How can we make our campuses and communities sustainable? Let’s talk about it!
During three sessions in January and February student organisations from across the world share their experiences in projects promoting sustainability in their community or campus.
In each session four student organisations will present their projects followed by a joint discussion on student engagement, creating projects and impact. All sessions are moderated by students from the ENLIGHT Student Network.
All sessions will be held using zoom. Please register your participation in order to receive the link.
Session 1 - January 31 at 18:00 (GMT)
Key Note Adress by Ms. Bessy Thuranira, scholar at the Ban-Ki Moon Center.
Ms. Bessy Thuranira is an alumni of the Ban-Ki Moon Center Leadership programme, she worked on a project Implementing Garden Sacks in Deep Sea Slum Nairobi. Currently, she volunteers as a Deputy Project Lead for the Local Pathways Fellowship Program which is empowering young people (mostly students) globally to create sustainable initiatives/projects, especially in their cities (linked to SDG 11).
Business Beyond Tomorrow by John Molson Sustainable Enterprise Committee, Concordia University, CanadaThe John Molson Sustainable Enterprise Committee (JSEC) is a Concordia university student association focusing on bridging the gap between sustainability and business. One of the ways it does so is by hosting an event called Business Beyond Tomorrow (BBT). BBT is Montreal’s longest-running sustainability conference that covers all three pillars of sustainability which are environmental, social, and economic. This means the conference covers a wide range of sustainability topics, such as climate change, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, sustainable development and many more. It is a forward-thinking event that connects students, faculty, and people from the industry in exploring the convergence of business ideas and sustainable concepts. It does so by using a hybrid approach of panel discussions and workshops for each pillar of sustainability. This allows BBT to shed light on some of the sustainability trends and practices emerging in today’s workplace. Lastly, BBT connects students with likeminded industry people by hosting a networking session at the end of the event.
Glassary Initiative by students from the University of Galway, Ireland
Student Accommodation and Opportunities for the Circle Economy. Glassary is Irish Language for” Glas” meaning green and a play on the English term glossary meaning list of terms. Glassary is the big green list! The Glassary initiative works by connecting the campus accommodation centres with bi-annual volunteer donation events to allow students an avenue to avoid landfill and instead give a second life to a wide range of materials. Items are donated to local charities or made available for students. The aim of this project is to provide students with access to a sustainable repository from which to access a range of household items, collected and reused after they are left behind by departing international students, for a circle economy.
Humasol by student from the University of Gent, Belgium
I am not my ancestors - Humasol’s vision to remain relevant as an international solidarity organization. Humasol is an international solidarity organization, performing sustainable projects in our partner countries in Africa, South-America and South-East Asia. Our mission is to make renewable technology accessible for everyone. Every year, around ten students’ teams perform projects involving sustainable technologies such as solar energy, water supply, plastic recycling or agricultural optimization. Humasol brings together 3 parties. First of all, the students. We give them the opportunity to work on a real-world problem and to contribute to a more sustainable future. Secondly our project partner. By exchanging knowledge to maintain, repair and reproduce installations, we try to ensure the long-term sustainability of our projects. During our projects, we pay attention to the technical aspect, such as the design and installation of photovoltaic solar panels, but also to the socio-economic context, such as setting up management organizations that maintain and monitor the installations. The idea really is to plant a seed, that then hopefully further grows and spreads to its surroundings. And then finally, our board of experienced members, who support the students during the project. The students receive professional guidance, both during the preparation phase and the execution of their project. This guidance is ensured by our enthusiastic team of volunteers within the organization.
Session 2 - February 4 at 10:00 (GMT)
Energy-Efficient Pulse Driven Intelligent Streetlight by students from Tsinghua University, China
Intelligent Streetlight is a product that was developed to address the current shortcomings of traditional street lighting by integrating a variety of services into a centralized system via IoT and Cloud Computing. The product can be fully equipped with 5G, narrow-band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) base stations, and various smart sensors, among other things, to form a powerful IoT platform that integrates lighting, disaster prevention, network communication, monitoring, climate data, and a variety of other functions. This is entirely feasible since the product is powered by solar and wind energy. Pulse-driven LED is what sets this lamp post apart whereby it surpasses all traditional streetlighting methods when comparing figures; proving an 87% decrease in kWh when put against a standard sodium vapor lamp. The Intelligent Streetlight serves its purpose mainly by analyzing and comparing pedestrians that are in close proximity to traffic flow and providing recommendations for optimal route planning along with other necessary updates and information provided by the streetlight-integrated sensors and measuring instruments mentioned above. As the 5G era approaches, the products aim is expected to continue focusing on high speed and low latency to improve the products iteration.
Galway Environmental Festival by students from the Energy Society, University of Galway.
The Galway Environmental Festival put on display local organizations, students, outreach groups, researchers, companies, and communities doing excellent work with renewable energy, climate policy, sustainability, environmental protection, and water and air quality from the University of Galway and Galway City. The event was also promoted as part of the Galway National Park City initiative of which the Energy Society is part of. The aim was to allow for groups to display the work that they have done addressing energy challenges for the general public, to show the public that change and progress are being made, and to inform the public of the issue we still face and what they themselves can do. It is often the case (as we have been told by several environmental activism and advocacy groups) that organizations and researchers are doing a lot of work to address energy problems and derive and implement greener solutions, but that it is difficult to effectively communicate these accomplishments with the public. Multiple groups themselves have asked us to help them broadcast the information regarding their work more effectively. It is also an effect of this situation that the public sometimes feels discouraged and as though nothing is being done. Therefore, having a way to display all of the great work that is being done by energy groups will serve as a way for the groups to share their accomplishments and give the public hope that change is being made.
