We all know that we live in a community but do any of us know what that actually means as being part of a community can often be taken for granted. We all belong to a community and without interactions with other people and feeling part of something, people can be left feeling lonely.
As a campus based University, we live in our own campus community, but sometimes this means we can isolate ourselves from the wider community that we are a part of. The aim of my campaign is to raise awareness of why it is important to be part that wider community and celebrate the positive effects that students can have within it.
One of the main issues I will be focusing on throughout the week is recycling, but more specifically glass recycling. For second and third years living off campus I am 99% sure that glass bottles will be left to stack up in the back garden, kitchen or even as an ornamental feature in the living room, ready for a mass clear out at the end of term. I can be this sure as this is exactly what I did in both my second and third year, but not recycling glass can have a detrimental effect to the environment. One glass bottle can take over 1 million years to decompose in landfill, however glass is one of the very few materials that can recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality and can therefore be remoulded into make new glass bottles. Not recycling glass (especially food jars) can also have unwanted consequences in your home. In my third year, I lived with all boys who clearly thought I would be a mother figure and would make the rubbish ‘disappear’. Unfortunately, I didn't take up this position, which resulted in having some very unwanted visitors.
With the University having a ‘no car’ policy and there being no real clear information about where the nearest bottle banks are, what are we supposed to do? By the end of my campaign I want to have made glass recycling easier for you. To do this, I will be asking you where you would like to see another glass bottle bank out of three possible destinations: Abbot Cook car park, College Arms car park, or in a location near the church opposite the Park area entrance. Once a place has been decided on, I will be lobbying the Council to provide us with another glass bottle bank. I will also be lobbying the University to provide us with a more centralised glass bottle bank on campus. I have already liaised with the University Halls, who have agreed that students living in the community are more than welcome to use the bottle banks situated in the Halls areas. This does of course still require you to transport the bottles, so every lunch time I will be handing out FREE glass recycling bags for you to use!!
Of course the week will not be solely dedicated to glass recycling. I will also be working with the People and Planet Society, to highlight the benefits of shopping at local businesses that source their items ethically. Using local shops is great for the community, as they usually stock different items and therefore add diversity amongst the franchised and multinational shops. Local shops also usually respond more quickly to the needs of local residents; they generate more jobs and they are proportionally more generous in their support for local charities, carnivals, schools and community events. So supporting local businesses means a financial return for our community. What’s more, shopping at ethical and Fairtrade stores shows support for the social movement, which aims to help producers in developing countries in creating better trading conditions and promoting sustainability. Therefore, on Tuesday (29th October) between 12.00pm-2pm, we are holding an Ethical Fayre in 3sixty, where the likes of Frock and Roll, the Oxfam bookshop, Oxfam Music, RISC and Lush will be attending, to show you why you should shop locally.
So as we all know, the clocks have now turned back and we have all had a much needed extra hour in bed! This does also mean however, we will be travelling home at 5.00pm in the pitch black. It’s therefore important to make sure that cyclists need to be seen, to avoid any unwanted collisions on campus and in the community. So what better way to kick start the week than with the 'bike man' coming on to campus to fix bikes for FREE! Come and find us outside Palmer between 11.00am-3.00pm to have any problems with your bikes to be fixed, pick up some reduced priced lights and D-locks and to also get your bike security checked, so if your bike ever gets stolen on campus you can find it again!
I hope to talk to as many of you as possible and I really hope you enjoy the week.
Help me put our UNI into the commUNIty.
Community and Development Officer