2019: My year of no new clothes

The fashion industry is the world’s second-biggest source of pollution. We hear from the Business Development Analyst for Circular Economy at Edinburgh Innovations, Lucy Stanfield, on why her 2019 New Year’s Resolution was to buy no new clothes.

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Voices of the Planet: Nikki Kay, Australia

In our next Voices of the Planet entry, we hear from Nikki Kay, the Head of Marketing, Recruitment and Communications at the School of Geosciences on the recent wildfires in Australia.

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5 tips for keeping your Edinburgh home warm this winter

The New Year may be upon us, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to say goodbye to the cold winter weather. Our Projects Coordinator, Aisling O’Reilly, talks us through 5 easy ways to ensure your home stays warm this winter.

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How I will travel better: my journey with flying

Sonya Peres is the Responsible Institutes Research Intern for EAUC Scotland who has been focusing on their Travel Better package to support universities and colleges to reduce the amount of air travel. During this time, Sonya was prompted to reconsider her own flying habits and has set herself some goals for 2020.

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The University of Edinburgh at COP25

The United Nations’ annual Climate Change Conference – this year called COP 25 – takes place in Madrid from 2nd – 13th December 2019. During it, governments will hear about the impacts of climate change, propose crucial next steps to reduce their carbon emissions, and discuss how the entire human population can transition to a low carbon society in a fair and just way.

Find out how staff, students, alumni and affiliates of the University of Edinburgh are contributing to the conference… and in doing so, making the world a better place.

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Edinburgh gets #InTheLoop with new city centre recycling bins

Recycling bins have recently been installed in Edinburgh City Centre, meaning city-goers can finally recycle drinks bottles, cans and disposable coffee cups on the go. Environmental campaign charity Hubbub are behind a new campaign encouraging people to use them; their Project Coordinator Sam Longworth tells us more.

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How to have a sustainable Christmas

It’s the most wonderful – and wasteful – time of the year. We asked student Laura Anderson (MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement) for her top tips on how to make Christmas 2019 your most sustainable yet.

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Anya Hart Dyke: give time – not stuff – this Christmas

Anya Hart Dyke graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 with an MA in Social Anthropology with Development and worked in the University’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability from 2012 – 2015. 

Conscious of the waste created and items accrued at Christmas, Anya explains why she’s encouraging people to give the gift of time this Christmas.

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The students working to end gendered violence

For the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women we hear from student Debbie Shamir, about the Girl Up Edinburgh society, which works to promote gender equality.

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Why I adopted a vegan diet: an interview with Dave Gorman

Dave Gorman, Director of the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, has now been vegan for 6 months. On World Vegan Day, we learn why he made the change and how he’s found the switch. Continue reading Why I adopted a vegan diet: an interview with Dave Gorman

Interview: Professor Sandy Tudhope, University Lead on Climate Responsibility and Sustainability

In September 2019, the University appointed Sandy Tudhope – a Professor of Climate Studies – as its Lead on Climate Responsibility and Sustainability. We caught up with Sandy to ask him what this new role involves and to tell us more about the University’s response to the climate crisis.

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Responsibility and Sustainability

Voices of the Planet: Aayush Goyal, India

We’re highlighting the impacts of the climate crisis by sharing the first-hand experiences of staff, students and alumni, focusing on those in the global south.  Our next contribution is from Aayush Goyal, a University of Edinburgh alumnus and co-founder of social enterprise, Social Stories Club. 

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The students tackling menstruation stigma and period poverty

Fourth-year English Literature student, Saffron Roberts, started holding sanitary product collections in March 2018 to tackle period poverty and stigma around menstruation. Since, she’s been joined by student Rosie Martland in the effort to collect donations for local foodbanks, women’s and homeless shelters.

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Can university laboratories move away from single-use plastic?

Kerry Cheek, SRS Projects Coordinator, has a background working in both laboratory research and in sustainability. Here, she reflects on a recent project in which she researched laboratory plastic waste at the University of Edinburgh.
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The Cloth Pad Revolution: Students Tackling Period Poverty

This week is Women’s Environmental Network‘s Environmenstrual Week of Action. We hear from students Kate Bennett and Martha Aroha Reilly on the work of the student-founded non-profit organisation, Sanitree to tackle period poverty.

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Second-hand September forever

As Oxfam’s #SecondHandSeptember comes to an end, concerns about the environment are greater than ever. Third-year Sustainable Development student and charity shop volunteer, Elizabeth Simpson, discusses how you can avoid fast fashion and reduce your impact upon the planet. 

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Climate conscious travel: what is the University doing?

