A305 Green Impact Newsletter Spring 2017

Welcome to the Spring edition of the A305 Green Impact newsletter!

Here you can read about the various activities and initiatives that the A305 Green Impact team have organised over the last couple of months to encourage E&F staff to be mindful of their environment and support communities worldwide.

From organising a 'Fairtrade Friday', Comic Relief Bake Sale, Waste Audit, and helping to co-ordinate the University's Blackout event - it's safe to say that we have been busy! But of course, we couldn't have done this without the support and participation of the department as a whole - so thank you.

Fairtrade Friday

Friday 10th March

As many of you will know, Fairtrade is a global organisation which helps millions of workers and farmers across the world to secure better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade.

In celebration of the annual ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’, E&F staff were invited to try a range of Fairtrade products such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate, kit kats, home-made banana bread and a variety of exciting flavoured chocolate.

Whilst enjoying these delicious Fairtrade sweet treats, staff were encouraged to learn about what Fairtrade actually is and why it matters through a colourful, informative poster display which told stories of real people who have benefited from the organisation

By creating this Fairtrade Friday display, the team hoped to raise the profile of Fairtrade and encourage staff to opt for Fairtrade products in the future.

If you missed our Fairtrade Friday event or would like to find out more information about how you can support Fairtrade, please click the link below and keep scrolling!

Don't feed exploitation

...Support Fairtrade!

Supporting Fairtrade is really simple - opt for the products stamped with the Fairtrade logo below! You can find a variety of Fairtrade products at the majority of large supermarket retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Co-Op and Asda).

Examples of just some of the products that are Fairtrade

Fairtrade products often do not cost much more than non-Fairtrade products. Better yet, by choosing Fairtrade products, you can be sure that you are making a positive impact on someone's life - not feeding exploitation.

Not convinced?

This year's official Fairtrade video might convince you otherwise:

Change Trade for Good

You can also help 'Change Trade for Good' by signing the petition below...

Comic Relief Bake Sale

Friday 24th March 2017

We would like to say a massive


to everyone who participated in this event, whether it was through baking, donating, or eating!

We were really pleased with the level of engagement in this event from staff in E&F and around the University... I think everybody would agree that the cakes were all absolutely delicious!

Cakes galore! Ranging from Traditional South African Milk Tart, Banoffee pie, rock cakes, turkish deligh brownies, cookies, yoghurt cake, cherry cakes, fairy cakes. Nomnomnomnom!
To boost our funds, we swapped and shared cakes with the Library team, who also made a wonderful baking effort!

In total we raised


- So thank you once again for all of your efforts to help improve the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.


Friday 24th March 2017

On Friday 24th March, staff and student volunteers gave up their evening to help with one of the University's biggest environmental events of the year - Blackout. By the end of the night, this awesome team of volunteers had:

  • Turned off over 460 computers and 790 screens;
  • Switched off 470 lights;
  • Closed 18 windows;
  • Powered down 30 radiators

... Saving the University £310 and preventing the emission of 1400kg of carbon.

This means that if people were more careful switching off things before leaving every Friday, we would save the University around £15 500 per year and prevent 70 tonnes of CO2 emissions from contributing to ruining our planet. If people were careful every day, even during the work day, we could save much more!

Blackout Volunteers 2017

Well done and thank you to everybody who took part in helping organising the Blackout, promoting it, advising on it or just being extra careful that day to switch everything off before leaving.

Save energy, save money, save the planet!

Want to keep on saving the University energy and money?

Try putting into practice these 5 really easy energy saving tips....

  1. Turn off all lights, computers and appliances when not in use and when leaving the office - Blackout proved to us just how much money this can save!
  2. Open the blinds and let the sunlight shine through! - Favouring natural light over artificial lights could even improve your mood as well as saving the University energy and money.
  3. Think before you print - Only print when absolutely necessary, and always remember to print double sided.
  4. Check your radiator settings are no higher than 21 degrees - this means no more than '3' on the thermostat!
  5. Shut the windows when leaving the office - fresh air is great, but not when it wastes heating! If you open the windows, remember to adjust your radiator settings accordingly so you don't waste heat, and close the windows when you leave!

