First, we would like to say thank you to everyone who joined us at our events over the week and to those who hosted us for talks and tours. Our aim for Sustainability Week was to engage and inspire our university community about the various elements of sustainability and climate action that Newcastle University takes. Our sustainability week also coincided with multiple other themed weeks such as Food Waste Action Week, Fairtrade Fortnight and Sustainable Development Goal Week so you can find some excellent resources relating to these themes over on our Twitter.
Meet the Sustainability team in Phillip Robinson Library
We had a stand in the library on Monday to answer any questions that staff and students had about sustainability and to discuss what climate action Newcastle University is taking. We asked the question “what year is our target to be Net-Zero on carbon emissions by?” to staff and students that walked in through the entrance and most responses were correct in selecting 2030. If you attend any staff or student welcome events in the future you will find some members of the sustainability team at our stall there so you can pop by and ask us some more questions, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tour of the National Green Infrastructure Facility
We had a great time meeting Dr Ross Stirling at the National Green Infrastructure Facility over at the Urban Science Building on the helix site for a tour. Those who joined us had a guided tour of the experiments being conducted outside in the living laboratory and were taught about Sustainable Drainage Systems and various elements of green infrastructure. The swale outside is around 130m long and enables research and demonstrations of leaky barriers, there is also a small wetland for additional research purposes.
An image of one of the SuDS outside the Urban Sciences Building
Climate Connections – A Climate Anxiety Workshop
This was a great workshop by Venture Zero where we learnt about managing climate anxiety. First, we discussed what mental health and anxiety are and how it is normal to feel worried about an uncertain future. Following this, we spoke about the climate crisis and how this will impact out future. We then were told that taking action is the best way to combat these feelings of anxiety and created a ‘ta da’ list of all the positive actions we are taking to be more sustainable. This workshop was very interesting and left all its participants feeling much more hopeful!
Our ‘Ta Da’ list of actions we are taking to be more sustainable
We held a Sustainability Festival on Friday where we invited staff and students to meet some local eco-friendly companies, environmental charities, and the universities waste contractors. The stalls provided engaging information about their work in Newcastle, we also had a presentation to highlight the submissions we received for our photo competition and played the David Attenborough documentary Blue Planet. Some highlights include:
- The Natural History Society of Northumbria joined us to discuss their research on bees and orchids in Northumberland.
- ResLife (our student accommodation support team) had a stand at the festival to address how we can recycle everyday items effectively but putting them into the correct bin, they made this into a fun game.
- NUSU Give It A Go joined us and taught us how to make tealight holders from used jam jars that were clean with their labels removed.
- Nil Living are a company local to the University (based in Grainger market) who are a zero waste and refill shop that aim to help people use eco-friendly products in their homes/everyday life and shop mindfully.
Thank you again to all those who joined us at our events or stopped by for a sustainable themed chat!