Monday, 13 September 2010

There's a buzz around the University of Greenwich

There's a buzz here at the University of Greenwich. We have been working hard here at the Sustainability office and have some exciting new developments and have made progress across a few areas since I last updated you.

Firstly that buzz you may be able to hear if you have been around the Avery Hill Campus recently. We have our first University of Greenwich bees. In the gardens of Southwood House we have a few fuzzy friends buzzing around our new set of hives. Our bees are of the honey making variety (maybe if you are really nice to us we will be able to make some available to you) so expect to see some University of Greenwich branded honey in the future.

Keeping with the theme of biodiversity we have found a few more interesting species on campus here at Avery Hill, a Mullberry Tree has been found, plenty of blackberries have been harvested, an oak tree that must be well over 100 years old has been spotted and few interesting species of fungi too - though I haven't been confident enough to harvest any mushrooms yet over a fear of an upset stomach.

Mushrooms in the Southwood House garden
We have been toiling away in preparation for the new academic year at the University and preparing ourselves for Freshers' Week. Expect to find us represented at both the Avery Hill and Greenwich Campus fayres and looking for members of our new People & Planet Group, telling new students about the recycling facilities at the halls of residence and distributing all sorts of information regarding anything to do with sustainability to anyone willing to listen.

Svetta our new intern has been busy scouring the University for information on the recycling facilities and we expect we should be able to put out a reasonable guide covering all the facilities, policies and practices across the University as a whole in the near future. Helping us along the way have been a few RAs and you can expect to meet some of them at the Freshers' Fayres next week.

The University has also had it's first Fairtrade Steering Group meeting, attended by SUUG, Sodexo, ABM and representatives from the University itself, who will be trying to gain Fairtrade accreditation for the University by increasing the number of Fairtrade products on campus. As well as the lovely Fairtrade products you can expect to see on the shelves you should be finding sustainable food too - the University is finalising it's sustainable food policy as we speak.

My biggest excitement recently though has been the arrival of a draft Green Impact Workbook in my inbox. A little while ago Charlotte Bonner from the NUS dropped by to meet some of our already enrolled sustainability champions to get ideas for making the University more environmentally friendly. So far she has sent 40 ideas across to us to peruse, adapt and comment on before we get the workbook finalised when she returns from cycling the Col du Tourmalet in France - an enduring test of strength and guile that I am all too familiar with! There is A LOT more to follow on this one and I can't wait to keep you updated as we progress!

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