Staffordshire University is hosting a week of activities to encourage students, staff and the public to go green.
The pandemic has made us value green spaces and biodiversity more than ever and highlighted the importance of connecting with nature. We hope these events will help more people realise that by making little changes we can all have a positive impact on the planet.
Dr Eleanor Atkins, Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Science
Staffs Does Spring Watch and the return of the Great Green Gathering are just two of the online highlights taking place during EU Green Week which runs from 31 May – 5 June.
Students will be organising litter picks and well-being walks and will also take part in a three-day challenge to develop ideas to make the campus more sustainable.
During the week, Staffordshire University alumni who have forged careers in sustainability will also be sharing their experiences with current students including urban farming entrepreneur Ande Gregson who founded agritech company Green Lab.
Dr Eleanor Atkins, Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said: “EU Green Week is an opportunity to engage with the community and explore how we can work together to make the ambition for a zero pollution and toxic-free environment a reality.
“At Staffordshire University, we are proud of our place in the community and are mindful or our environmental responsibilities. These events will help to raise public awareness of sustainable issues and biodiversity and the benefits it can bring to health, wellbeing, industry and environment.”
Nature lovers can learn about the wildlife on and around campus in Staffs Does Spring Watch, presented by Biology students Jared Darcy and Britta Kuusik on Wednesday 2 June between 6pm – 7pm. Join Staffordshire University experts live on YouTube to explore the nature reserve, view footage from a local wildlife photographer and learn about projects including the River Trent restoration.
The week concludes with the Great Green Gathering 2021 on Saturday 5 June to celebrate World Environment Day. This free family event, being streamed on the Great Green Gathering YouTube Channel between 10am – 2pm, is aimed at all ages with fun activities including how to build a hedgehog home, make pollution monitors and draw insects.
Experts from across Staffordshire University plus community groups including Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Air Aware and Staffordshire Bat Group who will be on hand to answer questions and share what is happening in the local area. Other activities include quizzes, competitions and demonstrations.
Green Week is part of Staffordshire University’s ongoing efforts to improve sustainability which includes a commitment to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Earlier this year, it joined forces with more than 55 UK universities and research centres to help tackle climate change as part of the COP26 Universities Network.
A new nursery and forest school is also under construction and will be the first net-zero carbon facility on campus having been designed using highly efficient technologies for heating, cooling, and ventilation.
Dr Atkins added: “The pandemic has made us value green spaces and biodiversity more than ever and highlighted the importance of connecting with nature. We hope these events will help more people realise that by making little changes we can all have a positive impact on the planet.”
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