Posts Tagged With: Environment

New communications officer for the Student Green Office

Hello I’m Ellie, your new communications officer for the Student Green Office.

I’m a multimedia journalism student going into my final year in September, which all seems to have flown by! I much enjoy living and studying in Canterbury as there always seems to be somewhere nice to visit.

My journalism course has meant I have met up with lots of different people to conduct interviews and experienced covering live events, which are two things I would like to bring to this blog over the next year.

I would really like to consider the sustainable development goals a lot more in the blog by creating regular posts about what our local area is doing to encourage sustainability in this part of the world. This project will enable me to meet with lots of local people, get interviews and pictures which I can put into the blog to hopefully make it more engaging for our readers. I hope to keep our social media accounts active and get more people following us!

I feel really excited to have been given this opportunity and look forward to getting stuck into it properly in September. I really want to push the blog out there so it is seen by more and more people over the next year.

 

 

 

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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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Walk Ways collaborative campus walk

Week four of the Walk Ways guided campus walks saw a group of our University staff take on a collaborative walk created by Sonia Overall.

The walk was planned to be playful and experimental, which it certainly lived up to as the team were tied together by the legs.

With trust in their team member’s hands, the group shared bundles of laughter as the interesting session took place.

See their journey below:

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The walk started with the group connecting by holding on to each others shoulders, as one individual led the group through campus.

They then picked directions from a bag which asked them to turn in circles, move in a figure of eight and walk on edges, all while linking arms.

As you can imagine a few passers-by wondered what was going on!

Some worried faces appeared from the group when Sonia informed them that the next activity would involve them being tied together at the legs.

However, they soon overcame their initial fear and found a technique which meant they stayed on their feet and avoided any unwanted falls.

The Walk Ways guided campus walks are a great way to take time out from your usual daily activities and to experience something new. This walk definitely gave the staff some time to escape from any day to day thoughts and to think about nothing else but the task in hand.

Sonia was also very pleased with how her walk went:

The Futures Initiative fund the Walk Ways guided campus walks, which have been designed to encourage people to see and experience their surroundings in an unusual way.

Both students and staff are welcome to attend the walks and we encourage more people to try something new!

The next walk is to be held on Wednesday 17th May, for more information click here.

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Climate and it’s relevance to this election

With the snap election fast approaching, the UK is in a midst of debate. This election is different as it’s a snap election, and due to the implications of Brexit, it’s dividing the nation more than ever. With other parties loosing out and stressing to their voters to either vote Conservative or Labour, we need to be sure on why the environment should be an important factor of any election.

By the time the next election rolls around in 2022, the climate could have risen by 1.5C. This is the level that it was agreed not to be reached at the Paris Summit in 2015. If we keep burning coal, gas and oil at the rates we are currently, we would have surpassed this temperature by this time.

Naturally, the biggest issue here is that it can be changed. It is not inevitable. If we become more hands on and increase our efforts of lowering emissions, the effects will pay off immediately. With parties vowing to end fracking and fight for a greener nation, we need to ensure our votes are carefully thought out. If climate is at the top of your personal manifesto, then listen up.

It is so important that we, as young people, vote for who has the best manifesto. Avoid voting for a party purely because you do not want someone from the opposing party to get a seat. This is how individuals end up regretting their decisions, as well as things going horribly wrong. Over a million young people are not on the electoral roll, and our vote makes a huge difference.

Register to vote at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Photo Credit: David Bagnall/Alamy, April 2014

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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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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Two super easy homemade face-masks you need to try!

Are you aware of the great opportunities that are available to you when it comes down to making your own face mask?  Not only is it organic, but your skin will love it!

You may be thinking this sounds like a Pinterest fail going to happen but I am telling you now it’s not.

This time of year, your skin needs a lot of TLC and what’s a better way of doing that than using freshly sourced ingredients!? This is better for the environment because you’re using products that are friendly to your skin and have not been tested on. Here are two different home-made face masks for you to try:

First up is my all-time favourite which is the organic banana face mask. Basically, this will give your skin a healthy glow. All you need is:

  • One mashed banana.
  • Mix the banana with a tablespoon of orange juice and table spoon of honey.
  • Apply to the face for 15 mins.
  • Rinse your face with lukewarm water and do not forget to moisturize.

