Common Good Coffee Roasters: more than just your daily coffee

You love their coffee but do you know their story?

Common Good card

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, we’re getting up close and personal with people and businesses connected to UC who are making the world a better (and fairer) place. Read on to learn about the people behind UCSA’s fair trade coffee supplier, Common Good Coffee – who are doing so much more than just good coffee!

So what makes Common Good Coffee so special?

On top of a banging roast and a 100% commitment to a fair trade supply chain, Common Good Coffee is using its profits for good in Aotearoa and around the world. From the fair trade principles behind their coffee supply, to the roasting of that same coffee right here in Christchurch, and the reinvestment of their profits into communities around the world, Common Good Coffee is a very, very good time. And the best bit is, all you have to do be a part of their story is simply drink their coffee!

The guy behind your coffee addiction: Vernon roasts (and delivers) kilos of coffee each week to UC

So, about that coffee…

The coffee you’re sipping on has come a long way before the baristas at UC (and you) got their hot little hands on it. For example, the Ethiopian Sidamo coffee bean that makes up your brew has come all the way from the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union of Ethiopia (OCFCU).

The Layo Teraga Cooperative in Southern Ethiopia (part of the OCFCU) currently has 1200 members and has maintained Fairtrade certification since 2009. Since becoming certified, the fair trade social premium has paid for depulping equipment, two transport trucks, and in 2010 the community was able to build an elementary school. Before this, the nearest school was a two hour walk away.

Common Good Coffee also contributed directly to the building of the elementary school – last year they donated $19,000 towards teacher’s accommodation, allowing itinerant teachers to spend less time travelling and more time teaching.

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Teacher’s accommodation in the Layo Teranga cooperative’s elementary school, Sidamo/Guji region, southern Ethiopia

But wait, there’s more!

Common Good ladies Kolkata

He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Before, we mentioned that Common Good Coffee reinvested their profits into communities around the world. This is where the bigger picture stuff comes in: Common Good Coffee Roasters is actually part of a wider business called Common Good, based in Kolkata, India. Common Good has since created jobs for fifteen women to make products like bags and wristbands, which are proudly worn all around the world. Better still, 100% of the profits from Common Good are going directly to services like sanitation, clean water and education – meaning not only do fifteen women have dignified and meaningful work, but their families and communities are now able to make choices that weren’t available to them before.

And finally, they get local too

Just in case you thought they were done…

Addington Coffee Co-op

Common Good Coffee is roasted at Addington Coffee Co-op, 297 Lincoln Road (definitely worth checking out, make sure you go hungry), and they recently donated $100,000 to the local Addington Primary School. The Addington Te Kura Taumatua Whanua Room was funded by Common Good to grow community connections within the school, and is used by a diverse range of people from the school community.

whanau room

So, it’s more than just a cup of coffee! (but at the same time, it’s all about that cup of coffee…). And to think that every time you buy a Common Good Coffee from Shilling, 1894 or Chilton’s, you’re actually directly contributing to all the above goodness…. who knew making good more common would be so easy?!

Want to know more about Common Good and what they’re doing locally and globally? Come and meet them at our annual Fair Trade Fair on Wednesday 14th August, 11am – 1pm in Haere-roa. We’ll be showcasing the incredible suppliers that make our Fair Trade University possible, and celebrate the impact they are having on communities around the world. See the Facebook event here for all the details.

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This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Fairtrade Fortnight, where we encourage our UC community to get involved and support the empowerment of producers overseas. For more information on the fair trade movement, see the Fairtrade NZ website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The return of the 2019 Sustainability Awards!

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Know someone at UC doing great things for Sustainability? Or maybe it’s you? We want to hear about it!

Get your thinking caps on… nominations for the UC Sustainability Awards are open from 5 – 31 August.

The Sustainability Awards are about the recognition and celebration of all things sustainability – both on and off campus. This is a great chance to acknowledge the hard work, innovation, imagination and optimism of many of our students and staff who are working hard to make our world a better (and greener) place.

Maybe it’s a sustainable student-led project, a student group or club who are changing the world, your supervisors research, or perhaps your own? Maybe it’s the flatties next door who compost like crazy, and bike to UC rain or shine?

Tell us all about them (or yourself) by finding the nomination form and all the info you need here. Nominations are open until the end of August, and the Awards Ceremony will be held on 2 October.

