We have been asking staff how we can become a more sustainable university and you have returned to us with some great ideas, all part of our Ideas into Action programme. Since then we have been working with colleagues from across the university to develop ideas, into action, which makes a real impact.
The ideas that have been put forward are now live projects, and are well underway. Staff from across the university are working collaboratively, providing some great opportunities for everyone to engage with sustainability. Below we have summarised current projects and the progress so far.
TetraBin – encouraging a sustained positive change in people’s everyday waste and recycling behaviour through gamification.
The idea is to install the UK’s first TetraBin an interactive waste bin and explore how digital technology can be used to motivate positive change in urban environments. Working in partnership with its creator, a former student from the University of Sydney, we are aiming to install the interactive bin on campus and measure its impact in time for the Manchester Science Festival. We have opened this opportunity up to our students including a four-week student placement working on developing the TetraBin with the Environment Team. The student placement responsibilities involve supporting the communication of the project, investigating ideal locations and producing a methodology to measure the impact of the TetraBin. Idea submitted by Dee Vyas (Learning Innovation).
Bat & Bird Boxes – enhancing biodiversity on campus.
Our aim for this project is to enhance biodiversity on our estate by providing homes for wildlife. To do this we have been working with relevant parties to identify appropriate areas for bat and bird boxes on our estate. Working with the local South Lancashire Bat Group, we have been able to educate and engage others on issues related to urban wildlife at our recent bat talk and upcoming bat walk and survey. We have extended this project to include owls following the identification of tawny owls at our Cheshire campus and as a result, will be installing a number of bat and owl boxes in our protected woodland in Crewe this summer. Idea submitted by Ben Thompson (Cambridge & Cavendish Halls Team) and Julie Boyd (Placements Team).
Vinyl Banner Upcycling – reducing waste to landfill.
This idea stemmed from our overuse of vinyl banners across the university. This durable material is often used for promotional banners and is currently not recyclable. The project aims to create a number of prototype products to demonstrate alternative uses for waste vinyl, all with the circular economy in mind. Using the expertise of staff from our apparel department, we are creating a number of practical products including bags, pouches and wallets. Idea submitted by Lisa Bach (IDEA Office).
Cheshire Greenhouse – increasing space used for growing food on campus.
The project revolves around engaging students with growing, sustainability, enterprise and community projects using existing greenhouses on the campus. This collaborative project is encouraging the linking of staff and students who are coming together to renovate one of the greenhouses. The aim is to create a welcoming space for growing which can be used and maintained by all on campus. The space will provide staff and students with the opportunity to reap the benefits a little gardening can bring, including relieving stress and boosting mental well-being. The project will provide further benefits including community engagement opportunities and boosting biodiversity on campus. Idea submitted by Marcin Wozniak (Student Experience Tutor).
For more information about these project and to find out how you can get involved visit our Current Projects page.