Posts Tagged With: Sustainability

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:

Photo Credit: David Bagnall/Alamy, April 2014

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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Egg-cellent ways to keep your Easter sustainable

With Easter approaching, the excitement for the copious amounts of chocolate and hot cross buns is becoming more apparent. Like any holiday, the selection of goodies that comes with it has the ability to not be sustainable.

Here are 5 tips to keep your Easter holiday sustainable:

1. Recycle your wrappers

All aluminium foil wrappers are recyclable and quite a wide variety of people don’t know about this! Make sure that when adding this to your recycling, you scrunch it up into a big collective ball. Small bits of foil don’t get taken by the recycling, make it worth it!

2. Fair Trade Chocolate

Buying Fair Trade and palm-oil free chocolate is not only delicious chocolate that tastes no different to anything else, you are making a world difference by improving the standards for farmers and their families in the countries in which chocolate is being produced. The lack of palm-oil also stops our forests from being cut down. This is so important!

3. Organic and local meal ingredients

A lot of people will join their families in a roast dinner on Easter Sunday, I know I will. When shopping for the ingredients for this meal, try your very best to buy local produce from your butchers and green grocers. It makes an incredible difference, and it’s much better for you as well.

4. Sustainable Easter baskets and painted eggs

One of the most fun times to be sustainable is with crafts. Painting eggs but using natural dyes is incredibly sustainable, as well as creating your baskets out of recycled materials, even your own Easter materials!

5. As little packaging as possible

A holiday means tonnes of wrapping paper, gift bags, plastic plates, the list goes on and on. Using recyclable materials for gifts is a solution, as well as keeping it plain and simple.

From all of us at Sustainability, we wish you a wonderful Easter.

Photo credit: Peter Biela 

By Amanda Elliott, Communications Officer

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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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A chat with Erik from Divine Chocolate

As you may already know, on 1st March 2017, we are holding our second evening of Fairtrade chocolate tasting with Divine Chocolate – a London based organisation that creates an incredible selection of chocolate in a variety of flavours with fairtrade ingredients only.

I had a chat with Erik, master choclatier at Divine Chocolate ahead of his second visit to Canterbury about his career, ideas on sustainability and chocolate of course.

Most companies are beginning to adapt fairtrade guidelines, do you believe this has taken too long?

Getting the public to change shopping habits is a matter of educating people about the options available.  As well, showing the larger players that there is a market for Fairtrade is something Divine has been doing for many years.

What is the best thing about working for a company that prides itself upon fairtrade?

Working for Divine is a pleasure.  Not too long ago, I became a father and it made me rethink the concept of family.  Of course, many of the cocoa farmers have families themselves and they want the best for their children – ensuring that they can earn a good wage for their work, is incredibly important to me.

So true! How did you get into this field?

I have a background in education, teaching music and drama, but have always been interested in food and drink.  Divine were looking for people to share the Divine Chocolate story, so I produced a video of myself presenting a recipe in the kitchen, got the interview, and won over the panel!  That was three years ago, and now I speak at schools, run chocolate making workshops and give after dinner talks.

Besides from Divine Chocolate, what is your favourite brand of chocolate?

There are three main types of cocoa being grown, and one of them is called Criollo and is used in less than 3% of the worlds’ chocolate production.  If you can find it, it is certainly an interesting taste experience.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Clearly eating lots of chocolate!

I should hope so! What can we expect from the chocolate tasting evening?

Participants can expect to learn how to use all five senses to better understand chocolate. We learn about the history of chocolate, chocolate production from bean to bar, and of course we hear about Fairtrade cocoa farming.

And lastly, what does sustainability mean to you?

For me, sustainability means that I’m ensuring future generations will be able to share my love of chocolate.


There you have it! Join us on 1st March 2017 at Barista and Baker for this fun-filled, informative evening!




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8 Ways You Can Be Sustainable This Christmas

Ah Christmas. A large population of the world say this is their favourite time of year, myself included. It may be cold, but my god, there are fairy lights everywhere and chocolate is on sale in every place that sells it. What. A. Delight.

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Remembrance Day for Lost Species

In staggering new information, it has been assessed that three animal species become extinct every hour. This phenomenon is investigated by scientists all over the world – everyday. On a cultural scale, it can be feared that we begin to forget the beauty of these now historic life forms.


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The good, the bad and the ugly

The notion of saving our planet has had quite an impression on world media in the last month or so. Awareness is being raised for climate change on so many different platforms.

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A chat with Caroline Smith, CCCU Show Choir

The end of this month will see the next of the Tiny Yurt Concerts – put on by CCCU’s unbelievable show choir. The group has risen in popularity massively over the last year, putting on shows all over campus and Canterbury. I’ve had a chat with the choir’s media officer (and good friend of mine), Caroline Smith, to find out some more about the show and the choir.

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Expect Respect

For those of you that follow the CCCU Sustainability Facebook and Twitter pages – you would’ve seen that myself (Amanda Elliott), Megan Cork and Claire Richardson, all part of the sustainability team have taken a pledge to Expect Respect.

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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?!



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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