Plant forest by students from the University of Gent, Belgium
Softening project Coupure, in collaboration with Green Office, StuJardin and wood lab Bioengineers. We came up with an idea to start a greening project on our own campus! We immediately thought this was a very nice idea; it would involve 4 parking zones. But not everyone wanted the parking zones to go away just yet. This was followed by a series of consultations with the deanery and the building committee, in which we, together with the green office and some enthusiastic professors, had to convince them. Fortunately, we succeeded and got permission to green all four zones. We drew up our own design and plant list. With the aim of creating a new green space that is attractive to people and nature. The greening is divided into two parts, the forest part and the garden part. In the woodland part, we planted a good shrub layer that fits in with the mini forest climate that was already there. In the garden part, we have focused on bee-friendly, mainly indigenous planting that can also attract many insects and birds. In the garden section, we also focus on the recreational aspect: there will be a picnic table and a swing. This will give students a nice and quiet place to relax during their breaks. We organized a planting campaign together with students. In one afternoon, together with about 30 students, we planted 700 perennials, 33 shrubs and 2000 bulbs in the rain. We also placed some bird boxes and drilled holes in poles for nesting opportunities for bees.
Sanitation Concept for Karagwe Schools by students from Engineers Without Borders in Uppsala University, Sweden
We all know hygiene is vital for health, but access to quality toilets is also a big social issue. In many communities lack of proper bathrooms has been shown to discourage students from attending school. Especially girls that?s menstruating. Many girls miss out on up to a week of school each month. Meaning no access to a toilet apart from spreading diseases, also leads to gender inequality. It was on the basis of this problem that the Engineers without borders project sanitation concept for Karagwe schools started. Attempting to solve two of the Sustainable Development Goals, gender equality and good health. In collaboration with the organization Mavuno in Tanzania and Sandvik, a project team of students from many different studies developed a prototype of a sustainable user-friendly toilet to be placed at a school in Karagwe. One of the most important additions to the prototype of the toilet was a menstrual hygiene room to make sure all students can be comfortable attending school. This is only one of many Engineers without borders projects but a perfect example of what students actually can accomplish even during their studies.
Session 3 - February 7 at 18:00 (GMT)
Sustainability Summer Schools by students from the University of Gent, Belgium
Three Sustainability Summer Schools were organized in the summer of 2022 for and by students: Climate, Degrowth and Animal Welfare. Through workshops, lectures, a field trip, and speed dates students learn 5 days in a row about how to build an equitable society within planetary boundaries. These summer schools are for and by students, implementing different and innovative learning methods. The educational value of the 200 students that followed one of the summer schools is very highly evaluated. Learning not just from academics and academics in the field, but also from each other, getting to know each other, ... The exchange between students, the inspiring, hopeful and activating setting and the interdisciplinary learning from each other are the most appreciated aspects of the summer school. Interestingly, the summer school once again created a group of friends of engaged students, which the Green Office can regularly count on.
Sustainability in Universities - Curriculum and Carbon Footprint, by Thomas Adams from the University of Galway, Ireland
The title of my PhD is ”Opportunities and Barriers for Universities to Become Leaders in Sustainable Development”. The project is focused on sustainability in Universities, taking the University of Galway as a case study. The project is split into two areas - the curriculum and the carbon footprint. I wanted to explain this initially to make the point that, if this proposal is accepted, I can present about either one or both of these projects. Both are relevant to sustainability in universities but tackle different areas. The objective of the curriculum project is to create a tool that can accurately measure a list of module learning outcomes for the presence of material related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The objective of the carbon footprint project is to create a database of supplier specific emission factors so that scope 3 emissions can be more accurately calculated.
Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3) by students from Concordia University, Canada
CP3’s circular recycling program to give plastic waste a new life. The Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3) is a multi-disciplinary student-led initiative focuses on plastic waste management on campus by recycling plastic on-site into products. We also raise awareness about the plastic crisis by hosting workshops for students and the community to learn more about plastic waste and alternatives to reducing waste. Finally, we help students to conduct research about plastic waste in all fields, such as engineering, political science, and business. We are a group of students across all four faculties united by the goal of protecting the environment and giving plastic waste a new life.
Wasted week by students from the University of Galway, Ireland
A week-long campaign addressing "Waste" as a topic of interest selected by the SU Climate Crew as high priority in Student life here in Ireland, Waste. It has been brought to the Students’ Union attention waste segregation into recycling and general bins facilities around campus is not adhered to. As students, we felt that as a community, we can do better in keeping Galway clean. Students make up one-fourth of Galway city’s population. If they were to adhere to Waste segregation and stopped littering streets, it would greatly improve the city’s image and how students are seen in the public eye. Often, students are seen as troublemakers and we want to change that image to a more positive one. Students should be the ones driving the change towards a more sustainable Galway. These issues were addressed over the week in nine in-person and four online events from Monday, 7th Nov. 2022 to Friday 11th 2022 with overall attendance of ~400 students and engaging with seven other community groups around the city. 150 compostable bins were given out to students and over 40 students got their bikes fixed for free. The campaign was a huge success and since it ran, many more events have followed. We are extending the campaign from one week to the whole next semester, involving even more stakeholders. As a Students’ Union, we are very proud of the change achieved and of the students to engage.
Adopt a tree and plant it by students from Iberoamericana University, Mexico City
Through a programmed reforestation activity, it will adopt a reflective and critical attitude about the urgent need to link theory with practice and It will value citizen participation as part of the actions that contribute to counteracting the deterioration and contamination of the environment.