

Where do I fit into this?

Start by eating, drinking and wearing your favourite products, and make sure they are fair trade, and ethically sourced. Every Fair Trade or WFTO purchase you make has a massive positive impact on farmers, producers, their families and their communities in developing countries all over the world. Look for the two most widely recognised ethical labels in the world: Fair Trade and WFTO.

These labels ensure the ingredients in the product have been sourced in accordance with Fair Trade and WFTO social, economic and environmental standards. This means as a consumer, you can be confident that by purchasing this product, you’re making a real positive difference.

Back to the coffee…

Luckily for us, the UCSA has been supplying us with 100% Fair Trade, organic coffee long before our accreditation, from Common Good Coffee Roasters (formally Jailbreaker), and we’d like to share the story of their coffee beans with you.

What’s so special about this Fairtrade coffee on campus, you ask?

  • We’re able to trace the path of our coffee, from bean to cup!
  • For example, the Ethiopian Sidamo coffee bean in your morning coffee comes from Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (OCFCU), established in 1999 to support a sustainable coffee supply from cooperatives in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
  • OCFCU supports 360 co-operatives with more than 332,393 farmer-members, accounting for 65% of Ethiopia’s total coffee production.
  • Premiums from coffee exports are returned directly to farmers, and also fund organic farming practices and food security programs.
  • See, guilt free!

UC is proud to stand with Fair Trade producers and encourage ethical sourcing, through our partnership and recognition with FTA, and our relationship with our Fair Trade suppliers operating through Fair Trade ANZ and WFTO.


Want to know more about Fair Trade at UC, and how you, your friends or your department can be involved? Read more here.

Don’t forget: It’s Fair Trade Fortnight right now!

From 3– 16 August, UC is celebrating all things Fair Trade. The Sustainability Office is holding a series of events, talks and activities during the fortnight, and we’d love to see you there! More event information here.

Plastic Free July: what we learned

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Hey guys! George, Juliet and Poppy here! As part of Plastic Free July, we have been working with UC Sustainability to share with you guys how we have been cutting down on our single use plastics, both on and off campus. You might have seen Poppy’s takeover on the UC Sustainability Instagram (@ucsustain, check it out!), but if you missed it, here’s what we have been up to this month.

The top four single use plastics are plastic bags, cups (coffee cups), plastic straws and plastic cutlery. There has been some progress around UC in terms of providing alternatives for single use plastics which we think is rad, but there is also a lot you can do to help! This can be as simple as buying a bamboo toothbrush (super hip and not expensive – literally $5), bringing your own coffee cup and lunch container to uni, dining in at restaurants/cafes or bringing your own reusable bags to the supermarket.

We have taken it to the next step, by heading out around Christchurch on our bikes in search of a few more ways to reduce the use of single use plastics and save some pennies at the same time!

Our favourite locations for bulk food and household items:

Bin Inn – Stanmore Road, also Lincoln Road and Hawke Street (New Brighton).

What we loved:

  • How strongly they encourage you to bring your own container/jar to reduce costs and eliminate packaging (you’ll never throw away another jam jar again!)
  • Every type of bulk food imaginable i.e. oats, nuts, couscous, rice, pasta, muesli, spices, lentils
  • Even liquids such as oils, honey, molasses, vinegar… on tap!
  • General household items i.e. dishwashing liquid, spray and wipe, laundry powder and dish wash powder (just BYO bottles, and/or tip the liquids into old spray bottles when you’re home)
  • Friendly service – the Bin Inn in New Brighton has a ‘Jar Library’ to help you out if you forget to bring enough jars/containers.

Serious money saver!! Bulk items are always so much cheaper than pre-packaged supermarket 

  • alternatives, plus you also get an extra 5% off if you BYO containers.

See Bin Inn’s videos for handy tips on bulk shopping!

Our favourite thing about Bin Inn was making our own peanut butter, it is cheap! The little jar in the picture was about $2 of peanut butter.

Piko Wholefoods – Corner of Barbadoes Street and Kilmore Street

What we loved:

  • The range of certified organic bulk foods available i.e. rice, lentils and oats – a huge range of gluten free options too
  • Also yummy tea, coffee and breads etc.
  • They are big supporters of Fair Trade products – LOTS of fair trade tea, coffee, sugar, nuts, spices, cold drinks, cocoa and chocolate options! YAY!
  • It’s encouraged to bring your own container/jar for your bulk goods (or they often have spare containers there for you to use!)
  • A wide variety of ingredients/items either wrapped in paper or in packaging that looks like plastic BUT can be composted in your home compost bin!
  • A little more pricey, but a great place to visit for your specialty goods, or yummy treats. Although the maple syrup (buy it on tap) was the cheapest we’ve seen anywhere! Yum!
  • Nice vibe and super friendly people. They also run yoga workshops and classes in the upstairs space!

We hope this helps anyone out there who is trying to be a little more plastic free (and for those already doing it! Go you!). All these little changes do make a huge difference, plus they are fun, and give you a sense of satisfaction to know that you are doing something positive for the planet and your pennies.

Huge thanks to Poppy, Juliet and George for their Plastic Free July inspiration! We think the tip about the peanut butter is awesome, what was your favourite? #plasticfreejuly

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office.
Stay connected, and be in touch with us! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or check out our website for more information about what we do, and upcoming events. Got a question or want to know more? Email us at sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz