Artwork With an Environmental Twist

Final Year Fine Art student at DMU, Helen Gunn, has been producing some very interesting work around ecology  and sustainability and we thought we should share it with everyone.

This is the piece: ‘Broken – Crassulaceae’ 

The large sculpture was exhibited indoors and then installed in the DMU car park for a day in the summer of 2016.

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The sculpture concerns a plant, ecology and migration. The form is based on a perennial sedum belonging to the Crassulaceae family which evolved 100-60 million years ago.

The eco-artist stated that the Crassulaceae ‘Is a popular ‘bought garden plant’ because it conveniently survives neglect.  By representing the flower umbel with toy vehicles I make comparisons between the plant’s longevity and the short-lived era of the automobile; between global auto trade with its brand divisions and Crassulaceae species hybridisation and global spread through natural and cultivated systems.  The reversal of car scale to plant privileges the sedum representation, disturbing typical hierarchies and honours Crassulaceae longevity, also plant capacity to absorb harmful CO2 emissions released by driven vehicles.  The sculpture is constructed from recycled woods.  By presenting it as ‘stem broken’ the perennial capacity for re-growth is acknowledged. Vehicles forming the umbel were donated by children.’

Helen also created another piece titled ‘Green House’.
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The sculpture is made from hanging panels which are ‘sacrificial boards’. Wooden panels which are sacrificed during the fabrication of other projects.

Helen’s future work will focus on the changing climate and attitudes towards nature during this period.

Special thanks to Helen Gunn, for letting us discuss her brilliant environmental and Eco-conscious sculptures!

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– Alexandra Kilcran, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

We Wish You a Sustainable Christmas and a Waste Free New Year! ♻️🎄

We Wish You a Sustainable Christmas and a Waste Free New Year! ♻️🎄

We know it can be easy to buy too much food, or waste a lot during Christmas, but by using LED lights, only buying food which you know you’ll eat and maybe a treat or two here and there, buying and using sustainable wrapping paper or just buying less overall, you can enjoy Christmas without it having a negative effect on the environment!

Here are some really useful websites with tips on how to have a more sustainable Christmas:

Friends of the Earth – 25 Eco-friendly Christmas Tips

The Guardian – 7 Tips for Smart Christmas Recycling

Recycle This – Recycling at Christmas

Recycle Now – Recycling at Christmas

The Huffington Post – Reducing Food Waste

Love Food Hate Waste – Money Saving Christmas

Leicester City Council – Christmas and New Year Recycling

Energy Saving LED Christmas Lights

The Guardian – Minimalist Christmas

One Green Planet – Upcycled Christmas Gifts

 

 

 

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!! ♻️🎄

New Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner! 🌱

Hello! I’m Alex Kilcran and I’m the new Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner in the Estates Department of DMU. My job is to manage the Sustainable DMU social media accounts and encourage staff and students to think about their role in looking after our environment. We support a number of initiatives for students including NUS Student Switch Off and NUS Green Impact, FREE Park and Ride for staff and Dr Bike sessions held frequently.

 

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I promise we do more than just hug trees!

Here are our social media accounts and other useful links, feel free to message our FB or Twitter accounts if you have any queries or wish to get involved further!

Facebook: Sustainable DMU

Twitter: Sustainable DMU

Instagram: Sustainable DMU

NUS Student Switch Off: NUS Student Switch Off InfoDMU Student Switch Off FB

FREE Park and Ride for staff: DMU Website     

The Results of This Year’s Green Impact at DMU

This year, our Green Impact scheme at DMU has been outstanding! And like each year before, Sustainable DMU enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of staff and students who have been involved, by hosting an awards Ceremony for those involved. Please follow the link to find out more information about the scheme.  http://sustainability.nus.org.uk/green-impact

The ceremony is an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of both staff members and students who have participated in the Green Impact project. This year the teams have completed 700 environmental actions including actions on waste reduction, recycling, saving energy reducing carbon emissions and engaging with other staff members in their directorate and faculty. Nearly 5000 actions have been completed over the course of the 7 years that De Montfort University have been involved in the scheme.

The NUS Green Impact scheme allows staff and students to use an online workbook, which has a range of environmental actions which combined will significantly help to reduce carbon footprints on campus; these range from fairly easy actions, to much larger and slightly more difficult actions. Those who have been involved with the scheme for a number of years will be able to progress towards a higher level of achievement, having completed the other easier tasks in previous years, whilst those who have just joined will complete easier actions.

The scheme helps to break down boundaries and to build staff and student relations as staff notably appreciates the input that the students have had in aiding with their progress. It also offers students the opportunity to build their personal portfolios, with an Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) accredited environmental auditing scheme, whilst staff are able to prove that they can actively adapt to change and are contributing to a more sustainable future at DMU.

On the day the ceremony was hosted by Environmental and Sustainability Officer Karl Letten, Green Impact Frontrunner Sebastian Schellerer and Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner Rebecca Mason in the Trinity Chapel. The room was packed full of excited guests ready to receive a well-deserved award handed over by guest, Professor Paul Fleming from the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) in the Faculty of Technology.

The ceremony began at 12pm and ran until 1pm beginning with a short discussion from Karl Letten about the Green Impact scheme and the work that has been achieved so far; this focused mainly on the past year and was followed by a speech from NUS representative, Rachel Soper, as well as thanks and praise to the teams and to Karl from both Frontrunners, Sebastian and Rebecca.

After introductions and thanks, it was time stuck into handing out the awards!

