As an ethical Students’ Union, Northumbria recognizes the impact its operations have on the environment and also its role in both reducing its own impact, lobbying others to in turn reduce their own impact and empower students to campaign for and volunteer in environmental areas.
Northumbria has obtained Silver in NUS’ Green Impact, an accreditation scheme to help Unions share best practice and improve their environmental impact.
What is Northumbria doing?
Our aims this year
As well as working to retain our NUS Green Impact Gold, we want to work with students on three areas;
- Healthy Planet, Healthy You; To cover personal health and wellbeing from fitness to healthy eating.
- Saving Money; Through environmental activities, students also incur lower costs; travel such as cycle to Uni, walk, car share through to rduce/reuse/recycle messaging and upcycling.
- Education; How sustainability applies to a students’ curriculum / aligning to work the University is starting to do
This guides us in our operations and decision making. This can be found in the Policy section of our website.
As part of that we have a series of targets, from reducing the volume of photocopying to increasing participation in environmental volunteering to making it easier to recycle.
NSU achieved Gold standard in NUS’ Green Impact 2016 assessment, a measure of our work in minimising and reducing our environmental impact especially within the building
The Union provides Fairtrade products in Habita
Volunteering and Societies
Students interested in environmental volunteering can search our volunteer module for opportunities throughout the year.
We also provide plenty of opportunities for ethical and environmental volunteering at our Christmas and NSU/Community Volunteering Weeks. Find out more at NSU/Community. One of the criteria in our Society Recognition Scheme encourages student groups to get involved in this area
We are pushing the University to do more to offer drinking water on campus and ensure its food suppliers meeting environmental standards. We have also asked them to take work forward regarding a divestment policy to. You can find out more about NUS Fossil Fuels campaign at the People and Planet Page
Events and Training
We work with the University and external bodies to provide students with access to training and personal development in this area
Northumbria Sustainable Futures event - 2nd November 1pm – 2pm. Find out what the Union and University are doing and tell us what you want to get involved in
Northumbria University has a range of different activities for students – you can find out more at the webpage.
The University also takes part in Green Impact and every year recruits a number of students as volunteers to help in its auditing process. If you are interested email email@example.com
What can you do?
As a Students’ Union and a student body, we have a responsibility to ensure that our energy footprint is as small as possible. You can take some really simply steps to do this:
Make sure you turn off taps when you’re done with them (tea lovers, only fill the kettle with the amount of water you actually need) Switch off computers, televisions and other new fangled technology when you’re done as well. (80% of wasted electricity comes from things being on standby, btw)
Resist the urge to just whack up the heating, even if you have all inclusive bills. Wear a jumper, or better yet, snuggle with a friend.
Everyone has things that they don’t use, that fester away in corners. If you’re not using things, don’t throw them away where they will go into landfill! Donate spare things to charity – the Union will be running an awareness campaign at the end of the year to help you donate stuff you’ve bought this year but don’t want to take home.
This one’s really basic: when you have waste or rubbish, please recycle. The University has loads of recycling bins across campus and in halls to make it easy for you! At the Union we can recycle books at our book drop off and lending shelf in Escape on the First Floor, batteries and stamps at the Welcome Desk.
Get involved –
If you’re interested in doing more than a little bit, you can do lots of things:
1) Visit NSU/Community to see the options for volunteering
2) Join one of our political societies lobbying for change.
3) Take part in snap it off! A website where you can upload your pictures of wasted energy, to help it be resolved more quickly. See it in action at snapitoff.nus.org.uk
4) Think about walking more – there are several sites such as walkit.com/going-green/ which can help map the best route for you.
5) Bring your batteries, books and stamps to the Union City Campus for recycling and reuse
6) Try one of the on line swap shops instead of throwing away such as this one for Books www.readitswapit.co.uk/TheLibrary.aspx
7) Make sure you know your recycling bin collection days – here is the link for Newcastle
8) For larger items and stuff not for the bins, know where your local recycling centre is – here is the link for Newcastle
9) Apply to take part in the Union’s environmental management board. Contact the President at firstname.lastname@example.org
10) If you have any ideas or suggestions on how the Union can do more then please contact the President at email@example.com.