Tag Archives: sustainability

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.

Celebrating Fresh Thinking: Professorial Lecture Series

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Pavel Castka and Professor Tom Cochrane in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday, 6 June, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

Presentation details:

 “Universal Language of the Future? Addressing business challenges through international standards” – Presented by Professor Pavel Castka, Department of Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

 How can businesses address social and environmental issues – such as climate change, social responsibility, poverty or child labour – in a vastly diverse world with different opinions on these issues?  Is there a common platform or universal language that can facilitate the interaction between businesses across the world – enabling addressing of these challenges as well as challenges of everyday cooperation of firms in global supply chains?

In this inaugural professorial lecture, I will build on research at UC as well as my involvement with international standard setting NGOs – including International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – and discuss the status quo as well as future challenges of standards setting, adoption and control mechanisms that ensure consistency of international standards across the globe. The lecture is designed for a diverse audience that is interested in social and environmental issues as well as in the generic matters of cooperation in international business – inclusive of non-academic audience such as business leaders or social activists. The lecture provides an insight into the exciting world of international standards, potentially the universal language of the future.

 

Food–energy–water nexus in the Mekong” – Presented by Professor Tom Cochrane, Department of Civil & Natural Resources Engineering

 The Mekong basin in Southeast Asia is undergoing rapid development.  Basin wide water infrastructure development (hydropower/irrigation), climate change and land-use change are causes for concern due to potential impacts on highly valued fisheries, agriculture, and natural ecosystems. Extensive water, sediment and nutrient modelling and analyses were thus conducted to understand the food-energy-water nexus in the basin and assess future threats and evaluate alternative pathways. Results show that recent development of flood protection dykes, as well as sea level rise and land subsidence pose a major threat to the long term sustainability of the Mekong Delta. Future adaptation and mitigation strategies should include optimal operation of water infrastructure (hydropower, dykes, and irrigation systems) to reduce hydrological and sediment changes, reduction in groundwater pumping, water storage management, sea level rise protection infrastructure, land reclamation, enhancement of coastal and in-stream habitats, and others.  A single solution is not sufficient for this complex basin; multiple mitigation initiatives are necessary through transboundary communication and coordination. The analysis and methods, as well as the lessons learnt in this research can be translated to other river systems around the world undergoing rapid development and climatic threats.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

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.

Rethink your Wardrobe – ethical fashion events coming up!

Ever asked yourself, ‘who made my clothes?’ or, ‘who really pays the price for our clothing?’

We want you to ask these questions, and we want to help you answer them too.

In a celebration of Fashion Revolution Week 2019, UC Sustainability are holding two events to get us talking about the social and environmental impacts behind the fast fashion industry.

Keen to get involved with us? Come along to our events next week, and learn about what you can do to become part of the fashion revolution!

Event One: Film night
Come and watch The True Cost with us, a ground-breaking documentary film on the real price of fast fashion.
See the trailer here.

  • When: Thursday 23 May, 6pm – 8pm
  • Where: The Living Room (next to UBS)

What to bring: Yourselves and your friends – we’ve got the popcorn and hot drinks covered!

Check out the Facebook event here for all the details.

Event Two: Clothes swap
We’re holding a campus clothes swap! 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 clothes swap. The best part is, you then get to fill your wardrobe back up again with someone else’s treasures – for free!

Let’s flag fast fashion together and swap, not shop.

  • When: Friday 24 May, 12pm – 2pm
  • Where: Undercroft 101

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 off your clothes in Undercroft 101 from 11am onwards, or you can bring them along to the film night in advance.

Check out the Facebook event here for all the details.

Be a part of the fashion revolution with us!

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.