The awards handed out were as follows:

Bronze

FOTAC

QEII Leisure Centre

Silver

4th Floor Flyers

Strategic and International Partnerships

Gold

Learning Support Centre

ITMS

Green POD

Excellence

Estates Development

Estates Services

Student and Academic Services

Finance Greens

Executive, Governance and Legal Services

Special Awards

ITMS – Innovation

Green POD – Engagement

ITMS – Community

Learning Support Centre – Most Improved Team

QEII Leisure Centre – Best New Team

Environmental Hero’s

Student – Cybeles Nunziata

Student – Sara Williams

Student – Wing Tang

Staff – Amanda Thorley

Project Assistants

Sara Williams

Quinn Franklin

Nizam Patel

Cybeles Nunziata

Environmental Auditors

Richa Singhal

Sara Williams

Quinn Franklin

Gaza Nathaniel

Cybeles Nunziata

Special Projects for the Excellence Awards

Green Impact team who have previously gained the Gold standard award have the opportunity to undertake a special project on an environmental topic of their choosing. These special projects are awarded with an Excellence standard.

The first project was run by  Student Academic Services, Estates Development and Estates Services, who organised and ran two biodiversity projects including bulb planting on the grass area in front of the Edith Murphy building and outside of the Kimberlin Library. The bulb planting element used bulbs which produce flowers rich in nectar which is ideal for bees when they come out of hibernation. The second element of the project was a bat box making workshops which included background information on bat ecology from Conservation Officer Nathalie Cossa who is fluent in all things bats from the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. Nathalie presented on the lives of bats, how they are going extinct and how we can help them out.

The second project was run by the Finance Team who worked towards reducing paper use and recycling by cleaning out their archives and moving some forms to electronic formats so they would not need to print them off; they also ran iPad training sessions for senior management. Through their efforts the team managed to recycle over 210 bags of paper which is a tremendous achievement.

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The third was run by Trinity House and is an ongoing project focused around biodiversity in the gardens that is looking into the possibility of having beehives on campus. The project is currently in the process of bringing in a local ecologist to come and give advice on the project.

Our top performer this year was the ITMS team, winning four separate awards

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Whilst our environmental heroes shone with their awards…

We were excited to welcome the Queen Elizabeth II Leisure Centre as our best newcomer.

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All award winners received a goody bag handmade from recycled newspaper which included a bicycle seat cover, a recycled drinks bottle, a Divine Fairtrade chocolate bar, a pedometer and instructions on how to make your own paper bag.

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You can download this template to make your own recycled newspaper (or paper) bag here… http://www.noteworthy.com/templates/paper_bags 

Special thanks go out to the Estates Maintenance Services gardening team, who spent a lot of their time assisting with projects and by providing materials to do so.

Each year involvement with the Green Impact scheme advances; next year we expect the amount of teams to grow and produce some brilliant projects and subsequent results! All those at DMU are welcome to join in and we appreciate any level of involvement.

If you would like to get involved with the Green Impact scheme next year, please get in touch with Karl Letten, Environmental and Sustainability Officer (kletten@dmu.ac.uk).

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Rebecca Mason, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner

Green Impact Awards Ceremony 2015 – 2016

Green Impact Awards Ceremony 2015 – 2016

On Tuesday 24th May, we will be hosting the ‘Green Impact Awards Ceremony’ to show our appreciation to staff and students who took part in efforts to improve environmental performance and reduce carbon footprints at DMU as part of the Green Impact scheme.

Green Impact (http://www.green-impact.org.uk/ ) is an environmental accreditation and awards scheme that is organised by the National Union of Students (NUS), which runs in various universities around the UK and is soon to spread into the NHS, Local authorities and other businesses. It teaches simple ways to tackle environmental issues internally, with the hope that these will in turn become daily practices used at the respective workplace.

The scheme works under the basis that staff teams in different faculties and departments at the university aim to complete a criteria of actions comprised of small and large tasks over the course of the academic year. Different levels of achievement can be obtained by completing the tasks that fall under one of the categories which are bronze, bronze+, silver, gold, and excellence. Student volunteers support staff by auditing progress to help staff to achieve these goals;this helps to build positive relationships between staff and students.

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The scheme has been running for 7 years and in total has seen nearly 5000.environmental actions achieved. This year however saw 700 environmental actions completed by staff and student teams and a number of environmental projects have been run including building bat boxes, planting wildlife friendly bulbs on campus to increase biodiversity, and reducing paper use in our Finance Directorate.

Other participating teams undertook environmental tasks which included:

  • Putting up signs which explain how to use double sided photocopying
  • Setting printers to duplex by default
  • Using tap water instead of bottled water in meetings
  • New staff have an environmental induction
  • They produce a lighting and equipment responsibility plan to make sure all equipment is turned off at the end of the day

 

Written by Rebecca Mason – 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)

 

‘Walk the Wall’ Challange

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One month ago we started the ‘Walk the Wall’ challenge, whereby DMU staff were invited to count the steps they took every day for one month and the challenge consisted in together walking the length of the Great Wall in China.

The project was a success in term of participation, over 160 members of staff signed up and tracked their steps for four weeks .To help count the steps we provided them with a customised pedometer with the Green Impact logo to fix at the belt.

The Environmental & Sustainability Officer Karl collected every week the number of steps taken from people involved in the challenge and the result was that they have collectively walked 5,938 miles which is really good and means they have walked further than the Ming Dynasty section of the Great Wall, which is 5,532 miles long.  That’s a total of 13,652,552 steps as part of the Challenge.

This is a great achievement by everyone taking part!

Walking is an easy and healthy activity, which fits perfectly into our everyday routine. So, just make the first step!

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Fedora Agosti (Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner)