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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Spotlight on Sustainability: Engineers without Borders

Secretary of University charity society ‘Engineers Without Borders’, Thomas Findlay dismisses the wasteful culture of mass flyering during Freshers’ Week by advocating a more sustainable approach to printing and publicity.

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