5th June - World Environment Day

Today is Tuesday 5th June and it is World Environment Day! This year, the focus is on plastic pollution. Many of us have seen the Planet Earth 2 which exposed that particular issue to the general public. Thanks to the great Sir David Attenborough's documentary series attracting millions of viewers across the UK and the world, this allowed the highlighting of the issue.
Beat Plastic Pollution, World Environment Day, UN environment

What is the World Environment Day about?

World Environment Day is the UN's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

What can we do to encourage sustainability at Leeds Beckett?

At our university, we are taking sustainability more and more seriously. Currently, we are in our third year of Green Impact scheme. This scheme helps us to embed the issue of sustainability within the daily work of our members of staff. Being a behavioural-change scheme, we are looking to inspire people to make changes in their routine on their own rather than forcing it on them. We want staff to be mindful of switching off the light before they leave work, that they offer another staff member to reuse stationery via warpit or even how they would think of ways to shift to active travel. We currently have 18 teams at our university and we involve almost 60 people in that. 

Students are also benefit from this scheme, by having the chance to volunteer as Student Environmental Auditor. They receive training about how to audit Green Impact teams and they are rewarded with a fantastic opportunity to broaden their knowledge and improve their CV. Many of them start in the unknown and leave inspired. 

This week, through Green Impact, we are having Spring Clean Week, which encourages teams to reduce the amount of clutter they have in their office and we encourage them to offer other staff to reuse their redundant items through warpit. This is our internal reuse platform (we call it our internal ebay). Next week, we shall show a documentary of food waste called Just Eat It. We will have a discussion at the end and have Rob Greenland (founder of Zero Waste Leeds) to discuss about his campaign. Future projects include a little-pick session as well as another dedicated week to promote the UN 17 Sustainable Goals.

What can I do reduce my environmental impacts?

1. Give up on bottled water. Buy an aluminium water flask instead and drink from the tap.

2. Recycle! Many people don't recycle or recycle wrongly. 

3. Commute between campuses using the electric bike.

4. Reduce your printing.

5. Use soap instead of liquid soap. Most parts of the bottles are not recyclable. 

6. Buy local food. 

7. Buy less food. We are forcing a diet on you but UK households throw £13bn worth of food every year.

8. Reuse old jars. 

9. Shower a minute less. You will save over 1000 litre of water over a year. 

10. Eat less meat. The whole meat industry contributes the most carbon footprint than any other industry.

11. Reduce the amount of disposables you buy. For example, disposable razors, batteries, plastic cups or plates. 

12. Join a Green Impact team ;) 

13. Add or claim items on Warpit ;)