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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Career confidence for women working in sustainability

She is Sustainable began in London in 2016 as a two day event for women working in the Sustainability sector. Since then a number of events have taken place in other cities, with Edinburgh’s first event taking place this year on the 20th April. SRS Projects Coordinators Aisling O’Reilly and Rachael Barton reflect on the day.

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Edinburgh Adapts: ambition to action

Edinburgh Adapts is a collaboration between The Edinburgh Partnership, Adaptation Scotland, and Sniffer, and aims to help the city adapt to the challenges of a changing climate. David Macpherson reports on the initiative’s latest event which the University of Edinburgh took part in.

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Are we psychologically primed for inaction in climate change mitigation?

Vanessa McCorquodale is the Committees & Projects Officer in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability and is also currently studying for an MSc in Carbon Management. This blog is a personal reflection on how climate change mitigation could be improved, submitted as part of her degree.

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mitigation?

Demand drives change: conducting a social responsibility audit at the University of Edinburgh

Martin Samson, a 3rd year Economics and Psychology student, reflects on his recent participation in the Responsible Futures Auditing Programme which gave students the opportunity to audit the University’s social responsibility and sustainability practices.

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the University of Edinburgh

What are the current and future opportunities for the University of Edinburgh and educational institutions to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals?

Sonja Peacock reflects on her work placement with the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability over the Summer.

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Engaging with our suppliers on social responsibility and sustainability

On 30th November, the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, the Procurement Office, and Resource Efficient Scotland co-hosted an event for University construction and catering suppliers and potential suppliers.

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Students supporting University Social Responsibility in Europe

Emily Dawson is a 4th year undergraduate student in the MA Sustainable Development degree programme. Emily reflects on her recent participation in the European Students Sustainability Auditing Project. Seven students from the University visited Lithuania to conduct an audit of Kaunas University of Technology’s social responsibility practices.  

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