The second face mask does not sound amazing, but it’s brilliant for oily skin.  For this mask you’re going to need to:

  • Combine an egg yolk with a tablespoon of honey and then olive oil mixed with oatmeal.
  • Apply this mask for 20 minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Use your moisturizer and toner like normal because your skin will love you for it!

There you have it, two beautiful organic face mask that will work wonders for your skin but is kinder to the environment.

By student blogger, Emily Jackson

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Some businessses are helping prevent global warming: here is how they’re doing it

A greenhouse gas is a substance that causes the greenhouse effect or as we all know it, the process of climate change. Greenhouse gasses are emitted into our atmosphere, acting as radiation and it warms the planet’s surface.

Greenhouse gas emission levels are heightened by a lot of things we do including: the transport we use, the way we produce and consume our food and deforestation. A huge contributor is the manufacturing sector. This sector produces raw materials and goods that we use every single day, we probably couldn’t survive without half of it.

These factories produce two kinds of greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Direct emissions: greenhouse gasses that are emitted at the factory/facility
  • Indirect emissions: greenhouse gasses that are associated with the facility’s use of energy, but it’s not on site.

In recent news, it has been reported that China (the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world) was reducing their coal power projects in a bid to use more renewable energies that won’t have a damning effect on our planet. With this movement leading the way, we have looked into the ways other businesses are trying to protect our planet.

1. Energy reduction

Big buildings are the biggest energy users in the world. This is textbook. Businesses have taken action to create certifications that ensue realistic energy reduce goals that will, in time, reduce the amount of energy they’re using – from 12% reductions to 100% reductions.

2. A green commute

Some workplaces are setting rewards for workers who have a ‘green commute’. They are being encouraged to bike to work, use public transport (even though public transport isn’t the MOST green way to travel, if 20 people use a bus/train as opposed to 20 cars? You see the difference) or even walk, instead of using cars and paying congestion charges as well as parking charges.

3. Developing a response

The effects of global warming are being felt in some regions of the world already. In more urban, MEDC, populated areas – this doesn’t feel like the case. In spite of this, businesses have been creating their responses to when these changes do start to happen. It’s allowing them to have a better understanding of how climate change will effect their business and themselves. Baby steps.

4. Assessing carbon footprint

When an organisation investigates how much pollution they are creating, they can gain a lot more scope into how they need to reduce said pollution emissions. A greenhouse gas emission assessment is actually a thing – a business can get one to determine where their changes need to be made once a figure is found.

5. The carbon tax

Basic economics tells us that putting a tax on an action reduces that action. The London congestion charge was introduced to reduce traffic (and car pollution) in the capital. Alas, it worked. In the US, a firm must have a permit for every tonne of carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere. Therefore, this introduces a price on pollution through a permit – which eventually leads to the prevention of global warming.

These simple steps are just some of the things that can be done to reduce global warming. If a large factory can do it, you can too.

W/C 23rd January 2017 sees #ClimateChangeWeek2017 at Canterbury Christ Church University. A week dedicated to raising awareness and having some fun with it to. Full details of events on our social media pages.

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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Goodbye 2016, hello 2017!

There is nothing like the excitement of a new year. A joyous occasion that brings us all together, gives us a new lease of life and in some ways, allows us to start again. After an amazing 2016 at the SGO – we’re ready to make 2017 even better.

2016 was disliked by a lot of people. We lost a lot of great talents, world politics became what can only be described as a bit of a, mess and the general mood was just not good. Our planet has suffered. Record temperatures were taken – with each of the first six months of 2016 recorded as the warmest in a modern temperature record which dates back to 1880, according to NASA. Later assessing of the climate concluded that 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Some positives did come from 2016. There was an 8% decrease in carbon emissions compared to 2014/2015, a 4% water consumption decrease and overall reuse has doubled from 2% to 4%. A small start, but progress is progress.

However, a new year breathes new life. We have a chance to make this year different, and start making a change to being more sustainable. With many people changing their diets in the new year (and hopefully sticking to it) and billions of new years resolutions – we’re already halfway there.

At the SGO, we have so much planned for this year in terms of events to get students and staff university-wide more involved and more importantly, more sustainable, starting with climate change week from the 23rd to 27th January.

More details will be shared as time goes on. We’re in for a very exciting year!

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