Tag Archives: UC Sustainability Office

UC Sustainability Champion: Meet Abby

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 now until the 31 August (see our website for the nomination form and all the details).

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Abby – she’s a keen advocate for climate justice, one of our regular community garden volunteers, and is on the exec for two of our fave UCSA clubs: Digsoc and the Eco Clubs Network. You might also recognise her from the recent UC Me campaign, or perhaps one of her regular pieces in Canta.

Somehow, she’s doing all this while studying towards her BA in Philosophy and Te Re Māori – so make sure you check out the video below of Abby singing a beautiful waiata during last year’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori!

Tell us about yourself!

Kia ora koutou katoa! My name is Abby and I’m studying a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Te Reo Māori. I am passionate about eco-sustainability, languages, and music. A fun fact about me is that I am slightly obsessed with my dungaree collection – I own six pairs of dungarees and one pinafore, and am always on the hunt for more. I have also been teaching myself guitar for 3 years, and have aspirations of becoming a high school languages teacher in French and Te Reo Māori, as well as maybe English, Music and/or ESOL.

Abby in gardens

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Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.

I initially started studying a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Psychology (I’m now doing a BA in Philosophy, Te Reo Māori and French – but that’s another story) and I have always been passionate about the environment and advocating for climate justice. When I changed my study pathway I still wanted to keep myself involved in sustainable/eco/environmental pursuits and I started volunteering at the Waiutuutu Community Gardens on campus (previously Okeover Community Gardens). I started helping out there in June 2017 after I accidentally found myself at their end of term pizza party (homemade in a pizza oven onsite!) which was absolutely delicious/glorious, I might add.

Kim, Varvara, Andrew and Abby

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

An ongoing sustainability project has been the process of moving towards a more bilingual community garden at UC, which acknowledges te ao Māori and the relationship tāngata whenua have with their taiao (environment). This includes the new name/ingoa hou that was gifted by Kai Tahu kaumatua at the end of 2018: Te Ngaki o Waiutuutu, or in English, Waiutuutu Community Garden.

Waiutuutu is the historic/original Māori name for our Okeover Stream that runs through UC’s main campus. It translates to waters of reciprocity.

Abby leading a waiata as part of te Wiki o te Reo Māori / Māori Language Week 2018 in Waiutuutu Community Garden

Tell us about some other areas of your life at UC.

  • QCanterbury, Social Media Manager
  • DigSoc, Events ‘Wormlord’
  • CANTA Contributor
  • Thursdays in Black, General Exec
  • Eco Clubs Network, General Exec

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

End of year sustainability party

I helped to organise a pizza party last year at the gardens last year that had an amazing turn out. It was a little overwhelming to have fifty to eighty hungry university students, staff, and Ilam locals wander through our māra and feed them homemade oven fired pizza. We also had the smoothie bike up and running, and finished with pineapple sage tea and an outdoor movie screening of Occupy the Farm. I loved being able to share my favourite place on campus (and best kept secret) with new people.

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Where to next for you?

I am finishing off my undergraduate degree, after which I intend to complete my Masters of Teaching (Secondary) to become a high school teacher in Te Reo Māori and French.

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This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram 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.

UC Sustainability Champion: Meet Jessica

Jessica Aldridge | Eco Clubs Network Exec, Student Fair Trade Rep, Engineers Without Borders Exec 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 now until the 31 August (see our website for the nomination form and all the details).

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Jess.  She’s our student Fair Trade Rep and Eco Volunteer, is an Exec member on two of the coolest clubs on campus (in our opinion), and is doing all this while studying towards her final year in Natural Resources Engineering!

We caught up with Jess just in time for Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 2 – 15 August. As our Fair Trade student rep, we thought it was fitting we chat to her during our favourite fair trade awareness campaign!

Tell us about yourself!

I am in my final year studying Natural Resources Engineering. I am also completing the Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering. I love to dance and regularly attend Zumba classes at the Rec Center. I am very passionate about Humanitarian Engineering and sustainability.

Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.

I started volunteering with the Sustainability Office at the start of 2018. Since then I have been helping to run and organise events on campus with the team of Eco Volunteers. Some of my favourite events have been the Fashion Revolution Week clothing swap this year and the Zero Waste workshop during Plastic Free July. I also get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight at UC every year.

You’re the Fair Trade Student Rep on the Eco Clubs Exec. What does that mean?

This year I have been helping the Sustainability Office with engaging and involving students in fair trade on campus. UC is a Fair Trade Accredited University and this year we have already run events during Fashion Revolution Week plus we’ve got awesome events planned for this years Fairtrade Fortnight – we are holding a Fair Trade Fair in Haere-roa on Wednesday 14th August so make sure you come along! (see the Facebook event here for all the details). There are so many wonderful fair trade initiatives on campus that I am sure a lot of students and staff don’t realise.

And you’re part of Engineers Without Borders NZ… Tell us more!

I am on the events team for Engineers Without Borders NZ (EWB) student chapter at UC. Engineers Without Borders is a humanitarian organisation that aims to improve access to engineering skills and knowledge. Our biggest event of the year is Running Without Borders in which runners take part in the Christchurch Marathon and raise money for EWB. We also run regular documentary screenings on campus.

