Estates & Facilities getting their holiday spirit on

Our office at Capital House is officially in the holiday spirit. On Friday, we had a Christmas jumper day to help raise money for Save the Children and through donations and selling cakes and biscuits we gathered together a total of £65.46. Thanks to everyone that participated!

A great infographic from 2degrees, which includes some fun facts about Christmas, helps to remind us that an unfortunate side-effect of the holiday season in the UK is typically an immense amount of waste. Apparently each year the UK throws away 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and a staggering 74 million mince pies! To add to that, we throw away enough wrapping paper to stretch to the moon (that’s nearly 250,000 miles worth of wrapping paper!). And we’re not even digging into issues surrounding Christmas trees. Indeed, the holidays can make it easy to forget about sustainability, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping sustainability in mind fits well with the holiday spirit of giving – for all that we take during the holidays, we shouldn’t forget to give something back to our surroundings.

The holidays pose specific sustainability challenges for universities. Offices close for longer than usual and any students that live on campus return home or travel during the holidays. As such, it’s important to ensure that energy isn’t being wasted while nobody is here to use it! If you live in halls and have not left yet, please take a look at our holiday check list. Likewise, if you’re a member of staff, look over our shutdown guide to make sure that we save as much as possible over the break.

Shut down guide

Of course, the holidays are also a time for reflection and looking ahead to the future. We hope you’ve all enjoyed an exciting first term. It’s been a whirlwind for us with various staff settling into new roles and a slate of events including our Sustainability Forum, NUS Blackout and the initial stages of implementing Sustainability Champions. Meanwhile Kat, Tom, Sunny, Martin and Ann have been drafting a new sustainability strategy including new policies and programs that we’ll learn a lot more about in the coming year.

Indeed, 2015 promises to be even busier and more engaging. We’ll be hosting and supporting a range of events and initiatives including a packed Green Week in February, an Environmental and Ethical Careers Conference put on by EcoSoc in March and the full implementation of Sustainability Champions, among other things. Please see below for some important second term dates for your diaries – we’ll add more as they develop. We couldn’t be more excited for what the next term has in store and we hope you’ll join us!

Until then, we wish you all a very happy holiday. Just remember to keep it sustainable!

Upcoming events (term 2)

  • Tuesday, 27 January, 18.00: Second Sustainability Forum
  • 9-13 February: Go Green Week
  • Monday, 23 March, 10.00-16.00: Environmental and Ethical Careers Conference (EcoSoc)

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