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University celebrates Go Green Week

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Image credit: Joerge S
Image credit: Joerge S

This week the University has been celebrating Go Green Week, a national week of action on climate change that will take place in schools, colleges and universities across the country.

A range of events have been planned for the week that will this year place a national focus on ‘breaking up’ with the fossil fuel industry on ‘Fossil Free Friday’.

Many of the events will focus on sustainable modes of transport. Local charity RideOn will be selling reconditioned second-hand bikes at the Pre Loved Bike Sale while Dr Bike, a trained bike mechanic, will be holding a bike safety check up.

Staff and students who walk to Streatham Campus on Tuesday 11 February and St Luke’s Campus on Thursday 13 February will be able to collect free pastries, tea and coffee upon arrival. In order to obtain the free breakfast, students will need to present a photo taken on their morning walk. The same offer will be available at St Luke’s Campus on Thursday 13 February.

The Sustainability Team will be holding a mini Free Stuff event by giving away stationery that has been donated to the Student ReUse Project and providing information on how to get involved with sustainability at the University. Travel Devon Roadshow’s trained advisors will be on both campuses to speak to students about sustainable modes of transport.

There will also be a showcase of volunteering opportunities for those who would like to be involved with sustainability, including local organisations and student societies.

The University events have been organised in partnership with the Sustainability Team, Students’ Green Unit and student societies. Societies involved include EnviroSoc, Oxfam and Community Action.

Bryony Wilde, Sustainability Projects Officer said: “We are delighted to be supporting Go Green Week again for 2014. The initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to get involved in a wealth of interactive events across the Streatham and St Lukes campuses. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the Students’ Green Unit and student societies for a week of sustainability-themed activities”.

Go Green Week is an initiative organised by People and Planet, the largest student network in Britain, campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.

This year’s national ‘break up’ theme, encouraging people to move away from using fossil fuels, originates from the fact that Go Green Week 2014 coincides with Valentines Day. Last year, over 50,000 students and staff pledged to make personal changes, demanded institutional commitments and took political action on climate change.

The People and Planet website says: “The fossil fuel industry is unequivocally driving us towards a global climate crisis: we will not keep dangerous climate change at bay without halting our extraction of fossil-fuels.

Too many UK universities support the fossil fuel industry directly through their research, their £6bn endowments and investments and their partnerships with some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world like BP and Shell”.

James Smurthwaite, a Third Year English student, commented “Whilst I thoroughly support the Go Green Week initiative, I wish the Univeristy would pledge larger-scale changes. I feel this is a token gesture in the face of an international problem”.

A majority of the events will take place on Streatham Campus on Tuesday 11 February and St Luke’s Campus Thursday 13 February.

A full Go Green Week timetable can be found in the Sustainability section of the University’s website.

Tom Elliott, Online News Editor

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