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

Working with the Sustainability Office and the sustainability community at UC. It’s great to see so many people and volunteers turn up to help out at each event and it makes it really fun.

Where to next for you?

Next year I will be moving to Tauranga to begin my professional career. I will be working as an environmental engineer and I hope to continue to be involved in fair trade and sustainability events at my work.

Some ‘did you know’ fair trade facts from Jess and Chloe from UC Sustainability:

  • UC has been a Fair Trade Accredited campus since 2017
  • Being recognised as a Fair Trade University means our community (that’s you!) is committed to being a socially responsible institution. We’re proud to stand with fair trade producers and encourage ethical sourcing, and we encourage you to do the same in your personal lives.
  • 100% of coffee supplied in our campus cafes is Fairtrade certified, from a variety of NZ roasters
  • And it doesn’t just end with coffee! Our cafes on campus also stock fair trade chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, dried fruit and nuts, and even fair trade fizzy drinks
  • Our staff department kitchenettes also stock fair trade tea, coffee, sugar and drinking chocolate for a fairer morning tea break
  • If you’re looking for apparel for events, uniforms or clubs tees – we’ve got fair trade cotton tee shirts available for order through our suppliers Little Yellow Bird. Last year UC’s fair trade apparel orders provided 328 hours of fair labour!
  • We hold events to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight each year. It’s two weeks of everything fair trade and ethical! To get involved, see our Facebook page, and check under ‘events’ for our annual Fair Trade Fair (we promise there is free fair trade goodies to get your hands on!)

 

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram 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.

Common Good Coffee Roasters: more than just your daily coffee

You love their coffee but do you know their story?

Common Good card

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, we’re getting up close and personal with people and businesses connected to UC who are making the world a better (and fairer) place. Read on to learn about the people behind UCSA’s fair trade coffee supplier, Common Good Coffee – who are bringing us much more than just good coffee!

So what makes Common Good Coffee so special?

On top of a banging roast and a 100% commitment to a fair trade supply chain, Common Good Coffee is using its profits for good in Aotearoa and around the world. From the fair trade principles behind their coffee supply, to the roasting of that same coffee right here in Christchurch, and the reinvestment of their profits into communities around the world, Common Good Coffee is a very, very good time. And the best bit is, all you have to do be a part of their story is simply drink their coffee!

The man behind your coffee addiction: Vernon roasts (and delivers) kilos of coffee each week to UC

So, about that coffee…

The coffee you’re sipping on has come a long way before the baristas at UC (and you) got their hot little hands on it. For example, the Ethiopian Sidamo coffee bean that makes up your brew has come all the way from the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union of Ethiopia (OCFCU).

The Layo Teraga Cooperative in Southern Ethiopia (part of the OCFCU) currently has 1200 members and has maintained Fairtrade certification since 2009. Since becoming certified, the fair trade social premium has paid for depulping equipment, two transport trucks, and in 2010 the community was able to build an elementary school. Before this, the nearest school was a two hour walk away.

Common Good Coffee also contributed directly to the building of the elementary school – last year they donated $19,000 towards teacher’s accommodation, allowing itinerant teachers to spend less time travelling and more time teaching.

Elementary school - common goodTeacher’s accommodation in the Layo Teranga cooperative’s elementary school, Sidamo/Guji region, southern Ethiopia

But wait, there’s more!

Common Good ladies Kolkata

He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Before, we mentioned that Common Good Coffee reinvested their profits into communities around the world. This is where the bigger picture stuff comes in: Common Good Coffee Roasters is actually part of a wider business called Common Good, based in Kolkata, India. Common Good has since created jobs for fifteen women to make products like bags and wristbands, which are proudly worn all around the world. Better still, 100% of the profits from Common Good are going directly to services like sanitation, clean water and education – meaning not only do fifteen women have dignified and meaningful work, but their families and communities are now able to make choices that weren’t available to them before.

And finally, they get local too

Just in case you thought they were done…

Addington Coffee Co-op

Common Good Coffee is roasted at Addington Coffee Co-op, 297 Lincoln Road (definitely worth checking out, make sure you go hungry), and they recently donated $100,000 to the local Addington Primary School. The Addington Te Kura Taumatua Whanua Room was funded by Common Good to grow community connections within the school, and is used by a diverse range of people from the school community.

whanau room

So, it’s more than just a cup of coffee! (but at the same time, it’s all about that cup of coffee…). And to think that every time you buy a Common Good Coffee from Shilling Club, Collective, Cafe 1894 or Chilton’s, you’re actually directly contributing to all the above goodness…. who knew making good more common would be so easy?!

Want to know more about Common Good and what they’re doing locally and globally? Come and meet them at our annual Fair Trade Fair on Wednesday 14 August, 11am – 1pm in Haere-roa. We’ll be showcasing the incredible suppliers that make our Fair Trade University possible, and celebrate the impact they are having on communities around the world. See the Facebook event here for all the details.

This message was brought 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 Fairtrade Fortnight, where we encourage our UC community to get involved and support the empowerment of producers overseas. For more information on the fair trade movement, see the Fairtrade NZ website.