News from the UC Sustainability Office


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UC Sustainability Award nominations now open!

UC sustainability Awards return

For the first time in 3 awards logo smallyears, the Sustainability Office will once again host the UC Sustainability Awards as part of Ecoweek 2016. The Sustainability Awards recognise the efforts of our university community to improve the world around us. This can be through research projects, community initiatives, departmental resource efficiency leadership or anything else that demonstrates a willingness and ability to make our place that bit greener.

Holding these Awards is important because not only does it recognise people for work that otherwise often goes unnoticed, but it also raises the profile of sustainability activities in our community and demonstrates just how much of this great work is happening here. The winners will be selected by an independent judging panel made up of sustainability professionals outside of the university, and a representative from the UCSA.

Nominate a mate or a staff member

Know someone at UC doing great things for sustainability? Nominate them for a Sustainability Award. Feel free to nominate more than one person. This can be:

  • Student or staff research projects?
  • Resource efficiency initiatives?
  • Community involvement?
  • Other initiatives?

Nominations are open from 1 August – 31 August.  Download the nomination form here.

Awards ceremony

The awards ceremony is held at the conclusion of our annual UC Eco Week on Friday 23 September 2016, from 5.30pm – 6.30pm in Undercroft 101. The Awards will be presented by the UCSA President James Addington.

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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Bike parking progress

We are making progress with bringing bike parking numbers back up on campus. A plan for hundreds of new bike parks around the Engineering precinct is being developed (we will keep you posted), and we are starting to look at what the bike parking provisions for the new Science precinct will look like as well.IMG_1844 enh sq sm

We are on the verge of installing a new bike parking area outside the front entrance of Forestry. This has long been a problematic area for students especially, and the lack of bike parking has resulted in people chaining their bikes to the handrail along the ramp up to the main doors. We really encourage people to get as close to their destination with their bikes as they can… but this particular example has created a very significant health and safety issue – please don’t do this! Think first: the handrail is there for people with disabilities. We will be installing some new hardstands right next to this area, which will hopefully become a popular cycle parking area. In addition to this, we have provision for a further 150 bike parks on campus, which are now starting to get dotted around.

Keep an eye out for news about cycle route planning and other bike facilities over the next while … we’ll let you know when we have more details.

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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Abundance in UC Gardens – Jane’s Garden Update July 2016

IMG_1725 (2)UC has two community gardens on campus: Okeover (off Engineering road) and Dovedale. Every few months Jane Aistrope, UC’s community gardens coordinator, provides an update on what’s been happening in the gardens.

In May we had back-to-back pizza parties using our own Okeover pizza oven. We had a lunch to thank the University staff who supported Project ReScape, attended by grounds keepers, carpenters and management, who all played an important part in making it happen. We kept the fire burning and held an early dinner for the gardeners to celebrate food, community and the epic and unusual season we have had. With such a huge male-over in our garden, it’s been quite a feat to have continued growing and harvesting so much food. It was pretty nice to have Okeover Pesto as pizza sauce, using IMG_1704our own basil, hazelnuts and garlic. We also roasted Dovedale Crown Pumpkin to go with chilli, greens and herbs. Sometimes being a community gardener means being spoiled with bounty!

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We certainly had a long Autumn in 2016 allowing for late sowings of mescalin, spinach and herbs, and many lovely sunny afternoons out! Unfortunately the  warm days have caused our Brussel sprouts to blow (loose sprouts which are more like flowers) and some of our lovely leeks have gone to seed early. Now we have garlic shoots just poking through and the broad beans are all up and growing well. We continue to sustain our crops with liquid fertilizers made from worm rum, comfrey and nettles.

Winter in the garden is a good time to recoIMG_1857nfigure garden beds, prune fruit trees, sharpen tools, tidy the shed, plan for spring and read gardening books! We’ve already done a lot to finish off mulching the paths but we certainly have more reconfiguring to do in the orchard, starting with a new hugelkultur mound. This, pruning and mulching will occupy us until spring sowing begins.

IMG_1859 We are excited to be hosting another sculpture exhibition at the end of term 3. UC Sculpture students will have the opportunity to create works for outdoor public spaces and consider wider social and political issues around sustainability. Keep an eye out for this exhibition as it really brings another layer of interest and vitality to the garden.

For other information about the community gardens, check here. For information on becoming a volunteer and attending working bees on Monday (2-4) and Friday (1-4), check here. The community gardens also have a dedicated Facebook Page.

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Fairtrade taking flight at UC

By UC student Sarah Templeton.

Supply of fairtrade products is only just catching up with demand at the University of Canterbury.  Events such as the Fairtrade Market during the country’s ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ highlighted just how popular ‘buying ethical’ was becoming around UC.

