Explore the London Student Sustainability Conference posters

King’s Sustainability Team had the fantastic opportunity to co-host the London Student Sustainability Conference (LSSC) with City, University of London on Wednesday, 24th February 2021. Over 30 students presented their sustainable research and projects through presentations, posters and performances.

The posters from LSSC 2021 can be viewed here. Look out for the poster competition prize winners, including King’s students Liza Konash (BSc Nutrition) and Mia Lewis (BA International Relations) for ‘Best Overall Poster’ for the vegetable bag scheme Fetch Ur Veg.

Recordings of the events can now be found on our Kaltura.

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Lighting: What are my options and why does it matter?

This guest blog comes from Mason Cole, MA Politics and Contemporary History student and Sustainability Champion Assistant (SCA), supporting the King’s Energy Team.

To me, lighting always seemed like a pretty alien concept. You move into a house already fitted with a certain kind of lightbulb. When they run out you survive the darkness for a few days until your landlord replaces the lightbulb or one of your more science-minded housemates gets irritated enough to figure out how to switch it. Added to the fact that there are so many options on the market, the technical names and language can make choosing the right lightbulb overwhelming.

Lighting is actually far simpler than we’re led to believe. You want to figure out three things: the size of your lightbulb fixture, your desired luminosity and the type of lightbulb technology you’d like. We focus here on the latter.

What are the options?

There are four main options on the market: incandescent, halogen, CFL and LED lightbulbs, but what are they and how are they different?

Incandescent: These are the classic – your OG lightbulbs if you like. They contain a small filament that is heated until it glows. Chances are when you think of a lightbulb, this is the one that you think of. The problem is, incandescent bulbs emit 90% of their energy as heat and if you retain a brightness of 800 lumens your energy cost is £4.38 per bulb, per year.

Halogen – These are pretty similar to incandescent lightbulbs except they also have a small capsule containing halogen gas. This capsule helps prolong the life of the lamp and keeps it clear as the reaction “recycles” the halide gas within the capsule rather than depositing it inside the lamp. However, they are significantly more expensive to run, and the European Union banned the import and production of Halogen bulbs in 2018, so there goes that option!

CFL – CFLs, or Compact Fluorescent Lamps, are those fancy twisted bulbs. This “twist” is actually a glass tube filled with mercury vapour and gas with an electrode at either end. When an electric current passes through the tube, it ignites the mercury vapour and creates UV light. This is invisible to the naked eye so there is a phosphor coating on the tube which, when it comes into contact with the ignited gas, fluoresces…get it? Not only do they look cool, but CFLs are up to 70% more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and they last much longer.

LEDs – The new kid on the block. LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) work by sending an electrical current through a microchip which illuminates the LED…modern stuff! LEDs really are modern, and the future of lighting. The annual running cost of an LED bulb at 800 lumens is £0.92…yes you read that right. They also use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 years.

So what is King’s doing?

Here at King’s, we recognise the potential of LEDs and are working to switch our existing bulbs over. The Franklin Wilkins Building, Macadam and New Hunts House are fully LED, while there are currently two projects for Rayne Building common areas, some labs and Britannia House to convert to LED. We have also commissioned a survey of all the campuses to find out our current lighting status and where we need to upgrade to LED.

For more information on recognising your lightbulbs and the benefits of switching to LED, tune in this Tuesday 13th April for our #TakeoverTuesday on King’s Sustainability Instagram. And as always, feel free to get in touch if you’d like to get involved with Energy at King’s.

12 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and take action on the climate crisis

This guest blog comes from Josh Hill, a zero-waste brand owner with Soseas and scientist. 

Are you suffering from eco-anxiety? Thinking about global warming and increased pollution but overwhelmed and feeling powerless to do anything about it?

In this post, we’ll be giving you 12 ways you can implement today to reduce your carbon footprint. 

While tackling the climate crisis requires systemic change, taking action, however small, on an individual basis can help us remain hopeful and can inspire action from those around us. We remain mindful that not all have the resources to make the changes outlined below. Simply sparking a conversation with loved ones can have an impact, so do what you are able to do 🙂

Food

Food and the industries surrounding it are hugely wasteful. With 820 million people across the world not having enough food to live an active and healthy life, we have an ethical obligation to eat sustainably for the planet and its inhabitants.

