4 things you can do this Earth Day!

4 things you can do this Earth Day

April 22nd 2015 is Earth Day, a whole day dedicated to reminding people that the environment is a highly delicate system which needs protection. If you’re stuck for a way to celebrate this brief guide provides a few quick and easy ideas that can help you to become a more environmentally conscious citizen at QMUL:

  1. Spend a little less time in the shower

We all love getting into a lovely hot shower in the morning in preparation for a long day. However, according to this article showers have been found to be the biggest daily use of water for households in the UK- they make up a whopping 25% of domestic water usage. Showering isn’t an innocuous activity however- it is estimated that the average daily water consumption per person in the UK is 150 liters and this has been growing by 1% each year since 1930 thanks in part to increased pressure for us to shower daily.

So what can you do about your daily shower habit? If you’re a Thames Water customer you can order water freebies from this website. If you’re not the QMUL still has a limited number of 4 minute shower timers left over from World Water Day. If you’d like one just email sustainability@qmul.ac.uk and arrange a collection.

  1. Eat less meat

This is a small but simple way to dramatically lower your carbon footprint. For example, the worst offender is beef- kilogram for kilogram the production of beef requires 28 times more land to produce than chicken or pork and 11 times more water. This results in beef creating 5 times more emissions than pork or chicken. Apparently, cutting out beef will reduce your carbon footprint more than cutting out your car!

Whilst going full on vegetarian or vegan may be a step too far for many, just reducing your meat consumption can be a great way to aid the environment. All of our restaurants and cafes at QMUL provide vegetarian options, and these are often available for a significantly lower price than their meaty equivalents. Check out the menus for the Curve and Mucci’s for more information. If you’re looking to cook meat free at home but still produce a tantalising and filling meal check out food blogs like Deliciously Ella and Oh my veggies for some inspiration.

  1. Get on your bike

Here at QMUL we have a huge population of proud and active cyclists. At first the idea of cycling on London’s busy roads can be daunting. However, there are a huge amount of schemes and campaigns looking to make cycling in London more accessible, whether that’s through reducing the cost of accessing a bike, or through giving you the skills to safety navigate the roads.

If you’re interested in getting some free cycle safety training and are a residence or worker in Tower Hamlets, you can learn about available courses here. Alternatively, QMUL provide subsidised bike loans to staff, as well as bike racks, bike lockers and showering facilities at all of our campuses. You can learn more about all our cycling facilities here. Don’t forget, cycling is an option for any journey you make in London thanks to the network of bike available for hire (commonly known as ‘Boris bikes’). There’s a map available listing all stations here.

Happy Earth Day 2015!
Happy Earth Day 2015!
  1. Get Active on Campus

If you’re already a hard-core environmentalist and you’ve covered our 3 previous options, we’re always looking for students and staff to get involved with our sustainability campaigns at QMUL! If you’re an office-based staff member you can get up a Green Impact team and get about making your office a greener place. Students can also get involved in Green Impact by becoming volunteer project assistants or auditors. This has the added benefit of looking great on your CV and helping you to gain employment in the environmental sector!

We’re also looking for students interested in joining our Green Mary student group. As a Green Mary student you’ll get to run environmental campaigns and attend events, influence the University’s current sustainability policies, projects and strategies, and meet like-minded students on campus. Just email sustainability@qmul.ac.uk to find out more.

Finally, if you like in Halls of Residence make sure you sign up to the Student Switch Off campaign where you can help reduce energy consumption and waste in you Hall and win ice cream in the process!

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