New Recruits!

September brings a new term, new modules, new opportunities to get involved in clubs and societies and a re-energised campus, ready for the academic year ahead. September also brings two new team members to the Sustainability Service, our interns for the next year, Rory (Left) and Jonny (Right). Here is a little bit more information about their first month at the Sustainability Service and about the projects they are working on this year:

Hi everybody,

I’m Rory and I have just this month started my new role for the coming year as Sustainability Intern.

Having just finished my second year as a Geography (BA) student I am now looking forward to a year working on something I am passionate about with the Sustainability team to bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the role and decrease the negative impacts the University has on the environment through a range of campaigns.

I hope to make a real impact by helping pioneer new campaigns that the University is starting out on, as well as bringing energy to existing work such as the Green Impact campaign which I will be running for its final year. The work I’ve been involved with so far has ranged from helping out at the Bike Hub to chatting to potential volunteers at freshers fairs. I’m really looking forward to the diversity and potential impact of my role in the Sustainability team this year.

If you want to contact me directly about any of this work, email:

Hi all,

It has been a busy month for me at the Sustainability Service; I have truly hit the ground running. I have manned fresher’s fair stalls, fixed and rented out bikes in the Bike Hub and delivered induction talks to lecture halls filled with students only recently acquainted with the campus.

After 2 years studying on a Geography BSc degree, I am excited to swap essays for blog posts and newsletters, as I help the Sustainability Service with their ongoing aim of embedding sustainability throughout the University. I hope to be involved in a range of projects that try to increase the engagement of the staff and student body, so that the University can continue to cultivate innovative research and findings from the Living Lab testbed we all study and work in.

All the while, my approach to attracting students to what sustainability is all about is not to highlight what you are doing unsustainably, but to emphasise how easy and rewarding it can be to become an actively sustainable student and make a difference, whether it’s at home, on campus or by helping us here at the Sustainability Service.

If you would like to contact me directly about any events or opportunities to help us engage people with sustainability, email:




Reusable KeepCups and Water Bottles For Sale!


Reusable KeepCups

You can now buy a range of vibrantly coloured KeepCups from any of the Great Food at Leeds outlets on campus.  Once you’ve bought your KeepCup, you get your first drink free and then 10p off every time you use it! You will also get 10p off if you’re using any reusable mug, as well as a further 10% off with a refresh card. From a sustainability perspective, it’s a no-brainer; every minute over one million disposable cups are discarded to landfill and single use items (like coffee cups) account for over half of the plastic used in the world today. Most disposable cups are lined with polyethylene which makes them non-recyclable. Even disposable cups that are ‘compostable’ require commercial composting to biodegrade.

In contrast, the KeepCup ‘breaks even’  – in terms of the energy taken in manufacturing – after just 15 uses when compared to a disposable cup. This means every KeepCup used more than 15 times is saving energy as well as waste. There is enough plastic in 20 disposable cups and lids to make a KeepCup. Tested to 1500 uses, we estimate they will last at least three years. Over one year the KeepCup reduces water use by up to 90% compared to disposable cup. Buy your KeepCup from The Refectory or any of the 15 Great Food at Leeds outlets across campus. For more information about the cafe’s on campus go to: 


Reusable Water Bottles

It was recently reported that global usage of plastic bottles has reached one million every minute. This is compounded by the finding that 91% of all plastic goes unrecycled, despite plastic bottles being made from highly-recyclable material. If left unrecycled, the type of polyethylene terephthalate that plastic bottles are made from can take 400 years to biodegrade. So where does all this wasted, single-use plastic go? Based on current projections, it is estimated that by 2050, 12 billion metric tons of plastic will end up in landfills.

Student representatives have already taken measures to prohibit the sale of bottled water in the LUU, and are working to improve the provisions of water fountains whilst reducing plastic bottle purchasing. To further embed sustainability at the university, we wanted to offer a desirable, reusable alternative to plastic bottles, which could be filled up at water points across the campus whilst reducing the amount of single use plastics going to landfill or ending up in the ocean. The bottles we produced feature an intricate design of the iconic Parkinson Building and are available to purchase from all Great Food at Leeds outlets across campus.

So if you’re concerned about waste, then it’s easier than ever to make a sustainable change on campus; get yourself a reusable bottle and KeepCup and you can immediately reduce your impact and never have to buy bottled water or single-use coffee cups again!