10 Sustainability New Year Resolutions to guide University of Leeds staff and students make sustainable change in 2017.
1. Get cycling!
Swap one car journey a week to walking or cycling to campus. Call in to our campus bike hub to enquire about bike hire, advice on getting started and bike maintenance. See our webpages for more information about the University’s sustainable transport schemes on offer.
2. Ditch disposable fashion
For your next clothing purchase, consider visiting a charity shop or a clothes swap event instead of buying new. You’d be surprised on what you might find! You could also consider signing up to a local sewing class and learn how to make basic repairs, meet new people and learns new skills! The Stitch and Bitch Society offer themed workshops each month during term time.
3. Give time to make a positive change
Give an hour of your time a month to a make a positive contribution. There are many ways to make a difference- from getting to know your neighbours, helping a young person to improve their grades, befriending an older person, to helping to preserve local green spaces or taking part in the University’s first Student Conference on Sustainable Futures, on the 3rd February. Students can refer to Your Guide to Living in Leeds for tips on how you can get involved locally. Staff members can also make a contribution by mentoring a local community organisation.
4. Switch to fair products
Commit to sourcing at least one item you purchase regularly from a more local and/or ethical source. The University’s Great Food at Leeds outlets follow a strict food policy which ensures ethical, sustainable procurement of all food. Call in to a cafe or the Refectory and see what Fairtrade, locally sourced and great tasting food they have on offer!
5. Get out more, get some exercise and see local wildlife
As well as parks, Leeds has some great urban green walks and nature reserves to explore. As one of the largest landowners in Leeds, the University campus also has a diverse combination of green spaces and woodland offering a variety of habitats for wildlife to explore. Take part in our annual ‘Big Campus Bird Watch’ on the 27th January 2017 and help us to record the bird species on campus.
6. Get digging!
Growing your own food is a simple and fun way to reduce your environmental impact and get fresh food all year-round. Call in to the Sustainability Garden on Wednesday afternoons and take part in an edible gardening session to pick up some tips.
7. Do you really need the latest smartphone?
Commit to not buying any new electronic goods for at least a year. As well as the environmental impacts of involved, there are significant labour issues associated with the production of TVs, phones, computers and other electronics goods. The University as a founding member of an organisation called Electronics Watch is using our buying power to challenge manufacturers to eliminate modern slavery from their workforce. As a consumer, you can also check the sustainability of the goods you buy through Ethical Consumer.
Commit to recycling your waste and donating any unwanted items to charity. Need help understanding what you can recycling on campus or at home? See our handy recycling guides for tips about recycling on campus and city-wide.
9. Become a part-time vegetarian
10. Convince 3 friends to do likewise
Share what sustainable resolution you will be doing this year. Share this post through your social media and encourage your friends and colleagues to also make positive change.