Sustainable summer of small changes

Looking for something to do this summer? From Monday 28 June, the University is launching a summer in Leeds programme to let you explore the campus, rediscover the city, enjoy sport and wellbeing sessions at the Edge, art trails, movies, picnics and more.

As part of this programme, we’ve collated this guide to help you enjoy a sustainable summer of small changes in Leeds. As always, remember to follow current Covid guidelines at all times, to keep yourself and others safe.

Living in Leeds guides

Take a look at our guides for living in Leeds and the surrounding areas. Each guide contains suggestions for places to eat, drink, explore, and how to get involved with third-sector organisations operating in those areas:

If you’re looking to meet new friends to explore these areas with over summer, join our Sustainability Volunteering Facebook group or take a look at the Summer in Leeds webpage.

Fun things to try this summer

  • Purchase a Rainbow Junk-tion cookbook (priced at £6) from Coffee on the Crescent and gather a group of friends, neighbours, or fellow students together (of course following the latest Covid guidelines!) to have a ‘Come Dine With Me’ challenge one night per week. Your money will support this community café in intercepting food waste and feeding the local community
  • Look out for monthly farmers market on at HEART Leeds (second Saturday of the month), regular craft fairs at Left Bank Leeds, the monthly vintage market at Kirkgate Market (first Saturday of the month), and record and book fair, also at Kirkgate Market (second Saturday of the month)
  • Try a vegan or independent restaurant food crawl across the city centre – check out our Living in Leeds guide or the Leeds Indie Food Instagram for some ideas on where to go!
  • Do you enjoy mending things or need something fixed yourself? Check out a local repair café to see if they need volunteers or are hosting a session soon
  • Do you have a small outdoor space, such as a courtyard, or a window ledge? You can purchase seeds or pots of grown herbs, and compost, from supermarkets and garden centres around Leeds. Repot and water these cheap, low-maintenance plants, and reap the benefits instantly – they brighten up any outdoor space, are great for local wildlife and make for a tasty addition to many recipes

    One of our sustainability interns re-potted some herbs into freshly painted pots to brighten up a grey courtyard

    One of our sustainability interns re-potted some herbs into freshly painted pots to brighten up a grey courtyard

  • You could also buy some second hand terracotta plant pots from charity shops, Facebook marketplace, or gumtree, and experiment with painting or drawing on them to breathe new life into something that might otherwise go to waste
  • Busy away a day for free with a Leeds street art trail (details on the Welcome to Leeds, Visit Leeds and In Good Company websites) the University campus art trail. If it’s a rainy day, you can download this street art-inspired image for free and colour it in digitally or print it out
  • Hyde Park Unity Day is a free festival which takes place in Woodhouse Moor every August. It should be going ahead this year, Covid restrictions allowing. Why not contact them to see if you can get involved with this community event?
  • Rainbow Junk-tion Community Cafe is ‘Pay-As-You-Feel’ café based at All Hallows’ Church. Their aims are to fight food waste, help relieve food poverty and to be a community hub. Any students that are interested in volunteering just need to fill in this short google form to be added to the database. The organisation are mostly looking for people who can commit to a regular weekly slot, and there are various roles including cooking, serving, cleaning, donation sorting, front desk service in the food bank, parcel packing, queue management, donation pick up and the signposting team.
  • Become a Hyde Park Litter Hero and help keep our local community free of litter! This is your opportunity to meet other people in your community, help improve the area you live and give something back to the communities where you live during your time in Leeds! Join us and help keep our local park a beautiful greenspace for everyone to enjoy! Apply on My Career or Join our dedicated LS6 Litter Pickers Facebook Group.
  • Volunteer with Hyde Park Source: Improving Health and Wellbeing through improving the Environment. Hyde Park Source work with local communities to improve their surroundings, designing and creating attractive, exciting, safe and useful places for people to live, work and play. Anyone interested should email so they can fill in our volunteer registration form and we can get the ball rolling.

Keep up with everything going on in Leeds with the following Instagram accounts

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on student belonging is linked to the following SDGs:

        • Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing
        • Goal 4: Quality education
        • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
        • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.