This September, the student Environmental Society at the University of Westminster will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary and we wanted to introduce who they are and tell you about some of the work they’ve done in the past year!
The Environmental Society was founded by a current Biochemistry student who was deeply inspired to start a student based environmental society at our university. The goal of the society was to educate as many students and staff members of global and local environmental issues and to work collectively with all university members to create positive change to benefit our well-being, environment, and future.
Since the society was founded, they took part in many different projects and events to increase awareness receiving great support amongst the academic and non-academic staff, as well as our very own Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peter Bonfield.
They debuted as a society by hosting a talk on climate change, food security, and plastic pollution that was given by academics, student researchers, and guests from external businesses at the beginning of the academic year in 2018.
They have worked with CleanUp UK, a charity focused on tackling litter problems around London boroughs, to clean up our local environment near the New Cavendish campus, Whitfield Gardens. To make things fun, they held the litter pick on Halloween and incorporated a costume contest with the prize being a bamboo toothbrush and zero-waste toothpaste!
One of their most fun events was a fermentation workshop where students got to make their own sauerkraut and learn how to use kitchen scraps to make tasty and healthy ferments!
However, the most exciting and perhaps meaningful project they participated in this past academic year is the Costa Coffee Cup Collection. The society worked with Costa Coffee, Network Rail, and Hubbub, an environmental charity, to run a week long project in collecting as many single-use coffee cups from Euston train station during rush hours from 6:45am-9:30am and 4:00pm-7:00pm during the university’s Student Engagement Week. There were around 30 students from the university that took part in the volunteering project, collecting over 4000 single-use coffee cups in just five days!
The aim of their project was to encourage Network Rail (Euston Station) to install recycling bins around the train station as there are none currently. Although Network Rail aren’t convinced yet even after the hard work from the University of Westminster students, a particular style of coffee cup bin has now received Department for Transport approval and a number of rail networks are starting to install these bins on their platforms. LNER are also about to launch a cup recycling 6-month trial this month at several of their smaller stations, and we are hoping this will spur Network Rail on to launch cup recycling at Birmingham train station!
The Environmental Society although new, has made great achievements and worked hard to create positive changes around the university and the city of London and they are not stopping! There are many more exciting events and projects that are planned for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year so if you are interested in becoming a member or having a role in the committee of the society contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more through their social media accounts: