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Welcome to the Sustainability Newsletter - A condensed look at sustainability at the University of Leeds.

Welcome to the March newsletter! In this edition we showcase some of the amazing things happening right now and highlight ways in which you can get involved with sustainability both on and off campus. 

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Be Curious festival 2017

Be Curious Festival is almost upon us! On Saturday 25th March the Parkinson Building will host the all-day festival, celebrating some of the exciting, innovative and meaningful research students and staff are carrying out here at the University that has a direct or indirect influence on Leeds and Yorkshire.This showcase event is open to all staff, students and members of the public giving people the opportunity to get involved with interactive stalls and workshops running throughout the day!

Sustainability is showcasing two core programmes:
  1. Creating Sustainable Futures: Community Engagement Projects - where students undertake innovative research with community and third sector organisations.
  2. Living Lab programme: Campus and City scale research - co-developed to meet real world challenges.
More information about the day can be found here. If you'd like to volunteer with us on the drop us an email on We look forward to seeing you on the day!
Heading home for Easter?

Want to avoid leaving your street looking like this?

With most student tenancies drawing to a close, now is the time to start thinking about moving house and moving your things. During changeover period, students in Leeds throw away 360,000 tonnes of waste! That includes everything from iPads and printers, to toasters and kettles and even artwork and designer clothes. This waste is often left outside houses on the street, not only blocking the pavements but costing the council £160,000 to clear up. This is £160,000 that could alternatively pay for 8 university graduate salaries.

Here are some top tips to minimise waste and hassle when you move out:
  1. Why not have a spring clean out and donate any unwanted items to charity before moving out this summer?
  2. Alternatively, if you can't bring yourself to part with your things, pack up your winter wardrobe and take it home early during Easter. Summer is on its way!
  3. Take home any unopened food such as herbs and beans or donate them to food banks
  4. Turn last terms text books in to cash using
  5. Sort out who owns what and give any shared spaces a quick clean.
For more information and top tips visit our website.
Internship Opportunity!

Fancy working as part of the Sustainability Service? Our latest internship opportunity is now live!

Are you a current University of Leeds undergraduate student with an interest in a career in sustainability? Would you like to gain valuable experience by supporting projects which raise awareness of sustainability initiatives within the University and the wider community?

We are currently searching for a student from Leeds University intending to take a year in Industry to embark on a 12 month internship with us. You will help in supporting our work in getting a wide range of people involved in achieving the Sustainability Strategy and communicating our values. You’ll engage with staff, students and the wider community to raise awareness of sustainability initiatives across a wide range of issues, through social and other multi-media channels and the delivery of engagement events and activities.

For more information and to submit an application, visit our website at
Green Impact Labs coffee morning

Earlier this month we invited lab staff to a coffee morning where they could learn how to make their labs more sustainable through the Green Impact scheme.  Over 50 people attended and signed up to hear more about the scheme, and it was great to see labs from across the university sharing best practice in this area.  Pierce Mullen and Sarah Shallcross from a Green Impact team in the Garstang Building spoke about their involvement and how the scheme has benefitted their labs.  They are aiming for the Platinum Award this year.
Jane Stocks from SEE, a Gold Award holder, also promoted how her Teaching Labs have been involved in the scheme.  New Green Impact teams have since been formed in Geography Laboratories and FBS Field Labs, and we look forward to seeing them progress through the scheme.

Find out more about Green Impact here.
Sustainable clothes sale

Inspired by the New Year sustainable resolution ‘ditch disposable fashion’, a pop-up sustainable clothes sale pitched up on Tuesday 7th March, organised by The Language Centre Green Impact Team.  The boutique style space contained timeless fashions from the 90s to the present day which included spring and summer tops and skirts as well as formal and informal party wear.
Plenty of gems from quality brands such as Whistles, Reiss, Jigsaw, Karen Millen and Hobbs were on offer for bargain prices to the delight of the consumer.  They raised an impressive £156 which is being donated to Friends of Peru and Survival International, and are now well on their way to achieving the Silver Award of Green Impact.
Reuse recognition

Our very own Mike Howroyd has recently been approached by WarpIt who were keen to discuss Mike's role at the University and the implementation of our Reuse scheme. Similar to Reuse, WarpIt is an organisation that allows people to f
ind, give away, or loan office furniture, equipment and other unused resources between organisations and beyond, helping to recycle and minimise unnecessary purchasing. 
Our Reuse system has been so successful that since 2009, the system has saved £500k by redistributing surplus furniture, fixtures and fittings helping to not only save money, but decrease our carbon emissions. If you wish to sign up to our Reuse scheme, visit our website here.

If you wish to find out more about WarpIt or read the case study, visit their website here
Fairtrade Fortnight

(Left to Right: Charlotte Scott, Mark Dawson, Dr. Anne Tallontire, Amrisha Pandey and Francis Okanigbuan)

Fairtrade fortnight 2017 ran from the 27th of February to the 12th March. Fairtrade fortnight is all about bringing people’s attention back to the importance of paying a fair price for the products they consume.

Thanks to everyone who stopped to chat to us on our travels round campus, we hope you enjoyed the free samples of the delicious Fairtrade products and learnt something new about Fairtrade. A special thanks to Beverley Kenny who introduced the panel discussion and Commercial Services for supplying ongoing refreshments throughout. The ‘How Fair is Fairtrade’ debate event was a great success with some lively discussion about the effectiveness of Fairtrade! We had a great range of people on the panel from diverse and different disciplines.

Fairtrade fortnight was a great success and it was wonderful to spread the message about the great work that Fairtrade does to rempower people in developing countries. However, it is important to remember the message of Fairtrade all year round: if you buy products with a Fairtrade label, you will be helping to ensure that the producers of those product get fair prices for their goods, thus contributing to a better and sustainable way of life.
Dates for your diary 
  • March 4th - March 31st: Leeds Festival of Science 2017: The 12th annual Leeds Festival of Science is coming up, with an  impressive programme of events to enthuse and inspire everyone, with activities for key stages 2-5, and public events open to all. More information here.
  • Wednesday 22nd March 4:00pm - 5:00pm: (How) Can Environmental Grassroots Initiatives encourage Low Carbon Behaviours? This seminar is part of the SRI seminar series, more information can be found here.
  • Wednesday 22nd March: Bodington community tree planting event. We have invited schools near the newly refurbished Bodington pavilion and cycle track to help increase biodiversity in the area. Read our briefing of the event on our website. 
  • Thursday 23rd March: Comic Relief bake sale: This bake sale can be found in the School of Earth and Environment reception. Minimum donation £1 or let SEE reception know what you are planning to bake.
  • Saturday 25th March: Be Curious Festival 2017: This exciting, interactive event is free and suitable for everyone, of all age groups and families with an interest in Leeds and Yorkshire. Come along to find out more about the research that is currently being undertaken here at the University with relevance to Leeds and Yorkshire. Check out the website here.
  • Saturday 25 March to Sunday 23 April: Easter holidays
  • Wednesday March 29th 13:00pm - 14:00pm: The global Sustainable Development Goals challenge: Climate Exchange interdisciplinary seminar with LSSI with guest speaker Dr Viktoria Spaiser (UAF, School of Politics and International Studies). To find out more click here or read the paper.
  • Saturday 22nd April: Earth Day 2017: Gather with your community for an Environmental & Climate Literacy Teach-In or another project focused on education to help build awareness of climate change and its threat to our planet. For more information click here.

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Sustainability Service · University of Leeds · Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 9JT · United Kingdom

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