A year of being the Green Impact Frontrunner

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Looking back from where I am now to where I started, I am glad I decided to be a part of the Green Impact project.

I’ve been a part of Green Impact over 2 academic years, starting from being a student volunteer (Green Impact Project Assistant) to taking a more leadership role and assisting the running of the project in DMU as the Green Impact Frontrunner.

Some of the guys from the Estate department play football on Wednesday nights which I joined; we got so good we decided to take things on an international level, so we planned a weekend trip to Germany, and I can boldly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. We watched a Bundesliga match and we played our own international friendly, unfortunately we lost but it was a very close game.

On a more serious note a lot of things were achieved throughout the year; external audits, new teams joining, Planting project, student switch off party, group workshops and many more. The biggest success for me was the award ceremony as we celebrated everything that was achieved by individuals and teams, and recognised them for their hard work throughout the year in the Green Impact project.

I’ve been opportune to work with and develop friendships with students from different departments of the university I wouldn’t have met if not for Green Impact. I’ve also been privileged to work with and learn a lot from the universities environment & sustainability team, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to be a part of.

 

Joseph Ogunremi (Green Impact Frontrunner 2014-2015)

 

My experience as the first Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

I remember that day. After class I decided to go towards the Campus Centre instead of going back home immediately. There was the sun and it was still warm outside. It was late October. So, I went to the Campus Centre and passing by I noticed a colourful stand. I read ’Green Impact’ and Karl introduced himself as the environmental officer. He started to explain to me what was the project and proposed that I should join them for an environmental auditing the next week. That experience was very interesting and I didn’t think such activities were organised and proposed by a University! Afterward I was even more committed to apply for the position as Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner at their office. When that hope came true, I couldn’t believe it!

Today is my last day in the office and I realize how many things happened since my arrival. There was the auditing at Leicestershire County Council, the training as a Green Impact Project Assistant, visiting the Halls of Residence with Fran and Joseph for Students Switch Off, the Fairtrade Fortnight with lots of activities, the Climate Positive Week with interesting talks and lunches, then the designing and planting activity for one of the Excellence project within Green Impact and eventually the organization of the Green Impact Award Ceremony to celebrate the efforts of everyone!

The placement lasted five months and it was quite a challenge to match work, study, classes and social activities, but it improved my timing and organizational skills.

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work in an office for the first time and the chance to understand that it was the kind of job I would like to do as part of my future career. Everyone in the office and in the department helped me when I needed support. I think I developed some new important skills thanks to this experience. Indeed, I feel the Frontrunner scheme is a good investment for DMU students and it requests the appropriate commitment and time while studying. Finally, I truly believe that the University can play a key role in teaching more about sustainability and that this knowledge will be embedded by students for the rest of their lives.

 

Student volunteer Denise and I during the Green Impact Award Ceremony

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Student volunteer Vanessa and I during the team building eco-bingo activity

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Joseph and I

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Thank you everyone!

Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change 2015)

Basic steps to a sustainable holiday

Last Saturday the academic year officially ended and next Sunday 21st June will be the first day of summer, known as Summer Solstice!

Summer to me means mainly holiday, even if you work or study, there is a special atmosphere and you feel more relaxed, or better, just sleepier.

Despite all, you are likely to go on holiday somewhere this summer, so the question is if there is the possibility to spend a sustainable holiday. Well, actually there are a lot of options, but just highlight some basic points!

First, by choosing not to fly is the easiest step to take. Then, if you love the trip ‘on the road’ style, you can either check the car-sharing websites or choose the train. You now have to consider where to rest and sleep. Camping and hostels without extra benefits and services are a good low carbon choice, while a giant hotel with the snow track in the middle of a desert may be a bad option regarding the energy consumption. Also activities play a major role in assessing the sustainability of your holiday. You can either rent a motorboat or a sailing boat to explore the coast. You can either rent a motorbike or a bike to visit a new city. You can either take a cab or go on foot to get to that restaurant by the sea. You can go hiking and spend a day on the beach without leaving rubbish after yourself. You should apply all the common sense rules about respect, protect and make better the environment you live in or just visit.

Some people prefer the sea, some others the mountains. Someone likes the hills and the countryside. Others love forest, ocean, fiord, moor or lake. But no-one likes them dirty and polluted.

So, the starting point to plan a sustainable holiday is first of all to make all of your holidays sustainable by starting to act respectfully to the environment.

Happy summer 2015!

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Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)

Green Impact Award Ceremony at DMU

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The Green Impact Award Ceremony was celebrated on Wednesday 3rd June at the Trinity Chapel. The Green Impact is a national project run by the National Union of Students. At DMU the project helps teams of staff to adopt greener behaviour in their offices by doing different environmental-friendly activities. Throughout four months, the teams with the help of volunteering students fill a workbook, which contains different activities covering recycling, reducing waste, saving energy, Fairtrade, transport and so on. After the students auditing, depending on the number of the activities completed and the points scored, team can achieve a Bronze, Bronze Plus, Silver or Gold award. So, the Award Ceremony was the occasion for staff and students who participated in the project to celebrate their efforts and achievements.

The sustainable team try to make the event as sustainable as possible. To decorate the tables we used empty glass bottles with cow parsley flowers; the food served by the catering was mainly Fairtrade and our goodie bags contained a Green Impact Americano mug, a Green Impact bike seat cover, a Fairtrade chocolate bar, a bee friendly seed pack and a Green Impact sport bottle. In addition, we made ourselves the goodie bags from recycled newspapers and we put instruction about making a bag in the bag itself!

The ceremony was a success. Professor Fleming, Director of Sustainable Development, presented the winner teams of this year, which were: Strategic and International Partnerships for Bronze; GH 2/3 for Bronze Plus; Learning Support Centre, Green POD and Student Advice Centre (Hugh Aston) for Silver and Executive Services and ITMS for Gold.

Also, Estates Development, Estates Services, Student & Academic Services and Finance received the Excellence Award. In addition, special awards were given to Amanda Thorley as Environmental Hero, to Executive Services for Engagement, to ITMS for Innovation. The Highest scoring team was ITMS and the GH 2/3 was the Best New Team.

The students who took place in the project as Green Impact Project Assistants (GIPAs), Auditors or volunteers got a certificate to celebrate their engagement and commitment.

Each year, the Green Impact project shows how powerful and easy can be raise awareness about environmental issue among the University. It is a chance to staff to play a key role in environmental education and for students is the opportunity to learn the importance of such matter that can be continued for the rest of their life thanks to DMU.

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Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)