Green Impact submissions

Take a look at the projects and creative challenges this year’s Green Impact teams did. Well done to all the teams involved!


Submitted by Howard Collier, Leeds Institute of Clinical Trial Research:

“At the Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research we hold a Fuddle at Easter and Christmas where staff bring in a food item to share with their colleagues. This year we attempted to make our Easter Fuddle ‘environmentally-friendly’. Rather than bringing in the usual sweet or savoury item we requested that staff only bring in food items that were either home grown, from a local supplier, or Fair Trade. In addition we had two competitions – a cake made out of UK ingredients and a left over meal challenge with prizes supplied by Groundwork charity in Leeds. The winner of each event was decided by our two Green Impact Project Assistants who enjoyed playing the roles of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry on the day! During the event we also ran a PowerPoint presentation that provided information about local organic shops, cafes, farmers markets and charities that have a sustainability focus.

At the event staff were treated to a wide selection of tasty food ranging from Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef made entirely from left-overs to Wensleydale Cheese and Homemade Pickle sandwiches. The winners of the two competitions were; Cake out of UK ingredients – Rhubarb and Elderflower Shortcake and Left over meal – Pork and Rice Balls with a Garlic dip.

The event was well attended and generated a lot of discussion about sourcing local produce. In particular many staff highlighted how difficult it was to identify where a food item had been produced when looking at supermarket packaging.

To thank Groundwork for the prizes they donated we have nominated them as the recipient of the money raised during our monthly dress down day. We are also thinking of holding a similar event in the autumn where there will be even more seasonal produce available.”

Submitted by Alison Usher, The Secretariat:

“We held a ‘bake a book’ challenge which took place in the two weeks leading up to world book day. The purpose was to introduce and engage staff with the book corner which we have established as part of our Green Impact project. (The book corner aims to encourage sustainability by reusing books as well as addressing staff well-being by creating space to relax at lunch time). Our baking challenge also introduced the theme of ethical purchasing by encouraging the bakes to be made from fair trade produce. The winners were presented with a prize and asked to officially open the book corner on world book day.”

Submitted by Clare Cook, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine:

In-between the booking of trains and dealing with obstinate diaries, organising the Fairtrade Bake-Off was a pleasant change to my work-based scenery. The idea had sprung from a brainstorming session which started with the simple (but not unwelcomed) idea of a bake sale, which morphed into a breakfast event, and finally landed onto competitive cooking. The thought was to help raise engagement by creating friendly competition which, when combined with food, would be conducive to creating a buzz and atmosphere, to get people emotionally involved about more than the sweet sugar goodness, but also the origins of it.

To enhance this, we obtained a supply of Fairtrade goodies from local volunteer-run shop The Beehive, which we set up and sold in the building during the weeks leading up the event. Needless to say we did not have nearly enough Fairtrade chocolate to meet demand, but having raised over £60 from this small sale, it was still a keen success.

When the day of the Bake-Off itself came the eager-eyed bakers, clutching their creations, trickled to my desk one by one to present their offerings, some more shyly than others. By 11.30am – as Faridah and I set the cakes up ready with numbers, descriptions and origin stories – there was already a gaggle of sheepish staff with plate in one hand and coins in the other, trying to appear both lofty and enthusiastic at the same time, as they eyed the baked goods. By 11.35am the sheepishness had turned into a great wolfing down of cake and mutterings over score sheets which were then handed (slightly-stickily) to us one after the other. By the end we were surrounded by crumbs and a lot of numbers ready for counting.

For the next two hours I was hounded for information about who had won and when we could do another event.

The victor, to no one’s surprise, was a beautiful cake made from not only Fairtrade products but also with squash grown in the baker’s own garden. Well-deserved indeed.

All that was left then was the washing up and a great sense of achievement – not only in the event, but in the realisation that sometimes the battle is simply in unconscious choice. That is, by having a Fairtrade sale on-hand and easy, it makes the right choice also the easiest one.

The bake sale raised (pun intended) just over £55 and that, along with the £60 raised from the goods sale, has been donated to the Fairtrade Foundation.

‘Inspiring Women’ Writing Competition entries

For International Women’s Day this year, the Sustainability Service created a writing competition looking for stories to celebrate women and their achievements.  The competition was open to staff, students and the general public.

