Sustainability has always been a focus of mine. In my daily life, I try and do-little things such as walking whenever possible, using less packaged plastic products and be a dedicated recycler. I’m afraid I’m the kind of person who washes up and reuses tin foil and carries a spork to avoid using throwaway utensils. However, in my time at University I’ve also been involved in more direct sustainability measures such as community litter picks in Southampton and campaigning to reduce pollution around the city. I’ve also been a pescatarian since birth and I’m very conscious of my impact on sustainability as a consumer.
Sustainability at the union is something which I’m glad to say has had a large focus in recent years. I’d like to build on this success and see less disposable products at union outlets. I know many students who have 9 to 5 days often struggle to locate a place to get water without having to buy a plastic bottle. This is bad for the planet and student’s purses. That’s why my manifesto includes a reducing disposable bottled water on campus or plastic cups by working to increase the number of drinking fountains, and the selling and promoting of reusable bottles at SUSU outlets.
As a keen user of services like e-bay and charity shops, I’d also like to build on initiatives such as the ‘Swap Shop’ to create a place for students to be able to recycle, upcycle and swap their unwanted clothes, electronics, and household items online. This is again good for students finances and for the environment.
I also know that energy use could be reduced around the university. It causes a nagging guilt/annoyance in me seeing a light on that’s unused. As VP Welfare I would support and promote campaigns such as blackout and review the current energy usage by the union.
Our University and Union have some great schemes in place but could also go much further. I’ve been really impressed with initiatives such as the recycling points at NOC and multiple bins in the WSA café so would love to push this across all campuses. At Meet the Candidates I disputed that our generation wasn’t interested in looking after the planet, I think we are; and we need to show it.
I’m aware that these are just a few policies, but I hope that gives you a taster into my views on sustainability and hopefully answers your question.
This question was also asked to Dave Williams, Mairin Williams, Qiaochu Yang, Isabella Camilleri, Iona McPherson, Miriam BarkerAnswered by Olivia on 25/02/18 09:21