News from the UC Sustainability Office


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Join the Sustainability Awards Ceremony this Friday (23 Sept)

awards logoIt’s really important that we recognise and reward the efforts of students and staff in our UC community who are going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to sustainability. Hence the Fourth Annual UC Sustainability Awards ceremony, which is happening this week as part of UC Eco Week!

At the Sustainability Office, we’ve been amazed by the fantastic nominations we received for students, staff and the wider community. Ranging from programmes to make use of office resources better, bringing students together around green actions, to sustainable building construction, and stepping out on the international stage with sustainability policy and research. The nominations tell a powerful collective story about how much we, as a university community, care about people and planet.

The awards ceremony takes place on

When: Friday 23 September, 5.30-6.30pm

Where: Undercroft 101

It’s a great moment to celebrate the successes and efforts of some fantastic people, and all are welcome. We’d love to see you there.

For more information about the event, see here. For more background to the Sustainability Awards visit this link.Eco Week snippit 2The Sustainability Awards Ceremony is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.  Events still to come:

Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Booked out at the moment, but ring 03 364 2025 if you would like to be placed on the waiting list! 1.30pm–4 pm. Also: Cowspiracy screening (by VCUC), Kirkwood Village 6pm-8pm
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30pm-6.30pm
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30pm – late.                                 Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

 

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Edible Campus Tour during Eco Week (Fri 23 Sep)

UntitledIncreasing numbers of universities around the globe have planted edible varieties and created edible landscapes on campus as issues of food accessibility and affordability are becoming  better understood, particularly within their student population. Edible Campus initiatives often go beyond having a campus garden, and are about changing how people see the role of food as part of general landscaping.

Many students and staff have asked the Sustainability Office to explore the potential of doing the same here at UC, not realising that there are a number of food varieties already flourishing on campus!

Current plantings are already well browsed without much publicity – demonstrating there is an interest in, and demand for more food to be grown on campus. We already have two community gardens, and the Sustainability Office has a long term plan to see more food grown on campus, complementing existing indigenous plantings and ecological restoration work.

During Eco Week this week (19-24 September), join Jane Aistrope, UC’s community gardener, on a tour around campus to find out where you can forage and nibble your way around campus.

When: Friday 23 September, 12-1pm.
Where: Meet Jane Aistrope, UC’s community gardener outside Café 1894 at noon sharp!

The Edible CampusTour is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.

Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Only a few places left! Bookings essential, 1.30pm–4 pm. Also: Cowspiracy screening (by VCUC), Kirkwood Village 6pm-8pm
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30pm-6.30pm
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30pm – late.

Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Eco Week snippit 2

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Tonight: Eco Week Food Waste Event

jpeg-posterTonight, as part of Eco Week 2016, the Sustainability Office screens the “hugely entertaining” (Variety)  and “startling” (New York Times) food waste documentary ‘Just Eat It’ (Tue, 6-8 pm, C Block). The screening starts at 6.30 pm, and there are nibbles and speakers before hand at 6 pm. Check out the trailer here! Free entry and non-UC staff welcome too.

Food waste is a big issue in New Zealand too. For instance, in just one year, Kiwis throw out nearly $11 million worth of potatoes. That’s approximately 169,000 5kg bags of white washed potatoes from a local supermarket, and loads of goodness going unnecessarily either into the landfill or green waste.  We asked Melisa Quinn from VCUC (Vegetarian Club of UC) for a quick and easy, spud-based recipe to help you use all your spuds!

 

Jacket potato with beans

The proportion of each ingredient is up to you. The good news is that you can eat plenty, as whole plant based-foods are low in calories. Make up double the amount in the evening, and you also have yummy lunch which can be warmed in the ‘heat and eat’ areas dotted around campus.

  • Potatoes (you don’t haveBaked-Sweet-Potatoes-with-Cannellinis-and-Baby-Spinach-recipe-on-ShockinglyDelicious.com_-480x320 to peel them!)
  • Soaked beans (e.g. red kidney beans) of your choice
  • Herbs of your choice (rosemary is a classic for potatoes, plus thyme, basil and oregano for the tomato/vege filling)
  • Salt, pepper, brewers’ yeast
  • Tomatoes (whole or canned)
  • Any other left over vegetables of your choice.

