Sustainability Engagement

Howletts sponsor endangered species treasure trail.

Looking for a fun day out this summer? Look no further than Kent’s original wildlife park, Howletts. With plenty to see the zoo has the largest herd of African Elephants in the UK and more gorillas, leopards, tigers and monkeys than any other zoo in the county.

Howletts

Photo taken at Howletts by Claire Nicholson.

The park offers excitement for all ages with its 90-acres of beautiful ancient parkland, free animal talks, opportunities to watch keepers feed the animals, or experience walking with the Lemurs. Not only does the zoo also have over 400 animals for you to see, but as they’re a conservation charity your trip to Howletts will help protect the UK’s wildlife. This means that your visit enables Howletts to send animals back to the wild in partnership with the Aspinall Foundation.

Over the last few years the Aspinall Foundation has released eight black rhinos, nearly 50 Javan Langurs and over 60 Western Lowland gorillas back to their natural habitat. These are just some of the animals that have been returned to where they belong because of the Aspinall Foundation’s belief that reintroduction of animals into their natural habitats will help to conserve wildlife and their habitats.

howletts gorilla

Photo taken at Howletts by Claire Nicholson.

The Foundation is a world class conservation charity who are dedicated to protecting endangered species all around the globe. There are many way you can get involved with the charity, whether it’s giving small donations, adopting an animal or taking part in fundraising events. For more information click here.

Howletts zoo generously sponsored our University by donating four tickets as a prize for our endangered species treasure trial which involved ten photographs of endangered species, present at Howletts Wildlife Park, being dotted around campus. The adventurous hunt took place from May 1st until the 12th and saw many people get involved. There was also £200 up for grabs for the winners club or society thanks to Christ Church Students Union. Little clues were revealed throughout the event on our Sustainability Facebook page.

hint

Clue seven taken by Claire Nicholson.

So why not take a trip to Howletts when you’re next free? Not only will you have a great day but your visit will help the animals that you see get one step closer to their home in the wild.

To book your tickets or to take a closer look at the zoo visit their website.

 

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The government is forgetting about climate change

It is no doubt that the thing everybody in the UK is talking about this week is Brexit. Article 50 has been triggered, and the process is beginning. Whether we like it or not, it’s happening, and unfortunately, that’s that.

All of the merriment surrounding this lead me to ask myself; how will Brexit effect the environment? Upon research, I found that it will, quite considerably too.

The letter in which triggers Brexit does not mention the word climate once. Not. Once. It was also announced that there would be no research into the effects of Brexit on our environment by environment minister George Eustice. Just some of these examples show how low climate and environment is on the political list of priorities, this became even clearer when the offices in which were used for the now abolished department of climate change were used for Brexit.

Leading on to other nations, the mention of climate in political parties is almost void. The exposure it has gained, unfortunately, was negative, coming from Donald Trump. Trump has essentially disregarded climate issues from his entire political agenda, branding it fake and scare-mongering.

The sad fact that remains, lands on that there isn’t a great deal we can do about it. In the UK, the media is heavily controlled by Westminster, the lack of climate change related media reflects this and suggests bad leadership. What can be done to make the world understand that this problem will not just go away?

At this point in the proceedings, there genuinely isn’t much that we can do, except for making changes in our own lives and leading campaigns within our natural demographics. The argument we can make stands – if the media and government takes more interest in this very REAL problem, would some issues begin to get resolved?

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

Photo Credit: Michael Beckwith 

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Sustainable Mothers Day

Mothers day is upon us, and it’s time to make the best women we know realise how much we adore them. Of course, mothers day consists of loads of beautiful gifts like cards, flowers and bottles of prosecco that are great presents of course, but not so good for our environment. Here I will give you five present ideas for your amazing mother that are no danger to our environment:

1. Organic Flowers

If you ask your local florist, you can get organic and therefore eco-friendly flowers. People will rarely ask for them, therefore they will be easier to get hold of and they still look just as beautiful.

2. Homemade, Organic Jewellery

A number of shops create organic jewels nowadays, and your town center is sure to have at least one shop that is based upon their organic guidelines. This kind of jewellery has a much more rustic feel to it, and it makes the perfect mothers day gift whilst still being affordable.