Hamda Arab (19, Bhopal, M.P., India):


Since my childhood days I have been looked after by many women, my mother, my grandmother, my aunts and my teachers. They have all played a major role in making me what I am today. Little did I know that the ones who looked after me when I didn’t even know how to walk will become the ones I look up to as I step out and find a place for myself in this whole wide world.

They don’t have super powers, they can’t turn things gold, they can’t fly or run faster than the speed of light and neither they can fight super villains but yes what they can do is pretty amazing too and to be true some of these are pretty hard jobs to do. Things like they fed me when I was hungry, stayed up all night when I was sick to look after me, taught me how to walk when laying in bed was the only thing I knew humans could do. They made me laugh when I cried. Knew what I wanted before I spoke. These things might not be cool enough to be a part of science fiction books or comics but in my opinion they are some pretty cool things.

These women around me have taught me things without actually making me realise that I am being taught lessons for life and as far as I remember this is what modern teaching system is all about, isn’t it?

They might not have taught me big words, technical terms or mathematical equations but what they taught me are the things no institution can teach me. They taught me about those little things that we strive for and struggle with each and everyday. Things like love, care, hope, faith……basically everything about happiness. They made me confident enough to be myself, humble enough to accept my mistake, polite enough to listen, brave enough to face my fears and strong enough to overcome my weaknesses.

They are my inspiration. I look up to them as they not only give me hope for a better tomorrow but they give me motivation and strength to make one for myself and for others.”

Anjuli Thawait (20, Bhopal, M.P., India):

“There are several faces that you come across each and every day, every other person has something or the other to offer, what do you pick up from these people? Is it their positivity? Is it their strength? Or is it the entirety of that person that you wish to adorn.

Women have always been an epitome of selfless care and affection, they portray the countenance of a sister, a friend, a mother, she is the one who nurtures the family, without her the pothole seems to widen.

I have always had a fair share of the good and the bad people around me, tried to pick up the best out of every outcome. The women around me be it my mother, my sisters, my friends, they have always brought in a lot of positivity and sanity in my belief system. Their teachings, their struggles have taught me how to live a placid, calm and a life full of unconditional love.

I have been friends with a certain group of people ever since the college started, been fortunate enough to get those vibrant souls from the very beginning. It wasn’t until recently that I found out about what one of my friend had gone through when she was at her very tender age, she lost her younger sibling at the age of 10 while they were playing,due to some unfortunate circumstances, and that should have torn her and her family apart, but she picked up her shattered pieces and mended herself and her family back to what they always were, the gap could not get filled because the society that we live in, never allows you to forget. There are always two things that you can do, you can either brood and cry for sympathy, or you can refuse to give up, bring out all the strength and move on. My friend was of the second type, she refused to succumb to this pernicious society, she has always worked very hard to get all the happiness that she could plausibly bring for her family. She never allowed her academics to suffer nor her career, she never talks about it because she does not want anybody to sympathize with her, nor does she want the people to serve her with the golden platter.

I have never known anyone more stronger than her, how can someone confide this kind of pain for so long and still be like a breath of fresh air. She is a person who will go to the ends of the world to make things happen for the ones she loves, she treats her friends like family, and there is not anything that she wouldn’t do to make her parents happy, to feel okay about having just her as their child, to fill up for the daughter they lost.

We have been friends for several years now, and all the others mentioned their bad friendships or their bad relationships, deaths of their uncles, aunts, grandparents. But losing a sibling who is younger to you, is our pain anywhere compared to hers? We gave her advice to be strong when she cried, never knowing why she really cried. We could not even hear her pain, let alone facing it. And that girl has been keeping herself strong ever since she was 10 years old. If that does not motivate you to be strong, positive and hard working in life, I don’t know what else will.”

Sustainability Architect Spring Update – Amy


Since meeting with several engagement coordinators, student enhancement officers and faculty education service managers I have been able to better understand how a Sustainability Rep would fit into different faculties across the University. It has allowed me to grasp an idea of what is required of me, as a Sustainability Architect, for the role to be taken seriously within each faculty. Therefore, over the next couple of weeks I am working towards completing a draft profile for the Sustainability Rep position as well as researching how to attain HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Record) accreditation for the role .

Additionally, having been liaising with the Sustainability Service’s Projects Officer, Amanda, and Manager, Claire, in looking into the possibility of of setting up a new community initiative, loosely based around a mentoring, and will aim to increase student engagement within the Leeds community and better integrate students with local residents. I look forward to seeing where this will lead!