Climate Marches In Leicester and London for COP21

Over 350 people marched in Leicester alone on Saturday 28th with banners and chants alike to show that they want their voice to be heard at the COP21 conferences in Paris which start today.

Our frontrunners also took to the streets and marched alongside the Green party, Friends of the Earth, Transition and many others green groups, many of whom took their chants, banners and signs to London to join the masses marching for climate change.

 

At the end of the march, Leicester city labour party leader, Adam Clarke took to the stage to deliver a speech about climate change in Leicester and their hopes to be a 100% Green and sustainable city by 2050 or sooner.

Despite the (not so warm) weather, thousands of people from all around the country turned up to march in London to show that we need to do something to stop global warming and that they say no to fracking and fossil fuels, a large population of which were students.

Many signs dotted about had striking catchphrases such as ‘There is no planet B’; one of the signs being handed out gave individuals the opportunity to explain what you want climate change for (See Below), some even dressed up and danced to marching bands and drums.

Some of the favoured chants amongst those that marched were:

  • No exchanges no refunds, Environmental damage can’t be undone!
  • Leave the Coal in the hole, leave the oil in the soil.

Over the course of the next two weeks, we hope to find out that our voices have been heard, so sit tight, and we hope to keep you updated with good news!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Underground Cycle Hub at Leicester Train Station

Some thoughts from Neil Brown, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), about the new Cycle Hub at Leicester train station.

I was travelling to London each weekend at the start of the year, which is when I discovered the new cycle parking at Leicester Station.

Neil Brown Cycle Park

“Third week of doing this now and I think it’s one of the coolest things transport wise to come to this city lately. It’s a huge peaceful underground park for bicycles under Leicester Station – pay £10 for life membership upstairs in the ticket office, and you get a separate entrance for bikes at the station down a quiet lane (station street), and you tap a key fob and some electric doors swing open. Lights come on automatically. Bicycle then is safe overnight or for several days. In the corridor outside on the same level there are a couple of machines where you can print tickets. Then you’ve got your own lift to get to the covered bridge across the tracks. This is a spare bridge that’s rarely used. By this time you’re starting to feel as if you’ve got your own railway station. Arrive in Leicester and you get to do the whole thing in reverse, no looking for a bus in the dark or plodding about on foot, hop on bicycle and glide peacefully home.”

Making waves with like-minded individuals

Last Monday 9th November, Sebastian and I headed down to Bristol for the 2nd year of the NUS Student Sustainability Summit to learn more about what our jobs working for #SustainableDMU are really about and what kind of impact we can make on the job.

IMAG3176

We met many great individuals who have carried out or were in the process of carrying out some brilliant campaigns and others who had done some ground-breaking research or projects on environmental sustainability issues. The workshops, talks and seminars were inspiring and motivating and well worth the time it took to get there, even the getting lost and talking to disgruntled bus drivers part!

Piers Telemacque (Vice President Society Citizenship, NUS) welcomed us all to the summit along with other speakers such as Naia Lopez (Fossil Free Coordinator, People and Planet) and Sarah Redrup (Student Living Officer, Bristol Students Union) and we listened to a thought-provoking talk from artist, David Buckland (Founder and Director of Cape Farewell) about ‘Climate is Culture’.

The day was broken down into 8 main sections; arrival and registration, welcome talk, workshop 1, lunch, workshop 2 and closing talk, however those who were keen to stay through to the evening had the option to go to a banner stitching and craft session at 7pm and a film screening of ‘Do The Math’ at 8pm; but with a 6am start and a late finish on the cards, Seb and I only made it to 5pm.

Morning workshops Included:

  • Enterprise for Local Food
  • Health and Well-being
  • Influencing Behaviours – Looking Beyond the Individual
  • Migrant Rights
  • What’s Your Education for? (And how can it work for a more just and sustainable future?)

Afternoon Workshops Included:

  • Open Space (Open Discussion)
  • COP21 and Beyond
  • Creative Activism
  • Divestment and Community Energy
  • Green Jobs
  • Solidarity Starts at Home? Sweatshops, Global Justice, Garments and Gigabytes.

Having spent some time over coffee thinking about which workshop we would choose to go to, we eventually decided that our morning would see us at the Influencing Behaviours workshop and our afternoon at the Divestment and Community energy workshop. Both morning and afternoon were an eye opener, and also a relief to see how many other people there are with green issues on their mind.

Andrew Darnton (Managing Director, AD Research and Analysis) led the Influencing Behaviours Workshop and explained some of the psychological and sociological models for behaviours such as the ISM model (Individual, Social and Material) which you can see in the picture below and using this model, in groups, we created our own based on ‘reducing the use of cars on campus’.

IMAG3187

In the afternoon we met other university students who had carried out divestment campaigns, such as a ‘#Divestival’ or a ‘#Die In’ and spoke to Robert van Maaren from ‘Solar Soas’ about his campaign for funding from his university to invest in solar panels.

We also came across two individuals from the University of Leicester, currently in the midst of their own campaign for divestment who joined us later for a drink and a chat about some light topics like veganism, fossil fuels, divestment and Cowspiracy

The day gave us both a lot of motivation to work towards goals in our Green Impact and Green Behaviour Change internships, having seen the process others have gone through to carry out their projects and by also seeing their successes in doing these. The community and speakers that were involved at the summit taught us to have a little faith and a lot of patience and hard work will pay off, but also that we aren’t alone in our efforts to make green change happen…

IMAG3198

Rebecca Mason, Arts and Festivals Management student

Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

 

Gearing Up For Guy Fawkes Night

It’s that time of the year where it starts to get a little bit colder, but a lot more festive. As Octoberfest gets us a bit merry, Halloween tends to get the ball really rolling and we soon follow this up with the tradition of lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night; eventually this takes us to Christmas and New Year’s where things will begin to ease off for 2016, however, not forgetting the celebration of the Scottish National Poet Robert Burns (Burns’ Night) on the 25th, traditionally celebrated with a wee bit off haggis.

We hope you all had a cracking October with a horror filled Halloween and are ready to embrace the bite of November with loads of layers (hopefully knitted by nana from previous Christmas’s) and we shall be bringing you lots of ideas for ways to stay sustainable over the winter holidays; of course, we always embrace your input so if you have any ingenious ideas for ways we can do this and would like to share it with others, please do get in touch with us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SustainableDMU/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/SustainableDMU ALTERNATIVELY just tag us in a post!

*TIP*: This Bonfire night stay sustainable by using old unwanted items which cannot be repaired or rehomed to burn up to keep you warm and celebrate Guy Fawkes.