3. ‘Mum’s Ultimate Survival Box’

Online shop Not On The High Street is selling a gorgeous beauty box by Green Tulip Ethical Living. It contains a selection of hand-picked natural products that any woman is sure to enjoy and feel beautiful in.

Check it out here.

4. Handbag Loving

A selection of well-known, high quality fashion brands create sustainable and ethical handbags. This includes Matt & Nat, Parker Clay and Purse and Clutch. As well as this, they’re incredibly affordable and you cannot go wrong with these gorgeous brands. Find the best ethical handbags here.

5. Make your own cards

This is the most simple and obvious option on this list. It’s so much more meaningful and personal to buy mum a handmade card that you put a lot of thought in to. As well as this, it’s also incredible to the environment to create it yourself.

There you have it, the amounts of ideas are endless.

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer 

 

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5 of the Best Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Brands

As consumers, we are becoming more and more aware of the detrimental effects we are causing to our planet. It’s reached a point where pretty much everything we do has some kind of effect on the environment, good or bad, and for some it’s becoming truly exhausting.

Many people don’t realise that there is a way to be environmentally-friendly in pretty much everything you do. This including, fashion. Some of the world’s most well-known and renowned brands are taking the steps to becoming more sustainable in their collections. I’ve noted five of the best:

1. Stella McCartney

The daughter of Paul McCartney is undoubtedly one of the pioneering designers in sustainable fashion. Her collections are luxury, and McCartney is committed. She’s been a vegetarian for the majority of her life, and she uses no real leather or fur in her designs. As well as this, she ensures that her garments are created in ethical environments, with McCartney heavily following the guidelines for ethical trade.

Image result for stella mccartney sustainable fashion

Photo Credit: Stella McCartney by Alice Von Der Burg

2. H&M Conscious

H&M is one of the most popular shops on the high street. I mean, I buy most of my clothes from H&M. On the affordable side of things, H&M has created a line of clothes that are completely ethical and sustainable. The line still conforms to H&M’s usual look, but it’s created out of fabrics that aren’t at the expense of our environment.

HM

Photo Credit: http://www.hm.com

3. ASOS Eco Edit

Ah ASOS, I love you. Going over to the online side of things, ASOS has also been eco-friendly. Whilst not actually creating their own line, the company has a ‘green room’ on their website which holds collections from a wide selection of eco-friendly brands. From vintage, to upmarket, you can’t go wrong.

http://www.asos.com/eco-brands/

4. Fat Face

In recent years, Fat Face stores have been popping up everywhere in the UK. One of the company’s biggest requirements is that the Code of Conduct is stuck to. The Code of Conduct states that their garments must only be created from factories that treat their employments fairly.

Photo Credit: Fat Face

5. New Balance

You cannot beat a pair of New Balance trainers. I own a pair, and I live in them. This incredible and sporty brand has a number of board members that are dedicated to stomping on the issues surrounding global supply chains, ensuring their products are made with the best care.

Photo Credit: Me, these are mine. 

So there you have it! If you want to know more, there is plenty available online to be seen about ethical and sustainable fashion, there are hundreds of more brands that practice what the rest of the world is preaching.

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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Sustainable Gifts

Deeming a gift eco-friendly, to some people, makes it a bit strange and something that will be put in the cupboard never to be used again.

However, here we are, at the end of 2016 and there is so much choice for eco-friendly Christmas gifts for an amazing price. So. Many. Options. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Anything from Lush.

Lush Cosmetics are renowned for their beautiful all-organic products. Unknown to some, the products are so organic that they are edible. I wouldn’t recommend eating them, but you catch my drift. At this time of year (and all year around) Lush sell already gift wrapped, affordable sets with a great selection of their seasonal products as well as the classic ones we all know and love, all in recycled packaging.

Fairtrade Chocolate.

Chocolate is great all year round, but at Christmas it’s on special just everywhere and we all eat more than we normally do. Most well-known brands sell fairtrade chocolate nowadays anyway, but usually lesser known brands that have the fairtrade label taste better and are more affordable. Treat that chocolate obsessed family member this year!

