Tag Archives: UC Sustainability Office

The Cup Library is back for 2018!

Did you know over a period of 12 months, UC sent approximately 400,000 single-use takeaway coffee cups to landfill?

The best way to make sure you aren’t contributing to this problem is easy – either bring your own reusable cup, or borrow one of ours!

I’m sure many of you will fondly remember the Cup Library run by the Sustainability Office in 2017. Our Library took a break over summer, but it’s back for 2018 and ready to help you ditch those pesky single-use takeaway coffee cups once and for all!

Find it at Nuts n Bolts Café in the Engineering Core, with your favourite cup ready to get you a 50c discount on your hot drink.

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

Brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office

Introducing the UC Community Gardens!

New to campus, or been here a couple of years? Either way, you may not have realised that UC has a beautiful community garden, right here on campus!

Our gardens are your gardens too – they provide a relaxing spot to take a break, eat your lunch, or catch up with friends, right in the middle of campus.

Feel like getting your hands dirty? Want to learn more about organic gardening? Keen to meet some like-minded people? Come and join one of our weekly working bees! Spend some time in the garden, and take home some organic vegetables for dinner…

When: Every Friday afternoon, from 1pm-5pm (summer months) and 12pm-4pm (winter months).

Where: Okeover Community Garden, off Engineering Road.

Just bring some closed toe shoes, a drink bottle and a smile, we have the rest covered. Whether you’re already a keen gardener, or just starting out, we’d love to meet you!

Any questions? Check out our webpage, UC Community Gardens Facebook page, or email us at sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz.

Brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office.

New staff: Did you know UC has a Sustainability Office?

Welcome to UC! Did you know that UC has a Sustainability Office?

We are an on-campus hub for people interested in creating positive change. We promote sustainable practices (like sustainable transport, waste minimization); and inform and host events like Zero Waste Living, Fair Trade Fortnight and Bike Breakfasts!

We work on healthy waterways, bike stands and much more! Last year we were recognised as a Fair Trade University community by the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand. We also work closely with UC’s Eco Clubs Network and do innovative projects, like UC’s composting coffee cup trial.

We also run the UC Community Gardens (a great place to have a break, or join one of our weekly working bees), and Dr Bike (weekly free bike repairs).


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

Brought to you by the 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