#1 Eat more greens

One of the most polluting industries is animal agriculture. This is for multiple reasons, including:

  • The land being used for animal agriculture often results from the clearing of carbon trapping biomes, such as forests;
  • The animals themselves emit greenhouse gases whilst alive;
  • The subsequent transportation of animals and meat.

The solution is simple and effective – eat less meat! Try meat-free Monday to start and take it from there.

#2 Eat local and seasonal

Having all foods available year-round has its drawbacks. In order to keep supermarket shelves stocked with sun-loving fruits and veggies year-round, they have to be imported from far-flung corners of the earth.

To avoid the air miles associated with this practice, eat locally and seasonally. The best way to introduce yourself to this way of eating is to visit your local farmers market or sign up for a local veg box scheme.

#3 Reduce your food waste

It is estimated as much as ⅓ of all food ends up being thrown away, but it doesn’t have to be this way! By reducing your food waste not only will you reduce your impact but you’ll save money too.

Here are some tips for reducing food waste:

  1. Freeze any leftovers you have
  2. Only shop for what you need and write a list to avoid deviating from that
  3. Store food correctly (not always refrigeration) to make sure it lasts as long as possible
  4. Try pickling and preserving
  5. Get creative with what’s left in your fridge

Clothing

The textile and clothing industry is another hugely polluting industry, particularly when it comes to fast fashion. Not only this, but fast fashion is associated with unethical working conditions.

#4 Ditch fast fashion

Fast fashion is a hugely polluting industry. Producing mass amounts of clothes is hugely resource-intensive and the decomposition of the large proportion of un-bought and un-used clothes going to landfill results in a huge amount of greenhouse gases as they decompose.

A great alternative is to aim for a capsule wardrobe. This simple, minimalist approach to clothes makes sure you’re always in style whilst maintaining a low number of classic items – buy fewer clothes but make them last! 

#5 Shop preloved

An easy addition to ditching fast fashion to supercharge your efforts is to shop vintage and preloved clothing. Not only will you help save clothing from going to landfill but it’s often a cheaper alternative to buying brand-new.

Home

It can be hard to tell just how polluting and resource-intensive your house is but here are some small things you can do!

#6 Unplug electronics

Your electronics can still draw on power when on standby or switched off. Instead, unplug items or switch them off at the socket to make sure they’re not draining excess electricity.

#7 Switch to LED bulbs

LED bulbs are certainly more expensive than traditional filament bulbs. Fortunately they use 75% less electricity and can last up to 25 times longer making them an essential eco switch at home!

#8 Turn down the temperature

Turning down your thermostat and your washing machine temperature can seriously reduce the amount of electricity you use.

Remember, most electricity supplied to households results from burning fossil fuels, so reducing your electricity consumption will indirectly reduce your carbon footprint!

Whilst we’re on that subject…

#9 Switch to a green energy provider

As many countries vow to reduce their emissions in line with the Paris Agreement a rise in renewable energy sources has been seen. With this, many alternative energy providers are now providing energy solely from renewable sources.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can both switch to cheaper, fairer and more environmentally-friendly energy and support your community in doing so, check out the Citizens UK Fair Energy Campaign, as well as how student group King’s 4 Change is supporting the campaign at King’s.

Transport

Transport represents one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases resulting from human activities, specifically car and plane travel. Let’s look at the alternatives.

#10 Drive less

Driving less is a great way to cut your emissions. Try cycling or public transport as an alternative to your morning commute. Not only will this reduce CO2 emissions but also other harmful pollutants.

#11 Try staycations

Air travel is another hugely polluting industry. Avoiding unnecessary flights by going by train when possible or opting for a local staycation is a great way to cut down on emissions.

BONUS

#12 Get involved!

Sign petitions, go to protests, engage on social media, and share with your peers and community. Use your voice and use your vote!

Do you have any other tips for reducing your carbon footprint at home? Comment down below and let us know your favourites!

 

 

A look into the pros and cons of renewable energy sources

This guest blog comes from Mason Cole, MA Politics and Contemporary History student and Sustainability Champion Assistant (SCA), supporting the King’s Energy Team.

With energy being such an important issue these days, no doubt you’ve heard of renewable energy. But what counts as renewable energy? Which energy source is best? How does it work? So many questions!

