10 Reasons why QMUL is a great place to study if you’re into sustainability
We want to extend a huge welcome to everyone who will be visiting QMUL this weekend as part of the open day! If you’re on site and interested in learning a little more about why QMUL is a great place to study if you’re into sustainability, read on….
1: We’re in a great location for public transport.
Whether you’re based at Charterhouse Square, Whitechapel or Mile End you’ll be studying within a kilometer of at least 1 tube station, loads of bus routes, and often a proliferation of Santander bikes.
For this reason a whopping 94% of students and staff travel to QMUL’s campuses by public transport, a pretty outstanding figure!
2: QMUL has its own sustainability brand, and it’s based on a really awesome pun.
We’re really proud of the Green Mary sustainability brand. You’ll see it around campus during events, stamped on recycling bins in lecture theaters, and occasionally a purple robot made of bins might stop you in your tracks and tell you about it.
3: We love sustainable food, and want to make sure you’re eating ethically and healthily too
QMUL is a Fairtrade University- that means we stock a lot of products which are certified as guaranteeing a better deal for Third World producers. You can buy these at any of our catering venues on campus, and there are regular offers on these goodies.
Even better, QMUL has a Bronze Soil Association Food for Life Certification. This means that all our eggs are free range, we use no undesirable food additives or hydrogenated fats, 75% of dishes are freshly prepared, meat comes from farms which satisfy UK welfare standards, menus are seasonal, no GM ingredients are used, and we do not use fish from the MSC ‘fish to avoid’ list.
4: It’s a great place for vegetarians and vegans
QMSU recently announced that they are supporting Meat Free Mondays with 20% off a range of veggie and vegan friendly products in their cafés and food outlets (Ground, Drapers and the Griff Inn, Infusion and the Village Shop).
These aren’t the only places you can get great vegetarian and vegan food. The Sheild Café, the Learning Café, the Curve, Mucci’s and all other outlets also serve vegetarian and vegan food.
QMSU also has a really active Vegetarian and Vegan society, so if you’re looking to meet some fellow meat avoiders make sure you sign up when you arrive on campus!
5: We love cycling!
QMUL’s Mile End Campus has 460 bicycle parking spaces, and there’s more planned in the near future.
On top of that, we schedule free bike maintenance and cycle security marking sessions through the year. Maintenance sessions are provided by qualified bike mechanics who give your bikes a check to make sure they remain road safe. Any new parts cost extra, but the safety check itself is free.
These run during Green Mary Day (September), Green Mary Week (March) and Bike Week (May). Sign up to the QMUL Cyclists mailing list to get a reminder email before events.
6: We also love solar energy!
So much that we just installed 126 state of the art solar panels on the roof of Mile End Library. In the average year these will generate equivalent electricity to power 2.4 homes.
7: We like to hand out freebies which help you to be more sustainable…
During Green Mary events you can get your hands on a whole host of fantastic freebies, including our lovely Green Mary branded items and Thames Water 2 minute shower timers which we give out at every event we run.
We go further than that though- at Move In weekend 2015/16 we handed out hundreds of kitchen, bedroom and decorative items donated by last 2014/15’s students when they moved out. As part of Green Mary Week we hand out free stationery donated by offices who otherwise would have chucked it away. In 2015, students on campus during Green Mary Day were extremely lucky and landed free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
8: You can join the Green Mary Student Group to meet like-minded students and hone your CV
The Green Mary Student Group host a whole range of sustainability-related activities and events through the year. These include volunteering in offices to help staff make QMUL more sustainable, running some great sustainability awareness events, getting involved in local conservation projects, and helping out at QMUL’s new allotments once they re-open. Green Mary have a Facebook group which you can join at any time.
9: Cycle Superhighway 2 is right outside our Mile End campus, and Tower Hamlets offers free cycle safety training
Which is helping to encourage more and more students to cycle into Uni every day. CS2 stretches from Stratford to Aldgate and is being carried out in different phases, due to be complete by April 2016. Improvements include segregated cycle tracks along Whitechapel High Street, most of Whitechapel Road, Mile End Road and Bow Road, allowing a more safe and comfortable environment for cyclists without having to take space away from pedestrians.
If you’re looking for some encouragement to get on your bike, Tower Hamlets also offers free cycle safety training sessions. These are great for boosting your confidence on the road, and can get even the shakiest of riders bombing around London.
10: The Regents Canal runs through Mile End campus, and you can get involved in the Canal Clean Up volunteering group to ensure it stays beautiful
Students and staff love the Regents Canal, it’s a great spot to sit alongside and eat your lunch between lectures, watching the ducks, swans and geese float by. They love it so much that there’s even a Canal Clean Up volunteering group based at Mile End campus. The group organise regular clean up sessions where they fish detritus out of the canal to help boost its ecology.
If you’re a current student with a tip about staying sustainable at QMUL leave comment below!