What is GoGreen?
GoGreen is a campaign by De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) which hopes to create a change environmentally by encouraging students to change their behaviours into that of more sustainable ones. The campaign also looks to make certain changes with De Montfort University (DMU), and improve their stance on certain issues environmentally. This campaign takes many forms and has strands within food, volunteering, donations and education.
Join us in our quest to GoGreen! No matter whether the change you decide to make is big or smalll, it helps create a larger impact towards our goal of improving the environment we all live in.
This campaign has 4 main aims:
- To have an educated and engaged student body in environmental and sustainable issues;
- To reduce the amount of waste created on campus;
- To provide volunteering opportunities for students to get involved with that helps the local environment
- and to reduce the amount of energy consumption across campus.
We hope this page gives you loads of ideas and tips on how you can make a change to better the environment and if you have any ideas yourself please get in touch!
Whilst we're doing all these changes we think firstly it is important to keep our members up to date with what you can do yourselves to help! Below are a list of quick and easy tricks you can do to really improve your carbon footprint. If doing all these at once sounds too much, try to challenge yourself by doing one and then adding another every week until you do all of them! That way the impact you make gradually increases and is much easier to achieve than doing it all in one go.
This information is also available on the electronic screens within the Campus Centre and on coasters (printed on recycled card - of course) within different venues on campus, so be sure to keep a look out!
Our popular Yummy Sundays videos will be going under a revamp to incorporate our GoGreen messages and to give you cheap and filling meals - which also help the environment. Keep an eye out for these!
We have partnered with the Midland Langar Seva Society, who provide meals to the homeless people of Leicester. To help out, we have put a food donation bin within our campus centre for students to donate their non-perishable items into, which will be regularly picked up and taken to help those in need. This will help the amount of food waste that goes to landfill, especially as many tins get left in cupboards never to be used.
Don't Ditch It, Donate It!
At the end of each academic year, there are loads of items in students' rooms that often get left or thrown away. We want to change this! We're looking to work with organisations to help set up donation points across campus, in which students can donate their unwanted items which will then go on to be reused by others in need, or sold in charity shops to help further a wider cause. This not only helps others, but also lowers the carbon footprint of the instution as it reduces the amount of waste going to landfill.
Did you know that all waste put into bins around campus are recycled? Neither did we until we checked! This is a simple one, we would like the univeristy to start putting stickers or signage on bins to ensure students know that their waste is being recycled, that way we won't all feel so guilty for throwing something away when we are unable to find a recycling bin, as it's all going there anyway!
Cups and Cutlery
We are ecstatic that DMU has committed to reducing the amount of plastic cutlery and coffee cups on our campus, and would like to work with the university on achieving their goal. We would like to mimic this with any of our own venues, with items such as straws, and any external guests we invite to our events. That way the waste we produce at DMU will be as low as it can possibly be.
Whilst it is great that our campus is looking to be greener, it is important we recognise and take these actions out into the wider community. Therefore, we are looking to work with DMULocal to provide volunteering opportunities for students with a sustainability angle. This could be anything from litter picking, growing vegetables in an allotment, to planting trees. We hope that by having these activities that the local community will see students as trying to better their local area and allows us to have a lasting impact.
As volunteering opportunities arise, we will keep you posted of details here.
Energy is also a massive use of resources across DMU. At DSU we are looking to implement a sustainability audit that we did earlier in the year. This audit advised on how DSU can improve itself internally, as we felt that whilst we can shout about how others can improve, we need to be sure that we ourselves are doing so first! The full report can be accessed here.
The recommendations we recieved were:
- The union should ensure that used toner cartridges and ink cartridges are disposed of responsibly using the university’s recycling scheme.
- The Union should identify the correct person responsible for the management of the bottle banks to ensure that they are managed in a responsible way.
- The DSU should ensure that WEEE is collected, stored and disposed of separately from other waste streams. WEEE should only be collected by specialist waste contractor with appropriate licenses.
- Waste transfer notes should be signed by the waste producer and the person/organisation accepting the waste and they should be safely stored for a minimum of 2 years
- The Union should obtain user manuals for HVAC controls in meeting rooms from the Estates & Commercial Services Directorate and have these available in offices
- HVAC units in offices should be set to the following efficient temperature set points of 25oC when cooling and 21oC when heating. Information should be displayed within meeting room explaining that these set points have been made to save energy. The Union should request assistance with this from the Estates & Commercial Services Directorate staff.
- The Union should identify controls and responsibility for the arcade game on ground floor and visual displays in food court area. The Union should install timers for equipment to ensure they are turned off during the night if possible.
- The Union should produce a lighting and equipment responsibility plan, including drinks machines, which details named individuals who are responsible for turning equipment at the end of each day. This plan should be circulated widely amongst staff.
- The Union should conduct evening walk-around to ensure that high energy consuming equipment is on automatic switch-off controls (arcade games) and that the equipment does in fact turn itself off. If not, add to lighting and equipment responsibility plan.
- The Union should encourage staff and officers to turn off computers during lunch breaks, at the end of each day and when away for meetings.
- The Union should introduce a vacation shut down list which details which equipment should be turned off prior to holiday periods and at the end of each week
- Awareness raising posters should be dated and then refreshed every 8 months to avoid poster blindness and to ensure that the posters remain highly visible
- The Union should investigate the type of paper used for printing of The Demon magazine e.g. whether its recycled paper or FSC approved paper and whether the printing company engaged to complete the work uses low impact products such as vegetable based inks.
- The Union could ensure that the Demon newspaper clearly states the type of paper used in the printing process to highlight the environmental credentials of the Union.
- The Union should review and update its environmental policy and ensure that the policy is accessible through the website.
- The union could expand the range of recycled products which are available through the DSU shop to raise awareness amongst students of recycling. To promote these items the union could make use of the free point of sale promotional items that are available via the NUS Sound Ethical Choice programme www.nus.org.uk
DSU is committed to making these changes as recommended and we will update this page periodically as each one is completed.
...and the rest!
This is just the beginning, DSU are going to be looking for a variety of ways we can improve our green credentials and we would love if you could send us any ideas you have on how we can do so and get involved! If you do, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea and we shall get back to you.