In the first of two new blogs on climate conscious travel, SRS Projects Coordinator Siôn Pickering asks why travel is an environmental problem, uncovers the scale of business travel at the University of Edinburgh, and discusses how the University is reducing its business travel emissions to lessen its impact on the environment. 

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Never too early: the Primary Teacher embedding the environment inthe curriculum

“Yes, basic literacy and numeracy skills are vitally important. Yes, we need to get children ready for the world of work. However, they’re going to need a world to work in.”

Blair Minchin graduated from The University of Edinburgh’s Moray House of Education and now works as a Primary School teacher. He tells us more about his inventive methods of embedding awareness about sustainability in his teaching.

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inthe curriculum

MedAid: the students working to improve planetary and human health

Medicine has a considerable environmental impact, with 100 million tonnes of solid waste generated each year in the UK, 85% of which generally ends up in landfill sites across England and Wales.

We hear from the students trying to tackle this by directing medical surplusses to countries in need of medical supplies.
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Sion Pickering: A journey to understanding business travel and sustainability

Sion Pickering, Projects Coordinator at the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, reflects on the complex subject of sustainability and business travel on his train journey back from a conference in Berlin.

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sustainability

Be Sustainable Advanced: the projects

In this blog, we hear from the members of staff that have recently undertaken our Be Sustainable Advanced course, a professional development course that aims to inspire and educate staff members to live more sustainably.

The course has been developed in partnership with Learning for Sustainability Scotland incorporating expertise and resources from across the University of Edinburgh.

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How pop culture became environmentally-conscious

Recently we’ve seen more and more celebrities and those in the public eye start to use their platform to highlight social justice and environmental issues.

Jenna Kelly is a recent International Business graduate and former VP Services at Edinburgh University Students’ Association and explores how pop culture has helped the normalisation of sustainable behaviours.

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Adaptation Framework for the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has just launched its Adaptation Framework based on a whole institution approach as part of commitments in our Climate Change Strategy, Zero by 2040. Liz Vander Meer, Climate Policy Manager, talks through the Framework.

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The rise of eco-anxiety

Between the latest extreme weather event, a damning report on future temperature projections or news of another species going extinct, climate change in the headlines has become standard

Greater awareness of climate change is unarguably a positive (a lack of this is partially what got us into this mess, after all) but what toll does this have on our mental health?

Communications Coordinator, Meg McGrath contributes to our series on eco-anxiety for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

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How spirituality helped my eco-anxiety

In our next blog in a series on mental health and climate change for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, we hear from Esther Duncan who has just finished her undergraduate degree in Sustainable Development with Social Anthropology.

Esther recently took part in the course in “Eco-Spirituality” at the University’s Chaplaincy and discusses how a community of like-minded people can help remedy eco-anxiety. Continue reading How spirituality helped my eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety: the teacher’s perspective

In our first blog for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, we hear from Neeki Armani who is currently a Science Teacher in London and soon-to-be MSc Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education student at the University of Edinburgh. 

She discusses the realities of being responsible for educating children about climate change and the toll that takes on both her and their mental health. 

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One Cherry: the student start-up changing second hand shopping

Anton Puzorjov is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, the Founder of the University of Edinburgh Entrepreneurs Society and someone who’s on a mission to fight fast fashion. He founded One Cherry just 1 and a half years ago with the aim of making it easier for charity shops to sell their clothing online. 

This #FashionRevolutionWeek, we hear what motivated him to create the start-up and his journey in social entrepreneurship. 

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5 steps to shopping ethically

After reports were released naming the fast fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter, calls have been made for a huge transformation in the sector.

In this blog for #FashionRevolutionWeek, Medical student Mikaela Loach discusses her top tips for ensuring your clothing purchases are both ethically made and sustainable. 

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‘Citizens in waiting’ – climate strikes and caring for our planet

Peter Higgins, Professor of Outdoor & Environmental Education, Director of the Global Environment & Society Academy and Director of Learning for Sustainability Scotland shares his views on education and the recent school climate strikes.

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Recycling points established across the University

Recycling points have popped up across the University campuses over recent weeks, with staff and students now able to recycle crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and various stationery items. We hear from Corinna Bremer, School Operations Secretary for the School of Mathematics on why she took to initiative to set up a biscuit wrapper recycling scheme.

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Why climate change is a feminist issue

A 2015 report by Georgetown University stated “Climate change is a global challenge that burdens all of humanity, but not equally.”

Meg McGrath, Communications Coordinator, discusses why climate change is a feminist issue this International Women’s Day.

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Let’s talk about sustainability: where in the curriculum is it?

We hear from Aaron de Verés, a current 3rd year Ecology student and the Joint Coordinator of the activist group People and Planet Edinburgh, about why he believes sustainability should be embedded across the curriculum.

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