If you know of someone whose work deserves acknowledgement and celebration, nominate them! We want to hear from you.

For a recap on 2017’s Sustainability Awards, have a read of this blog here, or check out our Sustainability Champions for some inspiration.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

 

Sustainability Champions: Jessica Aldridge

Welcome back to the Sustainability Champions Campaign!

The UC Sustainability team are excited to have launched a campus wide profiling project called the Sustainability Champions Campaign. We want to use this as an opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that is being done for sustainability on campus by both students and staff, whose contributions we believe have deepened our culture of sustainability at UC.

We’re running the campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so keep your eyes out for our champions posters on campus, and get your nominations in! (Nominations open 5 – 31 August, see our webpage for the nomination form and all the details).

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Jess – she is our student Fair Trade Rep and Eco Volunteer, is an Exec member on two of the coolest clubs on campus (in our opinion), and is doing all this while studying towards her final year in Natural Resources Engineering!

We caught up with Jess just in time for Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from the 2 – 15 August. As our Fair Trade student rep, we thought it was fitting we release her profile in the lead up to our favourite fair trade awareness campaign!

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Jessica Aldridge | Eco Clubs Network Exec, Student Fair Trade Rep, Engineers Without Borders Exec and Eco Volunteer

Tell us about yourself!

I am in my final year studying Natural Resources Engineering. I am also completing the Diploma in Global Humanitarian Engineering. I love to dance and regularly attend Zumba classes at the Rec Center. I am very passionate about Humanitarian Engineering and sustainability.

Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.

I started volunteering with the Sustainability Office at the start of 2018. Since then I have been helping to run and organise events on campus with the team of Eco Volunteers. Some of my favourite events have been the Fashion Revolution Week clothing swap this year and the Zero Waste workshop during Plastic Free July.

You’re the Fair Trade Student Rep on the Eco Clubs Exec. What does that mean?

This year I have been helping the Sustainability Office with engaging and involving students in fair trade on campus. UC is a Fair Trade Accredited University and this year we have already run events during Fashion Revolution Week plus we’ve got awesome events planned for this years Fairtrade Fortnight – we are holding a Fair Trade Fair in Haere-roa on Wednesday 14th August so make sure you come along! (see the Facebook event here for all the details). There are so many wonderful fair trade initiatives on campus that I am sure a lot of students and staff don’t realise. For example, did you know 100% of the coffee at campus cafes is Fairtrade certified?

And you’re part of Engineers Without Borders NZ… Tell us more!

I am on the events team for Engineers Without Borders NZ (EWB) student chapter at UC. Engineers Without Borders is a humanitarian organisation that aims to improve access to engineering skills and knowledge. Our biggest event of the year is Running Without Borders in which runners take part in the Christchurch Marathon and raise money for EWB. We also run regular documentary screenings on campus.

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What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC?

Working with the Sustainability Office and the sustainability community at UC. It’s great to see so many people and volunteers turn up to help out at each event and it makes it really fun.

Where to next for you?

Next year I will be moving to Tauranga to begin my professional career. I will be working as an environmental engineer and I hope to continue to be involved in fair trade and sustainability events at my work.

Some ‘did you know’ fair trade facts from Jess and Chloe from UC Sustainability:

  • UC has been a Fair Trade Accredited campus since 2017
  • Being recognised as a Fair Trade University means our community (that’s you!) is committed to being a socially responsible institution. We’re proud to stand with fair trade producers and encourage ethical sourcing, and we encourage you to do the same in your personal lives.
  • 100% of coffee supplied in our campus cafes is Fairtrade certified, from a variety of NZ roasters
  • And it doesn’t just end with coffee! Our cafes on campus also stock fair trade chocolate bars, drinking chocolate, dried fruit and nuts, and even fair trade fizzy drinks
  • Our staff department kitchenettes also stock fair trade tea, coffee, sugar and drinking chocolate for a fairer morning tea break
  • If you’re looking for apparel for events, uniforms or clubs tees – we’ve got fair trade cotton tee shirts available for order through our suppliers Little Yellow Bird. Last year UC’s fair trade apparel orders provided 328 hours of fair labour!
  • We hold events to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight each year. It’s two weeks of everything fair trade and ethical! To get involved, see our Facebook page, and check under ‘events’ for our annual Fair Trade Fair (we promise there is free fair trade goodies to get your hands on!)

FT campus

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletterto stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

DIY Beeswax Wraps for Plastic Free July!

