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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The Edinburgh academics supporting the Youth Strikes for Climate

School children striking over inaction on climate change originated in Sweden, with 15 year old Greta Thunberg protesting outside her Government’s buildings. Today, similar demonstrations are being held in 60 towns and cities across the UK as students express their concerns over the worsening impacts of climate change. 

We hear from University of Edinburgh academics that recently signed an open letter of support for the British climate change school strikes about their motivations for signing.

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Living plastic free in Edinburgh

Laura is an Environmental Protection and Management MSc student at the University of Edinburgh with a passion for living sustainably. She strives to live a lifestyle that creates as little waste as possible, known as the zero waste lifestyle. In this blog, she discusses the ways students and staff can reduce their plastic waste and the array of shops dedicated to zero waste in Edinburgh.

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Aligned with 1.5 degrees: The University of Edinburgh and Climate Change

Dr Elizabeth Vander Meer shares University progress in relation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report “Global Warming of 1.5° C”.

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Change

Alumni stories: Cal Major Paddles Against Plastic

2018 will be remembered as the year that plastic pollution hit the headlines. While UK Parliament debated the Plastics Bill and supermarkets scrambled to make plastic reduction commitments, one Edinburgh alumni was planning a solo expedition to discover what effect plastic pollution was having on our coastlines, and to spread a message of positivity in tackling the problem. Meet Cal Major.

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School’s out… for sustainability! Frankie Bourke on his Career Ready placement

6th Year Craigroyston Community High School student Frankie Bourke joined our department on a four week work placement through Career Ready, a UK-wide charity linking employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people. Find out about his experience.

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Ready placement

Can pretty graphics help create a better world?

You’ve seen and heard of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and perhaps Scotland’s new National Performance Framework (NPF)… but do you really know what they mean for the University or for you?

We asked guest blogger Paul Bradley to explain how some zeitgeist acronyms and colourful graphics are helping to create a better world.

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