Puck Algera, UC Sustainability Office Projects Coordinator, said the popularity of buying fairtrade reflected growing demand around the wider population. “We’re finding that more and more students actually want to know where their stuff comes from, which is really exciting.”

The biggest impact of fairtrade supply on campus is that all important driving factor of every student: coffee. Christchurch company Jailbreaker Roastery, a branch of the Addington Coffee Co-Op, are supplying six of the major campus cafes; 1894, The Shilling Club, Chilton’s, The Shed, The Collective and Hardhat. They supply organic, fairtrade coffee.20150715_201

John Robertson, one of the key figures behind the roastery, said that fairtrade coffee is becoming increasingly market driven at “a grassroots level”, as drinkers begin to think more about the origins of their latte. “There’s a growing demand for knowing where products come from … with more documentaries, TV shows; there’s stuff that’s making us more aware of these issues.”

Robertson pointed out the impact of buying fairtrade coffee reached far beyond students getting through an all-nighter. “Whatever we’re buying has a global impact and we need to be thinking about how are we treating these people? We need to be careful we’re not buying something that’s detrimental to their wellbeing.”

IMG_1046 vc for smThis sentiment was echoed by passionate student Elise Wilson, who was recruiting volunteers for a new ‘fairtrade student club’ at the market. She said that any extra cost students might pay for purchasing fairtrade was worth it. “It is easy to think it doesn’t affect us but everyone needs to start looking a little bit deeper about where our cheap products are coming from” Wilson said.

This attitude from students was one of the motivating forces for Jailbreaker to supply to UC. Robertson said that it was “awesome” to have the university support their ethical and sustainable business model. “To have that seated in a university; a place of free thinking and looking at different models – it’s a great place to be.”

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UC Travel Survey extended

In response to feedback from staff and students, who said they UC 14-0252-01 enhanced Do the survey no link no dateneeded more time to fill out the UC Travel Survey, we have decided to keep the survey open till midnight, Tuesday 19 July. The survey only happens once every four years, and we strongly urge you to take a few minutes to complete it.

The link to the survey can be found in the all staff/student email from VC Rod Carr of July 12.

More information about the survey:

How long does it take? The survey will take about ten minutes to complete.

Why should I care? This is a rare opportunity to be heard on travel issues. This survey is vital for gauging staff and student travel patterns, and will help the University cater for all travel modes. This year the University is undertaking an important transport master planning exercise, which will identify key transport needs for our community into the foreseeable future. This survey will provide key data for this planning exercise. Results will also inform the Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury on transport matters relevant to UC – for example, improving bus services to/from UC, improving cycle routes, and addressing car parking on campus and on surrounding streets.

How long will the survey run for? Until midnight, Tuesday 19 July.

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A unique opportunity to share your views on travel issues – 12th July

Travel Plan folders.inddWe know that many of you are interested in transport and car parking matters at the University of Canterbury. Next week, on Tuesday 12th of July, all staff and students will be asked for their views on travelling to the University, through an online survey. This survey will only run for one day, and we strongly urge you to take a few minutes next Tuesday to complete this survey when you find it in your email inbox.

Why should I care? This is a rare opportunity to be heard on travel issues, which only comes around once every four years. This survey is vital for gauging staff and student travel patterns. This year the University is undertaking a vital transport master planning exercise, which will identify key transport needs for our community into the foreseeable future. This survey will provide key data for this planning exercise. The information gathered will help the University cater for all travel modes.

Results from the survey will also inform the City Council and Environment Canterbury on transport matters relevant to UC; for example, improving bus services to/from UC, improving cycle routes, and addressing car parking on campus and on surrounding streets.

How long will the survey run for? The survey will run for Tuesday the 12th only.

 How long does it take? The survey will take about ten minutes to complete.

The survey is organised by the University’s Transport Working Group, the Sustainability Office and Campus Services.

 

 

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Student volunteers required for travel survey

Travel Plan folders.indd

The UC Travel Survey is coming up on the 12th of July. The travel survey only happens once every 4 years and informs UC’s long term travel planning. So it is important that everyone’s voice is heard.  The Sustainability Office could do with a little help in bringing this to everyone’s attention on campus.

We need assistance with:
 
• putting up posters around campus (afternoon of 11  July)
• doing some chalking around campus (afternoon of 11 July) – weather permitting
• handing out fliers (lunchtime 12 July)

Each of these events will only take 1-2 hours. If you can help out, we’d love to hear from you. In return for your efforts, we give you a wee eco goodie giftpack. Thank you!

Contact matt.morris@canterbury.ac.nz or call 03 364 3495 for more details.

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