Last week, we held a DIY workshop to celebrate our favourite month – Plastic Free July!

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be a part of the solution to plastic pollution. It’s a month long challenge which encourages all of us to ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics – like takeaway coffee cups, drink bottles, straws, bags and plastic wrappers. We decided we would tackle Plastic Free July by showing our UC community how to make their own alternatives to single use plastics – and we had so much fun doing so!

Almost 100 students (and staff too!) came along and learnt how to make a DIY beeswax wrap and a produce bag with us, so we could all ‘choose to refuse’ this month (and hopefully longer!).

For those that missed out, we’ve put together a guide for making your own wraps at home – they make great presents for friends and family too! Read on to see how we made our own beeswax wraps with nothing but some organic beeswax (grated), cotton fabric, scissors, baking paper and an iron. We hope you’ll be inspired to tackle Plastic Free July with us!

Step one: gather your materials

We recommend using only 100% cotton for making beeswax wraps – but don’t feel as though you have to rush off to a fabric store! All the fabric in these photos are either old tee shirts, or are from second hand stores (sheets and pillow cases are usually 100% cotton, and come in funky patterns – just give them a wash and an iron before use). If you want to buy new, Spotlight often has sales on cotton, and there’s a heap of different fabrics to choose from.

We sourced our beeswax from a friend who has bees, but you can get unpackaged         beeswax in a small block from most Farmers Markets (including Riccarton Bush and Lyttelton). For making a few wraps, 100g – 200g of beeswax will be more than enough! Binn Inn also sells beeswax in small cubes, but we prefer a block for grating.

Beeswax
Our beautiful beeswax blocks we used for the workshop – we went through 1kg making almost 100 wraps.

Step two: cut to size

What sizes you’re after is totally up to you! Here’s the guidelines we used:

  • Small (17cm x 20xm) is good for covering leftover dips, the end of a cucumber, half an avo, or the last mouthful of cheese
  • Medium (31cm x 27cm) is the popular size – it covers a small plate, wraps a sandwich, fits over the end of a 500g block of cheese and perfect for smaller snacks and treats
  • Big (35cm x 33cm) perfect for a large sandwich, wrap, easily covers salad bowls and leftovers in the fridge, and also doubles as an excellent plate on your picnic!

 

Step three: let’s make your wraps!

Now for the fun part!

1. Place your fabric onto a piece of baking paper (we put a towel down first, to avoid a mess!). Sprinkle a small handful of grated beeswax onto the fabric (less is more, as you can always add more afterwards). Make sure the beeswax is spread evenly.

2. Place another piece of baking paper on top of the fabric.

3. Using the iron, firmly press down onto the baking paper. You’ll see the beeswax melting almost immediately. Iron the baking paper as you would normally iron fabric – making sure the beeswax is pushed all the way into the corners (you’ll be able to see through the baking paper – see the pictures below).

4. When all the beeswax is melted and your fabric looks wet, you’re done. Remove the top layer of baking paper and check the beeswax is melted. It should look like the picture on the right below, with an even amount of melted beeswax. The picture on left needs another go with the iron to melt and re-spread some of the beeswax that has already started to dry.

5. Next, remove the beeswax from the bottom piece of baking paper and hang to dry before it hardens and sticks (you have to be a bit speedy here, but be careful as the wax will be hot). We recommend pegging the wet wrap to a coat hanger or a washing line. It will only take a few minutes to harden and dry completely.

6. You’re done! You’ve just made a beautiful beeswax wrap which will help you say goodbye to plastic cling film for good (plus it makes for much prettier lunches!). To use, wrap around your food or bowl as you would with plastic wrap, and use the warmth of your hands to ‘seal’ the wrap in place. Instant eco-warrior!

Just a few things to note…

  • to clean, simply wash your wrap in cool water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Hot water will remove the beeswax!
  • please don’t cover raw meat with your wrap – if you need to cover raw meat, use a container or cover it with another plate in the fridge
  • if your wrap starts to lose its ‘stick’ – simply begin the process again! You’ll be able to re-wax your wrap for years to come. If it eventually starts to look a little worse for wear, pop it into your compost bin (another reason we love cotton!).

Thanks to everyone who came along to the workshop last week, we hope you had as much fun as we did, and are enjoying using your beeswax wraps. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more Plastic Free July activities later this week, including student bloggers and the last of our plastic free giveaways!

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Plastic Free July, where we encourage our UC community quit single use plastics for the month. For more information and tips, see the Plastic Free July website.

 

 

 

 

Sustainability Champions: Mikaila Ceelen-Thomas

Welcome back to the Sustainability Champions Campaign!

The UC Sustainability team are excited to have launched a campus wide profiling project called the Sustainability Champions Campaign. We want to use this as an opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that is being done for sustainability on campus by both students and staff, whose contributions we believe have deepened our culture of sustainability at UC.

We’re running the campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so keep your eyes out for our champions posters on campus, and get your nominations in! (Nominations open 5 – 31 August, see our webpage for the nomination form and all the details).

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our next Sustainability Champion profile from the wonderful Mikaila – our social media superstar, ray of sunshine and Eco Volunteer (all while studying towards her Masters in Commerce). You might even recognise her from the latest issue of Canta – fittingly, it’s the Environment Issue!

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Mikaila Celeen-Thomas | Masters in Commerce, Green Marketing Guru and Eco Volunteer

Tell us about yourself!

I am currently doing an MCOM Majoring in Marketing, my focus mainly on over consumption and why people choose to consume less / follow a sustainable lifestyle. Marketing for me is the gateway to reduce environmental impacts in the workplace and society – raising awareness about green marketing and leading by example. A fun fact about myself I love marmite on ice cream (don’t knock it till you try it).

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Mikaila (right) at UC Sustainability’s Rethink Your Wardrobe Clothes Swap event earlier this year, where she coordinated the social media coverage.

Tell us how you become involved with sustainability at UC.

 After coming home from my exchange in the Netherlands I realised the huge passion I had for the environment and ensuring we maintain our relationship with mother nature. When coming back to UC I sought out for sustainability focused clubs and the got in touch with the Sustainability Office. I found some pretty awesome clubs in relation to making a difference and getting involved, and joining the Eco Volunteer team was a great move, allowing me to meet and hang out with like minded people at sustainability events on campus. I also gained a better understanding of my personal relationship with sustainability and where I fit in. The UC Sustainability team played a big role in helping me get more involved – now I work with Chloe from the Sustainability Office on social media and communications to promote sustainability events we have around campus. Helping get the message out and showing students how to get more involved with sustainability is key to increase engagement for students both on campus and in their personal lives.

What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?

One area for me would be combining sustainability and engagement through social media. My main focus is communicating with students and staff the work we are doing around campus and our upcoming events. Ensuring that students are aware of the cool events we put on such as our Bike Breakfast or Zero Waste Workshops and then sharing a snippet of the action through blog posts, Instagram takeovers and Facebook. It’s so exciting to see all the people who come along to the events, and you can see this is often the start of something bigger for them. For example, we had 100 students come along to our Plastic Free July workshop! Right now I’m helping Chloe run some really cool giveaways over social media for Plastic Free July and Fairtrade Fortnight, and boy do students love giveaways!! It’s been really cool seeing students tag in their friends and flatmates in the competitions, and watching how excited people are getting about winning eco products like reusable straws and beeswax wraps is so cool!

I’m also a major contributor to the latest edition of Canta, which is the Environmental / Sustainability Issue (find me in Flat Famous – wohoo!!), and I’m doing some Plastic Free July blogging for the Sustainability Office on campus this week, so watch this space!

Mikaila with the pile of eco giveaways for Plastic Free July and Fairtrade Fortnight, where she has been coordinating the content for social media giveaways and competitions

What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC?

How UC is continuously striving to become more sustainable, little things such as the Cup Library in both the Eng Core and the Undercroft are big for me. Since being a fresher at UC I have seen some pretty cool developments and become much more aware of how sustainable our campus is. Who knew we have plenty of fruit trees on campus? Also how the UCSA’s Tea Party and other events have switched from plastic disposable cups to reusable ones – and not to forget our beautiful community garden – it makes me proud to be a student at UC.

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Mikaila (bottom left) and her flatmates featuring in the Environmental Issue of Canta (photo credit: CANTA and Java Katzur)

Where to next for you?

This is my final year studying (woohoo), after finishing my thesis I shall step out into the real world and find myself a job. Ideally I will be working with a clean, green company that’s positively impacting the way we consume products. However, I would love to help guide businesses with sustainable practices, helping them grow and gain a better appreciation for our environment and why we need to take great care of it.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

 

Sustainability Champions: Elizabeth Peters

Welcome back to the Sustainability Champions Campaign!

