Category Archives: Sustainability

Exhibition of Young Lives in Seven Cites comes to UC

How can we live well with less carbon? This is a question being put to UC students in a study of Christchurch and 6 other world cities led by Professor Bronwyn Hayward and Dr Kate Prendergast. The study is featured for the next two weeks in a brightly coloured panel display in the Central Library Puaka – James Hight exhibition space (ground floor) until the end of September. The display has been touring the city libraries spaces and now it’s come home to UC with a chance for students to tell us about how they currently live, what they like about this city and what they want to change.

We started this study in 2018 with focus groups of 12-24 year olds across Christchurch as part of the global ESRC funded study called CYCLES (Children and Youth in Cities – Lifestyle Evaluations and Sustainability) which UC leads to understand life in 7 world cities. Students took photos of a day in their life and shared what they valued- now we are asking a much larger group to give us their views.

As our city confronts COVID-19 and thinks about what a community needs to do to support young citizens to live well in a changing climate, young people point to some possible options.

What are students telling us?

Being able to get around the city is important to young people we’ve heard from so far. They say while they like independence of buses many still find the fares are “unaffordable”, and bus travel can be “difficult and time consuming”.

Young people are also saying they value social connections. In a time of social distancing, this is a reminder that our city needs innovative ways to bring people together. Many of the youngest respondents want more places than “just the malls” to “hang out”. They love the Margaret Mahy playground, but want more spaces to connect online and offline. For some the costs of Wi-Fi and the need for online connectivity are just too high.

During lockdown, we spent many hours in our own homes. So far students we are hearing from say they value friendships and time with families at home but a large number talk about serious housing problems. Some say their houses have been flooded, others that they are still earthquake-damaged. We are hearing from young people whose families are unable to afford regular heating and rely on blankets, wearing puffer jackets inside, and using “hot water bottles” to keep warm.

COVID-19 has given many people of all ages a chance to pause and think about what is really important. Being able to move around the city freely, connecting with others, enjoying our local neighbourhoods, and living in decent houses matters for our collective wellbeing.

We’d now like to know what UC students think about living in Christchurch. If you want to have your voice heard you can visit the library exhibition or go online and take part in the anonymous survey.

Impact Summit is back for its third year

Impact Summit 2020

Impact Summit 2020 will empower you to create a more sustainable world, one decision at a time.

Come and be inspired by a variety of speakers, learn something new in a workshop and meet new people.
Join us at 1:00pm – 4:30pm on Saturday 10 October at the University of Canterbury. Limited tickets available, secure yours now!
Keynote speaker: Malcolm Rands (ecostore co-founder and Fairground Foundation executive chairman), will share his entrepreneurial journey and insights around sustainability, innovation and the environment.
Panel Discussion: Sustainability experts from a variety of sectors will discuss what you can do to ensure a sustainable future and will answer questions from the audience. Facilitated by award-winning journalist Rod Oram.
• Brianne West – Founder and CEO of Ethique
• Tony Moore – Sustainability Advisor at Christchurch City Council
• Veronica Harwood-Stevenson – Founder and CEO of Humble Bee
• Logan Williams – Entrepreneur, Inventor and Scientist
You’ll also get the choice between a range of workshops, including:
• Money talks. What’s yours saying?
• Designing solutions for the 21st Century
• How to identify what matters
• Let’s talk SDGs
• What do the eco-labels really mean?
• Turning waste into value

Get your ticket now!

Over 500 reusable masks made for our UC whānau

Over 500 reusable face masks made, and counting!

Over the past three weeks, the Student Volunteer Army and the UC Sustainability Office have worked with over 100 incredible staff and student volunteers to make reusable face masks accessible for our UC community.

From donations of time, materials and sewing machines to mahi from students in CHCH101, and even a guest visit from VC Professor Cheryl de la Rey – we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received for this project.

The masks have been distributed to the support service teams on campus. If you’re in need of a mask and haven’t yet received one please contact Student Care.

The formal organised mask making workshops are coming to an end this week. However, if you’d like to still contribute to this project we’d love support with making masks from home – all materials provided! If you’re able to make some masks at home please contact the Sustainability Office on

Me mahi tahi tātou mo te oranga o te katoa – working together as one for the well-being of everyone.

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


What’s next for waste?

What’s next for waste?
Come hear Green Party MP Eugenie Sage talk waste reduction and the pathway to a more sustainable future with UC Sustainability and UC Greens!
Waste is everywhere, and despite our best efforts, it’s almost impossible to live without it. Eugenie has been fighting this problem for years, and knows that the problem isn’t the individual – it’s the system.
What: Waste reduction and Q&A with Green MP Eugenie Sage
When: Friday 11th September 12:30PM – 1:30PM
Where: Undercroft 101
See the Facebook event here for more information.

This message was brought 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.


Dr Bike is back

Dr Bike is back for Term Four!

Bring your bike down to C Block Lawn every Thursday afternoon until the end of term and get your bike serviced…. for free!

Dr Bike is a free cycle fix-it clinic available to both UC staff and students. This service provides basic cycle maintenance such as tuning brakes, oiling chains and puncture repairs.

You’ll find Tom and Sam on C Block Lawn every Thursday from 1pm – 2.30pm. Come past and say hi, and get your bike ready for summer riding with us!

If you’re interested in seeing how Dr Bike fits into the bigger picture about planning for cyclists at UC, you might like to look at the UC Cycle Plan 2014-2022.

Keep an eye out for these two on Thursdays!

This message was brought 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. If you’re interested in learning more about services and facilities available for cyclists at UC, check out our website.