Waste Audit

Wednesday 15th March

Here in A305, we have a variety of bins which allow us to separate, recycle and dispose of our waste - from bio-degradable food waste, milk bottle lids, batteries, coffee capsules, scrap paper, mixed recycling and general waste. The question is, just how good are we at actually putting our waste in the right bins?...

...Pretty good, actually! Rob and Ellen carried out a waste audit and discovered that, on the whole, we are pretty good at separating our waste and putting our rubbish in the correct bins. There were no contaminants in the food/compost bin, nor was there any rubbish in the general waste bin that should have been in the mixed recycling.

There was an exception though – in the mixed recycling bin we found an apple core (doh!) and.... a coffee cup. Please remember, even just one piece of waste disposed of in the wrong place can contaminate the whole bin and prevent its contents from being recycled!

The Controversy of Coffee Cups!

Believe it or not, coffee cups are actually 'nearly impossible to recycle'. Designed to be waterproof, coffee cups are fused with polyethylene, a material that cannot be separated out again in a standard recycling mill.

In an insightful BBC article, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall informs us the result is that the UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups a year. This is quite literally a waste – especially when taking into consideration that the life of a coffee cup lasts no longer than the 15 minutes it takes us to drink our tea/coffee.

A solution to reducing coffee cup waste? Where possible, avoid ‘taking out’, or for those of you caffeine addicts - buy yourself a reusuable coffee cup. You can usually buy these for as little as £10 on Amazon or a number of retailers. Some Costa and Starbucks stores even offer 25p off any hot or cold handcrafted drink if you bring your own reusable cup. This might not seem like a huge discount, but for those of you who order coffee regularly, the savings definitely add up! For a run down of The Independent's 8 best reusable coffee cups, click here.

From waste to...

Warp It

Do you have any office equipment or furniture that you no longer want or need? Don't just throw it away - advertise it on Warp It!

You can also use Warp It to find chairs, tables, stationary and even bikes to borrow for commuting to work here... All for FREE! It's really easy to sign up - just click the link below!

As Mirna's eye-catching poster mentions, reusing items via Warp It can significantly reduce the production of CO2 and waste, and also save millions of pounds!

So what are you waiting for?..

Car Free Day

Wednesday 5th April 2017

Everybody knows that travelling by car is harmful to the environment, causes congestion on the roads and is often expensive; yet, for many of us it is our chosen mode of transport to work. Sure, driving to work might be more convenient for some people, but it has to be said that there are a wealth of benefits that can be gained from travelling to work via foot, bike or public transport instead. These include:

  • An improved level of personal fitness - this one goes without saying!
  • Potential to save £££s a year - no more parking or petrol costs!
  • Contributing to a healthier, sustainable environment - reducing the level of carbon emissions being pumped into our atmosphere and helping to save fossil fuel are just two examples!
  • Opportunities to connect and interact with people – whether that be other passengers on your bus/train, or fellow cyclists and pedestrians!

To encourage staff to realise these benefits, cycling enthusiast and Green Impact member, Richard Brett, promoted a car-free day in E&F for Wednesday 5th April. All staff who were able to were challenged to leave their car at home and travel to work by foot, bike, or public transport.

We were really pleased with the number of you who accepted the challenge and, although promoted as a one off event, we hope that the car free day has encouraged many of you to reconsider your daily commute. Thank you Richard for promoting this initiative!

Okay, so cycling to work may not be as romantic as this photo makes out - but the benefits are still doubtless!

If you are considering cycling to work in the future, you can hire a bike through Solent Health for free for up to a month at a time! The University also has a Cycle to Work Scheme which helps you to purchase a bike and accessories, tax-free, through salary deduction scheme.

Go on then, on yer bike!!


Do you have an idea of how we can make a positive impact on our environment? Or perhaps you are keen to get involved with Green Impact activities around the office? If so, then please come and speak to Ellen or drop her an email at ellen.powell@solent.ac.uk!

Created by

Created By
Ellen Powell


Created with images by Pexels - "color concrete design" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Black Marble - Americas" • Blue Pylons - "Don't forget to recycle!" • Unsplash - "bike cycle bicycle" • Pexels - "bicycle bike cyclist" • PublicDomainPictures - "leaf green macro"

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