Wash the potato/potatoes, and roll them in a little olive oil and rosemary. Bake the potato/potatoes whole in the oven for up to an hour at 190 degrees celsius. While that is happening rinse your beans and cook them with the tomatoes, herbs and spices for 20 minutes on a medium heat. You can also add other (precooked) vegetables or other left overs to the bean and tomato mix. When the potatoes are cooked (poke with a fork to test their softness), split them open and stuff with the bean and vege mix. Top with brewers yeast for extra seasoning and tastiness. Enjoy!

What else is happening during Eco Week?

ENGS5715_Eco_Week_280x178pxThis Food Waste Event is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life. Here the events for the rest of the week:

On Thursday you can tour two Tiny Houses built by UC alumni. The Tour leaves at 1.30 (meet Katie at Science Road Car Park), back at 4pm. Booking is essential, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz. Also, UCSA club VCUC will screen Cowspiracy in Kirkwood, 6-8 pm.

On Friday,  learn about where to find free food on UC campus when you join the Edible Campus Tour! There are lemons, olives, walnuts, figs and more growing all over campus and that it’s all free to eat. Meet tour guide and community gardener Jane Aistrope outside Café 1894 at 12 noon sharp.

In the late afternoon, celebrate student and staff achievements in sustainability at the 2016 Sustainability Awards ceremony! Undercroft 101 – 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

On Saturday, UC’s very first Sustaina-ball presented by the UC Eco Club Network. Theme is Garden Party. Visit here for more information.  Bentley’s (UCSA events centre) 7.30pm to late.

On Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

Check out the events on the UC Sustainability Office Facebook page, or check out the events section on the UC Eco Club Facebook page.

Eco Week snippit 2

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

 

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Today: Eco Week 2016 launch with free goodies

yellow gorillaEco Week 2016 (19 – 24 September) starts today! A proud tradition  of Eco Week is to start banana icecreamit with a bang by giving away FREE fair trade goodies and this year Jailbreaker Coffee (supplier to UCSA cafes) and All Good Bananas will be handing out delicious fair trade banana ice creams and iced coffee shots!

 

When: Today, 19 September, 12 to 1.30pm
Where: Undercroft

And for those who sign up to the exciting new Fair Trade Student Club, you’ll go into a draw for an extra special sweet treat… Trade Aid chocolate.

What else is happening this week?

Jpeg posterTuesday is about Dumpster-diving and Food Waste! We’ll screen the very entertaining, and thought-provoking doco ‘Just Eat It.’

6-6.30 pm: Nibbles and speakers 6.30-8 pm: Screening of award-winning doco ‘Just Eat It’. Check out the promo in the link! Free, and non-UC folk are welcome too!

On Thursday you can tour two Tiny Houses built by UC alumni. The Tour leaves at 1.30 (meet Katie at Science Road Car Park), back at 4pm. Only a few spaces left. Booking is essential, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz. Also, UCSA club VCUC will screen Cowspiracy in Kirkwood, 6-8 pm.

On Friday,  learn about where to find free food on UC campus when you join the Edible Campus Tour! There are lemons, olives, walnuts, figs and more growing all over campus and that it’s all free to eat. Meet tour guide and community gardener Jane Aistrope outside Café 1894 at 12 noon sharp.

In the late afternoon, celebrate student and staff achievements in sustainability at the 2016 Sustainability Awards ceremony! Undercroft 101 – 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

On Saturday, UC’s very first Sustaina-ball presented by the UC Eco Club Network. Theme is Garden Party. Visit here for more information.  Bentley’s (UCSA events centre) 7.30pm to late.

On Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

Check out the events on the UC Sustainability Office Facebook page, or check out the events section on the UC Eco Club Facebook page.

Eco Week snippit 2This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

 

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Tiny house, big idea: UC alumni Kerry explains why she built a tiny house

As part of Eco Week 2016,  you can tour tiny houses built by UC alumni.

One of these tiny homes was built by Kerry Mulligan, who graduated from UC in 2007 with a PhD in Engineering. She shares her experience of building and living in a tiny house below.


I visited South America in 2014 and was so inspired by all the people there just getting on with things. I decided that I was not going to pay rent ever again. It’s so important to observe how you live and question whether this is the way you want to live, or whether it is just habit or what you think you should be doing. It is amazing what happens once you start this process. I love experimenting and I wanted a home that would work for me and be a place that is an expression of myself and enables me to be creative.

