Tag Archives: UC Sustainability Office

Who won the Sustainability awards?

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As part of Sustainapalooza (18 – 22 September) the Sustainability Awards took place on Thursday 21 September. Students and staff were able to nominate themselves and others during August for the awards, which revealed a number of fantastic sustainable projects happening at UC. Congratulations to those who won awards, and everyone who was nominated.

Silver awards

  • Student award: Jackson White, The Solar Project
  • General staff award: Mark Homewood, RRSIC Stormwater Treatment

Gold awards

  • Student award: Shell Eco Marathon Team
  • Academic staff award: The CAREX team, CAREX
  • General staff award: Rob Oudshoorn and Engineering Services, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction Initiatives

Fair Trade diamond award

  • Student award: Selva Ganapathy and Joyce Chen, Fog Water Harvesting Project

Supreme award

  • Student award: Glynne Mackey, Sustainability and Social Justice

Will you take on the Plastic Free July challenge?

Flo 3Fourth-year Civil Eng student Flo is one of the UC students who is going plastic free during Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic in our lives and challenges people to do something about it. Flo shared some of her plastic free tips, and explains why she is doing it.  

What will you try to do during July?
To cut out all waste actually, not just plastic! This means not purchasing single use items, no wastage (not even recycling). However, I will use the organics collection bin because it’s a great system in Christchurch for making compost.

Why are you doing the challenge?
I think waste and consumerism have become two really big problems in today’s society. So many items are being created just for convenience, driven by purely short-term thinking and yet this will ruin us in the long term. By doing this challenge I want to show people that it is possible to live without creating as much waste!

What do you think is going to be hard?
I think going out for dinner, and going for drinks/social occasions will be challenging as it’s not a social norm to carry around your own container or glass to drink from! I also think being able to resists bargains when I am shopping will be hard, even when they are wrapped in single use plastic.

Cup Bamboo

What are some of your favourite waste-free items?
I have a little wee cup set that I keep in my bag 24/7 just in case I want a beverage on the go, and there are only plastic cups. I am also pretty passionate about waste-free bathroom products. I have a safety razor that is not made of plastic and can be reused. The one I have cost about $13 and came in only cardboard packaging with tonnes of little refill blades and it works a treat! I also love my trusty bamboo toothbrush, just google ‘bamboo toothbrush’ and you’ll find heaps of options. Instead of bottled shampoo or soap, I use shampoo bars and soaps. I order mine locally from Ethique, which is run by a UC alumni! I recommend trying out the starter packs. I use a menstrual cup for that time of the month, the UC pharmacy stocks them or you can find them (cheaper) online, and I honestly think it was the best purchase I have ever made!

Want more info on plastic free bathroom products? Check out:

Are you keen to take on the Plastic Free July challenge too? You don’t have to go all out! You can choose to do it for a week or the whole month and you can either refuse ALL single-use plastic or the TOP 4: plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups and straws. Have a look on the website for ideas on how to get started (and no, you don’t need to sign up)!

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

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UC receives Carbon Management Recognition Award!

Exciting news! The University of Canterbury has received an Enviro-Mark Solutions Recognition Award for Outstanding Performance in Carbon Management in a Large Organisation. UC was one of two large organisations to do so. Tony Sellin, UC’s Energy Manager, was presented with the award in Auckland on Tuesday 6 June 2017.

170630-EnviromarkThe awards celebrate the best of the best when it comes to carbon emissions reduction and environmental management. Enviro-Mark reported that the award winners have achieved a net reduction of 10,385 tonnes of carbon over the past year – that’s the equivalent of driving from Cape Reinga to Bluff more than 20,000 times or flying from Auckland to London more than 1,300 times!

UC embarked on a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory programme called CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) in 2011 because it wanted to create the most energy efficient environment for teaching and research. Since then, UC has reduced GHG by 28% (in absolute terms) and has more than lived up to the initial commitment to reduce emissions by 10-20% by 2020. UC is also the first university in the Southern hemisphere to attain the CEMARS accreditation.

Tony Sellin says part of this reduction comes from a more energy efficient design for the new and retro-fitted buildings on campus. Where possible, buildings have received a better thermal envelop (such as insulation and double glazing) and old building services plant and equipment have been replaced for more efficient ones. This includes more efficient lighting (e.g. LED lights and lights that turn off automatically), radiators and air handling units. There has also been a greater use of electricity over coal for space heating. UC’s carbon reduction is also connected with a smaller campus building footprint as a result of the earthquakes. All of this has resulted in a lower energy demand.

Further information: See also Leading the Carbon Crusade

This message was brought to you by Puck Algera (puck.algera@canterbury.ac.nz) in the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Do you have a great idea for Eco Week 2017?

In September (18-22) the UC Sustainability Office will host UC Eco Week. This yearly festival of events celebrates and promotes everything to do with sustainability.

Including events that are of interest and relevance to staff is important to us, so we would love your input.  Perhaps you would like to know more about electric vehicles? Are you interested in a tour around the ‘green’ buildings on campus? Or maybe YOU are passionate about something sustainability-related and would like to share that in a workshop or lecture (eg, composting, beekeeping, your research). You might know a great speaker and would like to invite them, or have seen a thought-provoking movie and would like to see it screened.

If so … write down an outline of your idea and send it to Puck Algera at the UC Sustainability Office (puck.algera@canterbury.ac.nz) before the end of May.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Some of the Eco Week events run last year.

Some of the Eco Week events run last year.

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UC Bike Parking Update

The Sustainability Office is currently working on a plan to get 1,500 additional bike parks onto campus. This needs to be done as a staged project given that many sites we want to put bike stands in are currently under construction or have hoardings around them. However, we are making progress. For example, we have recently placed an order for an additional 300 bike parks, which should be in place in the next few months. Additionally, parking for 110 bikes is currently becoming available on the north side of Engineering and the Health Centre. Last term we also welcomed back the enclosed bike parking facility on Creyke Rd (for 80 bikes), which had been unavailable for two years.

fullsizerender-002Also, you will start seeing these posters around in the secure cycle stands as an integral part of UC’s programme towards more secure cycle parking.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

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