WHEN considering what the next Green Bay column would be, I was trying to think about how we can really make a difference as students at universities. So, I found myself on the NUS website and their Students’ Green Fund. This a programme that endorses student-led initiatives and sustainability projects, by providing funding to students’ unions to create projects the develop pro-environmental behaviour.
So far, the Green Fund has helped 25 projects across a number of students’ unions. These projects have advanced thinking about pro-environmental behaviour change within universities and higher education.
My degree has opened my eyes to behavioural change and the merits and concerns with regards to the different methods that have stemmed from it. Many things take time, and need to be installed into the every day to have an effect, or they will just be undertaken for a few weeks and then be forgotten. The projects that the Green Fund have already undertaken have developed such ideas as greening halls and homes, to providing sustainable disability transport and creating growing spaces for students to use.
If we take the example of growing spaces, we can take a look at the Lancaster project that has grown from an acre growing site to six acres with the support of the Green Fund. These growing sites are spread across the Lancaster University campus and enable students to engage with sustainable food production. It is said that some 3000 students have engaged and participated with this project.
It’s programmes like this that really do make a difference; they change our everyday attitudes and behaviour. We see the sustainable food growing, and we think that this is something that we should be involved with. This can later allow for further pro-environmental behavior as it makes you think more about ‘being green’ and hopefully, after three years of sustainable eating habits, you might just take that away with you after you leave.
So, I ask you to find out more about the Green Fund, and to come up with a worthy project that you can lobby to our Students’ Union to apply for funding. The university is moving towards more sustainable practices, and having something that is student-led will definitely help, and also outline that this is important – and it really is.