QMUL Green Mary Week: Mishma’s Perspective

This is part 2 in our series of QMUL Green Mary week volunteer posts. From 9-13 February 2015 QMUL celebrated Green Mary week, a week of events which promoted environmentally positive behavior on campus. It was a roaring success thanks in part to our enthusiastic army of Green Mary volunteers. Here Mishma, one of our fantastic volunteers, provides an account of how she found about about volunteer roles, and what she got involved in. 

I first heard about Green Week through the QMUL Sustainability’s website. I signed up as soon as I saw that they were looking for volunteers and I’m glad I did that! I’ve had an amazing time volunteering, meeting new people and helping to create environmental awareness among students. The Green Week featured a theme for each day of the week such as Meat Free Monday, Travel Light Tuesday, Waster Free Wednesday, Turn It Off Thursday and Make a Difference Friday. We also collected names of students who were interested to join the Green Mary Society, which will be relaunched later this year.

On Travel Light Tuesday, the Library Square was filled with stalls that had free bike repairs, free smoothies powered by bicycles, free tea and coffee with cycling freebies and the Green Mary Society Stall. I had a great experience talking to people about the society and getting them to sign up. A lot of people showed interest and were willing to sign up (this may have also been because I handed them the clipboard and pen before they agreed). However, there were some who said they weren’t ‘green’ enough of to join the society. Hopefully, they would’ve changed their minds after Green Week!

Our student volunteers lent a hand in recruiting environmentally motivated students to Green Mary, QMUL's environmental student society.
Our student volunteers lent a hand in recruiting environmentally motivated students to Green Mary, QMUL’s environmental student society.
London Cycling Campaign were on site providing advice to nervous cyclists, and fixing bikes for free.
London Cycling Campaign were on site providing advice to nervous cyclists, and fixing bikes for free.

As part of Waste Free Wednesday, a stationary give away stall and swap shop were set up in the middle of the library square. The stationary items that included folders, magazine racks, envelopes and lots more were donated by staff around the campus and other offices. As expected, the stationary went away quickly. Students were amazed when they learnt that all of this was what people were going to throw away.

On Friday, the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign presented cooking workshops. We were given aprons, knifes and spoons, and all the ingredients. They explained the importance of using the vegetables and fruits to the maximum. Browned bananas and sprouted spuds can still be used for cooking. As they introduced the ingredients, they also mentioned incredible facts about food waste. In the UK alone, 7 million tonnes of food are thrown away each year, half of which are edible. With the help of simple everyday ingredients, we made a frittata and a cheese cake, both of which tasted absolutely delicious!

Volunteering for the Green week was a wonderful experience. The QM Sustainability staff were very supportive and guided us throughout the events. Once the Green Mary Society is set up, I hope to get involved in more events that help raise awareness about our environment.

– Mishma Abraham

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