Student Switch Off, time for fun!


Last week was a great one for Student Switch Off here at DMU.

But first things first, what is it?

When I first arrived at my accommodation, New Wharf Hall, I noticed a big colourful poster on the board of our Kitchen. There was written something about a competition between all the Halls of Residence and there were funny pictures too. I was very curious, so I taped the link on my laptop and I found the DMU Student Switch Off Facebook page.

There I discovered that it was an energy saving competition between halls of residence. That means if by the end of the year a DMU hall has saved more energy per person than the others, the whole hall is going to win a big give away of Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream!

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Also, if you live in a DMU hall, after liking the page, you are able to enter the weekly photo competitions. They usually involve posting pictures on the page about a specific topic, like doing the washing at 30 degrees, putting a lid on the pan or switching the light off while you are leaving your room. Of course the first who post the photos can win vouchers for large tubes of Ben & Jerry’s or other goods such as Cinema Tickets.

To promote the page and eco-friendly behaviour, the NUS run a training event for students willing to be Student Switch Off Ambassadors to help others students to understand the importance of little changes in our every-day life for the environment and to reduce the University’s carbon footprint.

As a SSO Ambassador, I went to some Halls visits to promote the competition with Fran from NUS and all the times, students were keen to know more about the initiative and positive about the possibility of a victory!

The Student Switch Off is a good way to raise awareness about reducing energy consumption and avoiding waste precious resources.

So, last Tuesday at DMU took place the Ben & Jerry’s party open to all the students from the winning Hall, The Grange. There was a lot of Raspberry Chocolatey Chunk Greek Style Frozen Yogurt. Yummy and, of course Fairtrade!


Also, later on the week, it took place a Focus Group about SSO. A group of eight students, Professor Richard Bull and the Environment &Sustainability Officer Karl Letten discussed the project, its effectiveness and the idea of a new Dashboard to track easily if your accommodation is leading or not in that energy saving competition. That informal chat was very interesting. Everyone shared ideas, suggestions and a lot of enthusiasm. The Focus Group reveals that when students are involved in something positive, important and they can feel responsible for the common good, such a healthier life with less carbon, well, it works!


Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)





My bike and I

Exams period is about to end and it is time for some students to go back to their home.

This means a lot of things, such as saying goodbye to all the people you have met during last months, your flatmates, your accommodation, the library and for someone is a real goodbye to Leicester, because if you are a third year student or an international student, then you won’t be back at DMU next September.

One day I saw a post on Facebook where my friend Lise was selling her beloved bike to someone who will be in Leicester next year. I know that for her that bike was extremely important, so I asked to write how much it actually was.

So, I am happy to share her feeling in this short tale.

My bike and I.

This story begins when I arrived in a city far too big for me. Everything was different from where I grew up. I was not afraid, but I needed to take my time to adapt to this new environment. I was curious to discover the city centre, to know each quarter and to visit the countryside surrounding it. But every good adventure is fulfilled with good a companion. And I knew what it would have been. So I looked for it on Gumtree and when I saw its pictures I knew right at the moment that it was the one that I needed. Its shape, its colours… we were made to ride together. When it arrived at home at the end of a sunny day I rode it until the sun went down. And that is how I tamed the city and its surroundings. I went up and down, further, faster with my trustful machine. Rain, wind or even snow, nothing could stop us. By day or night. We were free. Free from the traffic, my legs were the only carburant it needed. As quiet as a mouse, we were flying along the canal. But every story has an end and ours takes place where it began. I’ve just post an ad on internet. This is farewell time and time to find a new owner.

Lise’s inspiring story tells us that is never too late to learn to ride, because your bike will be a perfect buddy for life!


Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)

Volunteering becomes fashionable


During last weeks, I volunteered in the Green Impact Excellence, a planting project to spread biodiversity through the DMU Campus. The project consisted in different sessions, from designing the plaques for the planters to the actual planting activities. So, I had the opportunity to meet students from other faculties, such as architecture, finance and accounting, fashion design and so on. Among others, I met Denise, a Chinese fashion student in her 2nd year at De Montfort University. A ‘Fashion Show’ is held for the final projects of fashion design students, which involves a catwalk with the garments designed by the student. Denise asked me to take part in the show by wearing her clothes for the catwalk.

That day we met at the Heritage House and she helped preparing me for the event. The fashion laboratory was full of people, students and tutors. The catwalk was essential and the audience was, fortunately, not so big. Eventually, I did a catwalk with the clothes of a Denise’s friend holding a flower. Green touch for a glamorous event!

Taking part in volunteering activities with the sustainability team gave me the possibility to create new connection with students with a different background.

Furthermore, the sustainability issue is becoming bigger also in the fashion field. Actually some fashion company are trying to become more ethical and sustainable.

Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)





“Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”


Last week, as my lectures finished, I went to Italy for a couple of days. While I was home, it took place the start of the Expo Milano 2015, which theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy, will host from May 1 to October 31, 2015. Over this six-month period, Milan will become a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. What a challenging theme!

It will be a platform for exchanging ideas and sharing solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future. Expo 2015 will give everyone the opportunity to discover and taste the world’s best dishes and gastronomic traditions of each of the exhibitor countries.


The explicit commitment undertaken by Expo Milano 2015 has been to produce a great event, focusing on respect for the environment, local communities and where they live. So, sustainability is a central pillar of this commitment, a universal value that permeates all aspects of the Expo: a projection into a sustainable future for the planet and society as a whole. In particular, the environmental commitment of Expo 2015 takes form in the implementation of criteria of sustainability applied to all aspects and the entire lifecycle of the event, in order to prevent, mitigate or compensate any possible negative impact on the environment or on local communities.

In line with its theme: “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, as well as its adherence to sustainability and the circular economy, Expo Milano 2015 is implementing a waste management strategy that prioritizes all environmental and financial considerations that help minimizing the use of resources and production of waste to be sent to land-fill, while maximizing re-use, re-cycling, and re-purposing

The recycling system used on the Expo Milano 2015 site is the same as that currently operating in the city of Milan. This system is slightly different from the UK one, indeed there are five different recycling categories, which are: paper and cardboard: glass; plastic and metal packaging; organic (food scraps, compostable and biodegradable glasses, dishes, and cutlery) and unsorted waste. The objective is that 70 percent of all refuse generated on the site is recycled, through the agency of the appropriate consortia and composting centers.












Obviously, the United Kingdom was part of Expo 2015. The UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 is inspired by the journey of the honey bee and highlights the vital role of pollination in the global food chain. It is a metaphor for how the UK is a hive of innovation and creativity helping to feed the planet. The UK Pavilion will take you on an immersive journey through a British orchard and wildflower meadow, before entering a 14 metre high hive. A series of landscapes tells the story of how Britain contributes world leading solutions to some of today’s greatest challenges.

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Let’s take a virtual trip to it!


General Info:



Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)