Building a tiny house has helped me to develop a confidence in approaching situations. I now believe that I can most likely figure it out, or find someone who can. I’ve enjoyed learning new skills, the feeling of accomplishment from doing something I hadn’t done before, and the people I have met during the process. I learned how to take calculated risks too – it is important to ‘go for it’, but I also made sure I knew what I was getting myself into.

Good quality shelter is one of the fundamentals of human life and should not cost the amount of financial and material investment that our current culture demands. There is huge potential for reducing the impact our housing system currently has on our social, economic and environmental sustainability.

I hope to share land IMG_3860 smallwith other tiny home people and share resources (for example the washing machine), knowledge and work. Ideally we would have a large vegetable garden, orchard and shared workshop. I don’t yet know what to call this idea. It’s not a commune as everyone still has their own place and can make decisions around that, but maybe it’s a community in the true sense of the word.


The Tiny House Tour will be held on Thursday 22 September, from 1.30pm – 4.00pm. Meet at Erskine/Science car park, Ilam Campus. Bookings are essential as there are seats available for 22 people only. To register, email ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz or call 03 364 2025. Bring snacks, drinks and clothes suitable for the weather (footwear with closed toes, no jandals or sandals please).

ENGS5715_Eco_Week_WordPress_BNRTo learn more about tiny houses, read Living Big in a Tiny House.

The Tiny House Tour is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

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On dumpster diving and how to reduce food waste

indexDuring Eco Week 2016 (19- 24 September) next week we will screen the “hugely entertaining” (Variety)  and “startling” (New York Times) documentary ‘Just Eat It’, which is all about Food Waste. Sharon McIver (Our Daily Waste) shares her thoughts on the topic.

Imagine enough food to feed the population of Dunedin for two years. That is a lot of cheese rolls. Now imagine taking it off those Dunedinites and throwing it out.

In June this year, 59 councils launched the Love Food Hate Waste NZ  initiative in an unprecedented show of support for reducing the 122, 547 tonnes of food that New Zealanders waste each year. According to the website this would feed Dunedin, or fill 213 jumbo jets (although I wish they’d converted it to Olympic swimming pools which are easier to line up).

As someone who runs a waste prevention and recycling consultancy called Our Daily Waste I am sadly not surprised by these figures – I see what comes through the bins at the events we provide services for. Yet food waste still puzzles me – I grew up in a state house where tomorrow’s ‘leftovers’ were carved before our portions, and you learned to gobble your dinner before it could be taken off you.

And even though those conditions have changed, this innate sense of food budgetry kept me well fed during 12 years of being a student – not wasting food saves money.

Of course, much of our food waste comes from the supermarkets themselves, and whilst there is pressure mounting to make them donate that food to charities, there is a growing trend towards dumpster diving, which although illegal in NZ, is attracting a number of people who consider it to be a lesser sin than the immorality of food waste. However, there is a code of practice to dumpster diving; from the divers who have passed on some of their spoils to me (camembert, wine, chocolate), I learned that you take tools to avoid damaging property, and always leave the area tidy and the bins how you found them. (The award-winning doco Just Eat It shines a bit of light on this!)

There are many levels of preventing food waste and you don’t have to start with them all – just pick a couple that suit you and work at it from there:

Shopping

  • Fresh fruit and veggies don’t store well in plastic. Either buy it without packaging or make/buy some lightweight reusable bags, which also look great in the fridge.
  • Plan before you shop and don’t shop hungry.
  • Don’t buy cabbages if you don’t like them (note to self).
  • Shop at bulk food stores like Piko and Bin Inn so that you buy only what you need – you can also reduce waste by taking your own containers.
  • Only buy food that is near/past sell-by date if you know you will use it, but this can be a cheap alternative.

Storage03

  • Research the best storage methods for different types of food.
  • Store food in airtight containers in cupboards, fridge and freezer.
  • Know difference between Use-By and Best-Before: Best-before dates are about food quality. Food can be eaten after its best-before date as long as it’s been stored according to instructions, it simply may have lost some quality or nutritional value. Use-by dates are about food safety. As long as the food is stored correctly and isn’t opened, it should be safe to eat before its use-by date. Use-by dates usually appear on perishable foods.

Leftovers

  • If you have leftovers, use for lunches, freeze, or give away.
  • Use leftover rice and bread for puddings.
  • Use sour milk for scones.
  • Make soups or stock with ‘tired’ veggies and freezer excess.
  • Take a reusable container with you to restaurants etc. and bag any leftovers. If you feel embarrassed use LFHW as a reason, and think about how good that pizza will be for breakfast.

Freezing

  • If you find you have food go mouldy, halve the package and freeze it (great for bread and cheese).
  • You can freeze many things including avocado, chocolate, and milk (use a little bit first).
  • Tag the things you put in the freezer so you can FIND IT LATER.

Portions

Scraps

  • Scrub veggies rather than peeling them.
  • Find a use for scraps such as: compost, chickens, Bokashi, worm farm.
  • If you have to throw out food, put it in the green bin, but remove all packaging first.

Next Level

  • Learn to preserve/ferment/brew.
  • Start a garden – when you tend something for months there’s no way you’ll throw it out.
  • Embrace food waste by foraging for it – start with the Otautahi Foraging Map which lists trees and edibles in public places including the red zone.

By Sharon McIver – Our Daily Waste

UCs Food Waste Event will be held on Tuesday 20 September (C Block). 6-6.30pm: Nibbles and a short get-together with speakers from Cultivate Waste and Love Food Hate Waste, 6.30-8pm screening of the thought-provoking, award-winning documentary “Just Eat It“. All welcome (not exclusive to UC staff and students).

ENGS5715_Eco_Week_WordPress_BNR

The Food Waste Event is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Eco Week is a festival of events that celebrates and promotes what you can do for the environment, your community and your life.

Monday: Launch: Free ice creams & coffee. Undercroft, 12–1.30 pm
Tuesday: Food Waste Event: Doco ‘Just Eat It’ & speakers. CBlock 6–8 pm
Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Bookings essential ecoweek@canterbury.ac.nz,  1.30–4pm. Also, UCSA club VCUC will screen Cowspiracy in Kirkwood, 6-8 pm.
Friday: Edible Campus Tour. Meet Jane outside 1894,  12pm sharp
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30-6.30pm
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30pm – late.On

Sunday: Drayton Reserve Volunteer afternoon (by Geosoc), 2-4pm.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

 

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UC’s first Sustaina-ball coming soon

13668877_1129345150440692_2944166230395402891_oOn 24 September, at the end of UC Ecoweek 2016, the Eco Club Network will bring you the inaugural Sustaina-ball. George Moon, coordinator of the Eco Club Network explains what it is all about.

The first UC Sustaina-ball, how did it come about?
A lot of eco events can be quite serious! Being environmentalists, there are always issues to focus on such as climate change, conservation, fossil fuel divestment and promoting more eco-friendly lifestyles. We thought it would be good to have a chill social event so like-minded people can socialise.

Are you hoping for this to become an annual ball?
Can’t say at this point – it can be a surprisingly large amount of work coordinating a social event! If it turns out to be an awesome success and people want to do it again, then we’d look into it again for next year.

Why is the Sustaina-ball different from other UC balls?
We’re trying to make the event as eco friendly as possible. This includes things such as:
– The tickets are printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper
– We’re minimising waste where possible, for example by not using plastic cups and by using reusable decorations
– The food chosen has been selected because of the low environmental impact of producing it.

What will be the theme this year?
The theme is a classic ‘Garden Party’, which leaves plenty of scope for people to decide how they want to dress! Hopefully there will be some great outfits on the night.

Date: Saturday 24 September
Time: from 7:30pm
Where: Bentley’s (UCSA Events Centre)
Price: $40, includes 2 free drinks, canapés, chips and entry. Discount drinks on the night.

Find out more (and buy tickets): https://www.facebook.com/events/1559228887708977/

The Sustaina-ball is part of UC Eco Week 2016, which runs from 19-24 September 2016. Here is the programme for Eco Week:

Monday: Launch: Free ice creams & coffee. Undercroft, 12–1.30 pm.
Tuesday: Food Waste Event: Doco ‘Just Eat It’ & speakers. C Block 6–8 pm.
Thursday: Tiny House Tour. Bookings essential, 1.30–4 pm.
Friday: Edible Campus Tour. Meet Jane outside 1894,  12 pm sharp.
Friday: Sustainability Awards Ceremony. Undercroft 101, 5.30-6.30
Saturday: Sustaina-ball. Bentley’s, 7.30 – late.

Eco Week snippit 2This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz