All posts by ucsustain

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 office 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 become 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.

Clothes Swap this Friday!

Don’t forget, UC Sustainability are holding a clothes swap this Friday (24 May), and you’re invited!

As part of our contribution to Fashion Revolution Week, we’re inviting you to ditch fast fashion, and swap not shop!

Clothes swaps are fun, easy, free and second hand threads are the most socially and environmentally friendly fashion statement you can make. Clear out your wardrobes, and bring in up to five good quality, pre-loved items of clothing to our swap. The best part? You then get to fill your wardrobe back up again with someone else’s treasures!

What to bring: Up to five items of pre-loved clothing, and a reusable bag for carrying your ‘new’ clothes home! You’re welcome to drop your clothes off in Undercroft 101 from 11am onwards – or bring them along to our film night on Thursday evening.

For more information, check out the Facebook event here.

See you there!

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 event is part of our Rethink your Wardrobe series, where we encourage our UC community to ask “who made my clothes?” For more information, see the Fashion Revolution website.

New Cup Library at Nuts n Bolts

We’ve given the Cup Library a makeover, and we’d love to hear what you think!

A beginners guide to using the Cup Library

Step One: Grab whatever funky mug catches your eye

Step Two: Order your hot drink, and enjoy the BYO cup discount that comes with it

Step Three: Sip your coffee smugly, knowing you’ve just saved using an unnecessary takeaway coffee cup (that could have otherwise ended up in landfill)

Step Four: Pop your used cup in the ‘dirty’ tray (and don’t forget to say a big thanks to the Nuts n Bolts staff!)

Step Five: Repeat!

We hope you enjoy using the Cup Library as much as we do! If you want to know more about reducing single use plastics in your life, keep your eyes out  for our campaigns and giveaways as we gear up to celebrate Plastic Free July.

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 about what else we’re doing for waste management at UC, see our website.

Did you know we have a Free Table at UC?

It’s a space where you can take home what you need, and drop off what you no longer have use for!

We’re all about reducing what is sent to landfill. Give your unwanted items a second chance at life, plus you never know what treasures you might find on there…

Our Free Table loves:

  • Stationary, office supplies, books and textbooks
  • Clean clothing, bedding and shoes
  • Kitchenware, crockery and homewares
  • Food items (non-perishable is best)
  • Anything else (as long as it’s clean and in working condition)

We ask that you please respect this area by keeping it tidy, using the storage areas provided and by only bringing in items you believe others may want (this area is not a rubbish bin!).

Find our Free Table in the Undercroft, underneath the Puaka-James Hight stairs.

Spread the word – the Free Table is for everyone!

Huge thanks to the Eco Volunteer and Eco Club Network teams for their help in giving the Free Table area an upgrade!

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. For more information on sustainability at UC, see our website.