The UC Sustainability team are excited to have launched a campus wide profiling project called the Sustainability Champions Campaign. We want to use this as an opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that is being done for sustainability on campus by both students and staff, whose contributions we believe have deepened our culture of sustainability at UC.

We’re running the campaign in the lead up to the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards, so keep your eyes out for our champions posters on campus, and get your nominations in! (Nominations open 5 – 31 August, see our webpage for the nomination form and all the details).

In the meantime, read on and enjoy our latest Sustainability Champion profile from plastic free blogger Elizabeth – and just in time for Plastic Free July!

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Elizabeth Peters | Masters in Marketing, Plastic Free Blogger and Eco Volunteer

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Elizabeth, I grew up in Christchurch. I did my undergraduate at University of Canterbury in Marketing and Management and I am currently doing my Master’s in Marketing on the topic of non-profit advertising. I spent my later years of my childhood growing up in the country and love being in nature. I now flat in town and love biking through the greener areas of Christchurch that remind me of home.

Tell us how you became involved with sustainability at UC.

I started coming along to a few events throughout my undergraduate studies, but it wasn’t until this last year that I got involved with the UC Sustainability Office and started helping more.  I love the work that the sustainability team is doing and wanted to be a part of it which I do through Eco Volunteering.

What has been a sustainability project that has meant a lot to you?

For an assignment at university we were set with a challenge to change a behavior of ours that would not only better ourselves but also the society in which we live. I chose to give up plastic. I began with the broad goal to give up all plastics… However, it was not until I started recording my plastic consumption that it started to dawn on me how pervasive plastic was in my life! Since I began this journey in 2017, I have learnt and continue to learn about the problem, and various ways in which I can be a part of the solution. I have learnt through personal experience and from the experience and research of others. Over the summer I started a blog called Glasshouse Refillery to share my journey. I also share some of my regular rhythms to living a more sustainable lifestyle on my Instagram and Facebook page – if you’re interested you can find me here: @glasshouserefillery

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Elizabeth at UC Sustainability’s ‘Get Sorted’ event in 2018, where we asked our community to make a ‘waste watchers’ challenge!

What is something that has made you feel really proud and a part of UC? 

I often bike to university and leading up to UC Sustainability’s Bike Breakfast event the bike shed was so full I had to go to one on the other side of campus! While the bike shed isn’t always full (particularly in winter!), it is great to see so many students and staff choosing to cycle to university. I am also proud to be a part of UC Sustainability’s journey in their BYO cups and containers initiative (and the cup library) at the various cafes and food establishments on campus.

Where to next for you?

Though I will soon finish my studies and no longer be a student, I will continue to do my bit for this wonderful planet that we are blessed to live on. I still have a long road ahead on my sustainability journey, but I will endeavor to be an eco-advocate where my life leads me. Endeavoring to encourage others and myself to continue to make small changes that have a big impact.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our Sustainability Champions Campaign, where we profile UC students and staff doing great things for sustainability. This is part of our wider communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

 

Plastic Free July is almost here!

We’re gearing up for an entire month of celebrating all things plastic free during the worldwide Plastic Free July Campaign.

Take the challenge and ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics with us during the month of July!

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Want to get started?

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup to campus, and make the most of the BYO cup discounts on offer
  • Bring your lunch from home and swap out plastic cling film for a beeswax wrap or container. Or, if you’re buying food on campus, bring a plate or bowl from home and avoid using that takeaway box!
  • Take your own bags to get your groceries – and don’t forget smaller bags for loose produce
  • Drink loose leaf tea – did you know tea bags contain plastic?
  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle too!
  • All over the above? Why not start with some simple swaps at home – like switching from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, or try using solid shampoo bars instead of buying bottles!

 Want some more help?

We’ve got a whole bunch of plastic free activities planned next month to help you along the way, including a DIY bag and beeswax wrap workshop on Tuesday 23rd July, student bloggers sharing their experiences about going plastic free on campus, and heaps of awesome plastic free giveaways over on our Facebook page!

Join us for a month (or more) of ditching single use plastics for good!

Keep an eye on our Facebook page during July for event updates and those giveaways – you don’t want to miss them.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Plastic Free July, where we encourage our UC community quit single use plastics for the month. For more information and tips, see the Plastic Free July website.