Here, in the School of Psychology, we’re working to become more sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint. Since our Green Impact Team was created in Autumn 2019, we have managed to introduce several changes to tackle sustainability:
- we’ve approved a new 100% plant-based catering policy
- we’ve installed video conferencing facilities so our staff can collaborate digitally and avoid air travel
- we’ve published a new Green section on the School website with information and guidelines on the School’s sustainable policies.
- and we are currently working on our application for a Green Impact bronze award.
The lockdown has prevented us from organising the activities that we had in mind for Go Green Week (27 April – 1 May), but there are lots of things that you can do at home to become more sustainable:
Switch off unnecessary items
Reduce your electricity consumption by switching off any gadgets that you are not using: computers, mobile chargers, your laptop docking station, and even the TV. According Prof David Mackay (Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, 2009-2014), “standby power consumption accounts for roughly 8% of residential electricity demand”. His book, ‘Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air’, with its easy-to-read explanations of how we use energy and what needs to happen to make a UK-wide switch from fossil fuels, is available for free on his website.
And don’t forget to turn the light off if you are not in a room!
Plant a tree
If you are lucky enough to be in a house with a garden, you can think about adding a tree to your green area. The Woodland Trust offers advice on planting trees on their website.
Unfortunately, most of us are stuck in flats during this quarantine and I, personally, already have difficulty keeping my cacti alive, nevermind a tree! An easy way to help increase the planet’s tree population is making Ecosia your default search bar. Ecosia donates more than 80% of its ad revenue to non-profits organisations that focus on reforestation, and at the time I’m writing this they’ve already planted more than 91 million trees all over the world. It also has a mobile version.
Take up cycling
Cycling is always a great form of exercise, but especially now. Cycling UK offers helpful and up-to-date advice on cycling during the Coronavirus outbreak.
If you don’t own a bike, Brighton’s bike hire scheme, BTN BikeShare, is still available and their operations team is regularly disinfecting all contact points on the bikes. Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after using the bikes, and please keep at a safe 2 metres distance from other people. For more information read their guidelines on how to use the bike service during the Coronavirus crisis on their FAQs section.
We have collated a series of fun green activities on Canvas for our students and staff to do while they are at home. We hope you enjoy them!