Home-ware.

December festivities mean craft companies and environment charities join together and create ranges of gift ideas that are created with the environment in mind. Protect the Planet have an entire shop of stunning Christmas gifts that can go in the home, from recycled placemats to authentic lamps and glasses made from alcohol bottles. Vintage!

So, there’s a few ideas for you all. Enjoy!

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Climate Change

Upon the release of Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary film, Before The Flood, I have started to worry about climate change. Admittedly, it’s been an issue I am aware of, but I had never really thought about how huge the effects would be, the film made me realise this. In a nutshell, carbon dioxide is poisoning our air and seas, tropical forests are being cut down which causes mass death of different species, dying trees emit their stores of carbon dioxide adding to atmospheric greenhouse gasses, causing global warming.

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A Chat with Calum Sinclair

As you may already know, on 2nd November local singer/songwriter Calum Sinclar will perform for us in the yurt, in the next edition of the Tiny Yurt Concerts. Performing a selection of original songs and covers, Calum is sure to bring some tranquility and talent to the yurt on that chilly November afternoon.

In preparation for the gig, in this post I am going to introduce you all to Calum. I asked him some questions about his influences, his life and what music means to him.

 

Tell us a bit about you, what brought you to Canterbury? What do you study?

I live down here anyway in a village called Worth, so it wasn’t too far to go. I actually study in Medway as my course is run at very few places nationally compared to other degrees. I study paramedic science which will hopefully lead to a career in the ambulance service and beyond.

What/who inspired you to become a singer/songwriter?

I remember finding some albums in my dad’s cupboard of old folk bands and listening to them and loving the stories they told. My dad also used to teach me the old traditional songs on long car journeys and I wanted to find out more and tell them again.

What genre of music do you find is your best fit?

Celtic folk is my best fit, I love tales of old stores which keep the past alive. It’s a genre of music that’s very natural and bare which can be interpreted in so many ways making everyone individual.

What is your best achievement with your music to date?

I wouldn’t say there’s one achievement, as long as people like listening then I think I’ve achieved all I want out of music.

What do you hope to do with your talent in the future?

Just keep playing and keep the stories alive, it’s a hobby not a career option.

When writing a song, do you feel the music or the lyrics is the most important thing?

Lyrics definitely, but without a good melody it’ll be a flop. A balance is definitely needed.

Do you find smaller shows like the yurt concert less scary and more personal – or vice versa?

I find them all equally scary, it’s hard to know how people will take such an unusual genre of music down south.

As you know, the concert is put on by the Student Green Office – what does being sustainable mean to you?

I think we need to live within our means by keeping the environment and resources available for future generations.

Why do you think it’s good for students to get involved with sustainability and the SGO?

It helps people become aware of issues surrounding our future and awareness will enable people to make a difference in the world. Small steps are needed to change.

Lastly and most importantly, are you excited for the yurt concert?!

YES, DEFINITELY!

 

There you have it! Do join us for the concert in the yurt, by the pond in the quad on 2nd November at 3pm. This guy is one to watch!

Interviewed and written by Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

 

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29 September: World Maritime Day

 

Every year, in the last week of September, people from around the world are celebrating World Maritime Day. The reason for this is to stress on the importance of ocean health and to remind everyone how important it is to take care of  our seas and oceans, as they are a great influence to our health, climate and food. Continue reading

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Organic YOUR September

It’s the time of year when you’re scrolling through Facebook and you see a lot of posts saying “Sponsor me whilst I stop drinking for October!”, “Sponsor me whilst I stop eating chocolate for a whole month!”. These bids that people all around the world take for one short month are an amazing concept, if you really want to do it. It promotes a good cycle, if you give up something or do something different for an entire month, you can probably keep going for even longer.

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26 September: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Did you know that more than half of us are leaving in countries which either own nuclear weapons or are members of nuclear alliances? Nuclear weapons are expensive to perpetuate and their power comes from nuclear energy being released, causing an explosion. A single nuclear weapon would be enough to destroy a whole city and there are around 1600 nuclear weapons in the world right now. Just imagine what could happen in case of a nuclear war.  For this reason, achieving worldwide nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. Continue reading

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