Don’t worry, here at King’s Energy we’ve got you covered. We’ve picked out the 5 main renewable energy sources and crunched them into a simple pro and con for each.

Solar Power

Let’s start with the obvious – solar power. We could all do with a little more sun, but why not make the most of the little sun we do have?

  • Pro: Low-maintenance. Once solar panels are installed, not only can they drastically increase the value of a building, but they also last for 30 years meaning you need to do little besides sit and save money on your energy!
  • Con: Unfortunately they aren’t suitable for every roof type. If your roof has slate or cedar tiles, then it may not be possible for you to install the racking necessary to mount the panels. Additionally, the initial cost of installing solar panels is fairly high.

Wind Power

I think we can all agree that wind is something we get plenty of on these shores, but just how efficient is it?

  • Pro: Space efficiency. Wind turbines actually take up fairly limited space for what they produce and new initiatives such as floating wind farms could see this increase further in years to come.
  • Con: Output is intermittent. While we do get a lot of wind in the UK, it is not 24/7, meaning wind turbines should be paired with some form of energy capture technology.

Hydropower

As an island nation we have an abundance of water, so why not consider using it to fuel our everyday lives?

  • Pro: Reliable. Usually, hydropower plants are installed near stable bodies of water meaning the supply is constant. As such, it is a good option to have when your wind turbines or solar panels are not meeting demand.
  • Con: Hydropower faces a unique set of environmental and social challenges. It can adversely impact the surrounding environment and populations by changing the course of rivers and other bodies of water, altering animal migration habits, impacting land use or even displacing local populations.

Biomass

A rather controversial one, but a good means to ensure that nothing goes to waste – or is it…?

  • Pro: Reduce waste. Biomass can make use of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of organic matter which currently sits in landfill sites.
  • Con: Space and cost requirements. Transporting and storing the waste is a costly and time-consuming process. Competition for arable land for other agricultural practices is also an issue, and the drive to create biomass farms can result in deforestation and food security issues in some regions. It is therefore crucial for bioenergy projects to be assessed against the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental.

Hydrogen

What many consider to be the silver bullet – but is hydrogen all it’s made out to be?

  • Pro: No harmful emissions! The only emission from hydrogen is clean drinking water.
  • Con: Volatility. Hydrogen needs to be stored in liquid form as it is volatile and prone to combustion. This makes it incredibly hard to store and transport.

Which of these do you think is the way forward? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’d like more information or want to get involved, email us at energy@kcl.ac.uk or head over to the King’s Sustainability Instagram.

Home energy saving tips

This guest blog comes from Mason Cole, MA Politics and Contemporary History student and Sustainability Champion Assistant (SCA), supporting the King’s Energy Team.

King’s Sustainability understands that not all have the resources to switch to renewable energy. This blog, therefore, outlines some simple and accessible ways to save energy at home. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can both switch to cheaper, fairer and more environmentally-friendly energy and support your community in doing so, check out the Citizens UK Fair Energy Campaign, as well as how student group King’s 4 Change is supporting the campaign at King’s

Ask not what your planet can do for you, ask what you can do for your planet: How to save energy from your home

Okay so let’s ignore the political reference here, the point is that you want to become more energy-efficient, but you don’t want it to cost you, right? Well, good news for you – at the King’s energy team, we’ve put our heads together and come up with five startlingly simple ways you can save energy at home. And guess what, they’re basically free!

  • Don’t have double glazing? Use clingfilm instead

No, you did not read that wrong. While of course, it is not as effective as double glazing, using clingfilm around the edges of your windows can help your house to retain heat and therefore actually save you money on your heating bill.

  • Put tin foil behind your radiators

Yes, we know, it sounds crazy but you’re here to save energy on a budget and this is the ultimate method! Aluminium is a great conductor of heat (ever tried touching your foil when it’s fresh from the oven? Don’t!) and putting it behind your radiators will allow your rooms to retain heat and stay warm for longer. You may feel silly doing it but wait for the rebate on the energy bill and it’ll all be worth it!

  • Don’t leave anything on standby

An obvious one, we know. And one that should be redundant in the UK given we have those lovely switches on our plug sockets. However, we’re all guilty of this from time-to-time. If you see an orange or red light then turn it off, and yes, that includes your phone charger!

  • Be patient

Yes, we are still talking about energy. Be patient with your thermostat. Did you know that blitzing the heating doesn’t actually turn up quicker? Set it to your desired level then relax and wait for it to catch up. Your feet will be toasty in no time.

  • DO NOT BLOCK YOUR AIRBRICKS

Oooh capitals, must be serious eh? Right. Air bricks are vital for ventilation and prevent CO2 build-up. They may not be the most attractive things in the world but if you cover your air brick you may find yourself getting very sleepy, and not in a good way.

So, there you have it! Five things you can do at home to save money and do your bit for the planet. King’s are making great progress with their energy usage, and in the spirit of lockdown, it’s time for us to play our part from home too!

If you’d like more information, or want to get involved, be sure to email us at energy@kcl.ac.uk or head over to the King’s Sustainability Instagram page.

King’s Sustainability Team’s participation in the Mayor of London’s Resilience Fund

This blog comes from Nicola Hogan, Sustainability Manager at King’s.

As part of London’s wider efforts to ensure the city emerges stronger from COVID-19, the Mayor of London’s Office has launched ‘The Resilience Fund’. The fund is calling on innovators to address key challenges facing the city in the hope that not only will London and the UK be able to ‘build back better’ but also be better prepared for future disruptive challenges.

King’s College London’s sustainability team and Better Bankside have partnered in their application to be part of the Mayor for London’s Resilience Fund and created the Smart Mobility Challenge. This challenge asks innovators and ‘solution providers’ to create an intelligent tool that can devise shorter, faster and ultimately greener freight journeys through urban areas.

The Problem

Many of our towns and cities routinely breach air quality standards, exposing many of us to dangerous levels of air pollution. Organisations with multiple sites who operate fleets of vehicles like King’s College London, typically drive thousands of miles a year moving goods from one campus to another on an as-needed basis, and in doing so, emit air polluting CO2 and NOx. Unfortunately, the current ‘fleet usage’ system at King’s is reactive and could be considered wasteful. Once a request for the transport of goods is made, it’s carried out with only an occasional opportunity for consolidation of goods to the same location. Also, as debris from tyre wear and breaking also contribute to air pollution, this is another factor that solution providers need to consider.

The Fund is therefore calling on innovators – tech SMEs, engineers, social enterprises and others – to develop solutions to some of London’s key challenges, many of which centre around sustainability.
Each challenge is sponsored by a Resilience Partner, and include local authorities, public agencies, business improvement districts and charities, who will work with the innovator to test and implement their technologies and ideas.

The Solution

Reducing the number of miles driven and corresponding air pollutants while maintaining economic resilience are the challenge’s key objectives, so in the shorter term, the impact may include ‘re-moding’ (transition to cleaner modes of transport), re-timing of deliveries (reducing journeys made when most people are occupying the public realm) or reducing the number of polluting delivery vehicles (consolidating deliveries).

Longer-term impacts might include, investment into cleaner fleets and/or reduction in fleet size, the movement of goods made more resilient and reliable as data expands. The solution would provide King’s College London and other fleet using organisations with better information on how to make their fleet operations more efficient, thereby helping to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

 

 

The Ethics of Carbon Offsetting: An Interview with Dr Joachim Aufderheide

This guest blog comes from Rebecca Lindsay, BA Philosophy and Spanish student and Sustainability Champion Assistant (SCA), supporting the King’s Energy Team.

Carbon offsetting is the source of much debate in the energy world, being that it’s extremely difficult to ensure you’re offsetting correctly. This week we’ve teamed up with Dr Joachim Aufderheide from the Philosophy department to discuss all things ethics-related when it comes to offsetting our carbon emissions!

First, some background – what is carbon offsetting?

Joachim Aufderheide (JA): Through our carbon emissions, we contribute to global warming, which in turn causes much harm, especially in developing countries. It is morally wrong to harm others and/or destroy their resources. We cannot, however, simply stop emitting greenhouse gases (to which CO2 counts). So, in order to cancel out the harm we do, we can offset our emissions. I cause a certain amount of CO2 to be emitted during a certain period of time. This CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for a very long time. Now, if I cause the same amount of CO2 to be reduced in that timeframe, I have offset my CO2, and thereby have mitigated the harm I do.

How do we do ‘offsetting’ in a meaningful way, with the most impact, while not undermining the emphasis on carbon reduction?

JA: First off, we need to be clear about what ‘reducing’ means. By, for example, planting trees, we create carbon sinks that bind the CO2 we emit. However, this is not a good strategy because when the trees die, the carbon will re-enter the atmosphere. It takes millions of years to move carbon from the atmosphere back into the so-called passive carbon pool, below ground as oil. So, when we offset, we need to support measures to prevent carbon from being taken from the passive carbon pool and transferred into the active one, i.e., the atmosphere. In plain language, we need to support reducing emissions on the one hand and improving renewable energy on the other.

Second, it must be clear that offsetting is a temporary measure: even if we offset our CO2 emissions, emitting at the same rates is not sustainable. The carbon market will become more and more saturated: the easy and cost-effective projects to reduce carbon emissions will have been completed at some point. Then the spotlight shines back on us who have not changed our emissions but chose instead to pay other people to reduce their emissions. So, to avoid the worst harm that we cause through global warming, we should not only offset our emissions but also reduce our emissions.

Third, I think that many of us are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. But many of us don’t know what our footprint is, and what we should do. I wonder whether making the carbon cost clear, for example, by labelling our purchases, would be helpful.

How can we most powerfully make the case for offsetting when it will involve increased spend at a financially difficult time?

JA: It might help to put things into perspective. Compared to previous generations, we are not in financial difficulties. We have become more and more wealthy so that many are sufficiently wealthy now to make ends meet and live reasonably well. While economic development is important, we must not forget the goal: to enable people to live and to live well. If we exploit our planet too much, these goals will become increasingly more difficult to attain.

What kind of monitoring is (or should be) in place to ensure that there are actual carbon reductions in the offsets that we may purchase, and are some areas of offsetting ‘better’ or ‘worse’ for this?

JA: Offsetting presents some problems. First, it is unclear whether we buy genuine offsets. For instance, if a project is funded through offset funds, it would genuinely offset emissions only if it would not have happened otherwise. But this is not always clear. If a country is sufficiently interested in, let’s say, a wind farm to have it built as an offsetting project, then it seems likely that there would have been other ways to realise this project.

Second, and relatedly, some projects are double-counted, both as offsetting emissions and as part of a country’s effort to reduce emissions.

Third, it is not always easy to measure the impact of the project. Buying cleaner and more efficient stoves for communities in the developing world only offset our emissions if they are actually used. But this is not always the case. So, it would be good if projects were not one-off and, at the very least, we should collect data to determine the efficiency of projects. This would allow us to get a more accurate account of how much different projects tend to offset.

Finally, projects that do not require people to change the way they cook or do other daily things might not only be more effective but also less ‘invasive’: if we don’t change our ways, why should they?

What are the risks for developing nations when agreeing to offset UK carbon emissions?

JA: Some offsetting projects mean well, but don’t do good. For instance (monoculture) tree plantations can have bad effects on wildlife, soil and water. Building a dam often comes with complex political questions about access to water further down the river and this can lead to conflicts. Another host of problems surrounds the rights of indigenous people who might live where the projects are to be located.

Where in the world are offsets most valuable and what kinds of activities are most effective?

JA: The utilitarian argument that we can do better for the world by focusing on developing countries is rather strong. It is expensive for us to cut down our carbon emissions. So, instead of that, we should use the money we save to fund projects in developing countries, thereby offsetting more CO2 than if we had merely focused on reducing our emissions. If indeed we invest the money so saved in addressing climate matters, we are not self-indulgent.

How truly ethical are the offsetting schemes with a UN Gold standard?

JA: I am no expert in this, but the Gold Standard takes many factors into consideration that were ignored in the past, and to some extent still are by other offsetting standards. For example, child labour, the indigenous peoples affected, labour rights, the impacts on water. It seeks to benefit the local population as well as cutting down on carbon emissions. However, like all the other standards, the Gold Standard allows the people running the projects to collect their own data. It would be an improvement if there would be independent monitoring.

What valuation should we be using when choosing between offsetting schemes?

JA: As far as I can see, most projects certified by the Gold Standard seem genuinely beneficial.

What pitfalls should we be looking for?

JA: Perhaps the biggest pitfall is complacency. Even if we’re offsetting our emissions, this does not mean we’re home and dry. We must be aware that it is a temporary measure that bridges the way towards a more environmentally conscious use of our resources. We must commit to reducing our carbon emissions, not only the emissions elsewhere in the world.

Should we (King’s) set up our own scheme?

JA: I’m not sure. I’d think we should offset and reduce our emissions. But we as an educational institution should seek to do more about the education that’s necessary to change the behaviour of emitters: individual people, groups, and organisations. It would be amazing if we could set up a scheme with schools on environmental education.

 

Thanks to Dr Aufderheide for answering our questions!

If you would like more information on how we use energy at King’s, or want to get involved, head over to the King’s Sustainability Instagram page or email the energy team at energy@kcl.ac.uk. We’d love to hear from you.

 

King’s Climate Action Network Exhibition

King’s Climate Action Network (King’s CAN) has been presenting some of their work over the past few weeks, through their exhibition and across King’s Sustainability social media. 

 

What is King’s CAN?  

King’s CAN is an open, interdisciplinary forum to support King’s commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2025. It brings together individuals with expertise in particular topics or simply a passion for sustainability from across the King’s community to create a zero-carbon strategy for the university.

Working across eleven key impact areas, from energy consumption to research and education, the seven sub-groups aim to propose solutions, create positive impact and engage the King’s community around climate action. The network is aiming to collate a net-zero carbon strategy by summer 2021 – in the meantime, here’s a little summary of what each sub-group has been working on:

Procurement and Waste 

Procurement and Waste cover everything from our food to IT and lab supplies.  In 2018/2019, emissions from procurement were over 85,000 tonnes of CO2 (compared to 30,552 tonnes from scope 1 and 2 emissions from fuels and electricity – read more about different emission categories here). Almost 90% of these emissions come from our supply chain, meaning that they are indirect emissions, which makes reducing them even more challenging! 

The procurement and waste sub-group have accepted this challenge and are working in collaboration with the Procurement team, King’s Food and other parts of King’s to better understand how we can reduce our emissions and waste.  

Responsible Investment 

King’s has fully divested from all fossil fuels 2 years ahead of schedule! The Responsible Investment sub-group is now working to take this further and use our influence to encourage staff pension funds to invest more responsibly. In addition, they have collaborated with Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS)UK to review practice and policy across the sector and create a new version of the King’s Investment Policy. 

Zero Carbon Estate 

On a national level, the built environment contributes to approximately 40% of our total carbon footprint. Although our heritage and listed campus buildings present a particularly significant challenge, King’s is currently working on a Heat Decarbonisation Plan that will map the current energy usage of each estate and put forward ways to reduce or decarbonise buildings to help meet the challenge of net zero by 2025. 

Travel 

Focusing on two key aspects of travel, business travel and daily commuting, the Travel sub-group is working on identifying ways we can shift our travel patterns to reduce travel-related emissions.  

Air travel represents our second biggest scope 3 emissions, after procurement. King’s must encourage virtual meetings when possible and train-travel for close-by destinations, as well as communicate this information to staff and students, and provide guides on how to book the least impactful modes of travel for each required trip.  

Flight destinations in 2018-2019 – the bigger the bubble, the more flights we took there.

 

Research 

This sub-group seeks to highlight the fascinating research on climate and sustainability already taking place at King’s by collating projects into an online ‘Climate Action Hub.’ In addition to this, they want to encourage interdisciplinary research, to ensure students and staff are aware of the ways they can take action, as well as create opportunities for students to conduct their own research on sustainability. 

Students & Education: 

“Education is the core of what we do at King’s. […] We have the opportunity to reach everyone at King’s and give them tools to think about the challenges of climate change, how to tackle it and take it to a much wider audience when they leave King’s” (Oli, sub-group member, Senior Technical Officer and Founder of King’s Community Garden). 

The Students and Education sub-group is dedicated to the issue of climate education. They are taking an active role in guiding the university on the best ways to embed sustainability within the curriculum, across all faculties to educate the community as well as provide opportunities to develop practical skills for climate action. 

Community and Engagement:  

“Climate change policies should not perpetuate existing socio-economic inequalities. In order to prevent this from occurring, we cannot start with top-down government policy” (Abigail, sub-group member, BSc Global Health and Social Medicine student and Co-Founder of King’s 4 Change) 

Acting on the climate crisis requires coming together as a collective and creating space for conversations that include diverse ideas and experiences. The Community and Engagement sub-group is seeking to centre these ideas throughout all of King’s climate actionIndeed, as a higher education institution, King’s must provide a meeting place for communities, as well as listen to the needs and challenges of our local communities, share our findings, experience and expertise, and support community initiatives. 

 

King’s CAN is open to everyone from the King’s Community – students, staff and alumni. If you’d like to get involved in tackling these important issues, King’s CAN would love to hear from you! 

 

Sustainability Month 2021 – Round-Up #4

This blog is the fourth in a series of four posts on Sustainability Month 2021.

SWEET & SUSTAINABLE: FAIRTRADE VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE BROWNIE BAKING CLASS WITH KING’S FOOD 

Ending the month on a sweet and sustainable note, we learned how to make King’s Food’s delicious Fairtrade vegan and gluten-free brownies.  

This event, along with the Fairtrade Fortnight Launch event we hosted on 22 February,  marked the Fairtrade Fortnight festival which ran from 22 Feb to 7 March 

What is Fairtrade Fortnight? 

Fairtrade is about better prices and working conditions for producers, as well as improving local sustainability. By working with farmers, businesses and consumers, Fairtrade sets social, economic and environmental standards for food production. 

In addition to bringing awareness to the Fairtrade accreditation and its impact on producers, this year’s festival focused on ‘Climate, Fairtrade and You,’ delving into the complex links between farmers, global food productionwhat we put in our plates and the climate crisis. If you’d like to learn more about these issues, catch up on the wonderful events from this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight.  

What is King’s doing to support Fairtrade?  

All teacoffee and chocolate at King’s and KCLSU is certified as Fairtrade. King’s Food has also worked to remove unsustainable brand such as Coca Colato more ethical and Fairtrade brands, such as Karma Cola. KCLSU even stocks some Fairtrade certified alcohol in the SU bars! King’s Sustainability Team, King’s Food and KCLSU run a quarterly Sustainable Food & Fairtrade Steering Group. This is open to any student or staff member at King’s to suggest sustainable ideas/projects and this is also where progress, such as King’s’ Fairtrade accreditation is reported on.  

 

Recordings of the events can now be found on our Kaltura.  

If you’d like to stay in touch, sign up for our monthly newsletter and follow us on InstagramFacebook or Twitter. 

Sustainability Month 2021 – Round-Up #3

This blog is the third in a series of four posts on Sustainability Month 2021. 

 

LONDON STUDENT SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE 

King’s had the wonderful opportunity to co-host this year’s London Student Sustainability Conference (LSSC) with City University. Over 30 students presented their sustainable research through presentations, posters and performances. 

The diverse range of presentations covered the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and we left the conference feeling inspired by the many students choosing to engage with the complexity of sustainability through their studies.  

Here are some highlights:  

‘Dust Fertilization in Terrestrial Ecosystems: The Sahara to Amazon Basin’ 

Globally, wind-driven dust plays a major role in biogeochemical cycles. Robyn’s presentation discussed the crucial role of Saharan dust in the Amazon Rainforest – it acts as a fertilizer and provides important nutrients that contribute to the ecosystem’s overall productivity. But how will these processes be impacted by changing weather patterns and climate change? (Robyn Lees, BSc Geography).

How to Promote Sustainable and Healthy Food Consumption in University Students? 

Recognizing that our dietary choices sit at the nexus of human, planetary and economic health, this student-led vegetable bag scheme explored how we can promote sustainable and healthy food consumption in university students (Fetch Ur VegLiza Konash, BSc Nutrition and Mia Lewis, BA International Relations).

Climate and Cake: What can you do?  

Climate and Cake is an education program for sustainable living. Its goal is to create a space for and support open discussions on sustainability and offer realistic ways individuals notably, students can act on climate change (Ana Oancea, BA International Development).

If this is something you’d like to get involved in next year, keep an eye out for news on LSSC 2022!  

 

Recordings of the events can now be found on our Kaltura.  

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