Let’s get carbon literate

Manchester Met is becoming carbon literate with thanks to the Environment team and MetMUnch.

Climate change is widely regarded as one of the greatest challenges the world is currently facing. As a result, employers are increasingly realising the importance of employing graduates with an understanding of environmental and social issues in order to cope with future challenges.

Carbon Literacy Project, which originated in Manchester, offers everyone who works, lives or studies in the city and wider area, a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy learning. More than just small, personal changes, Carbon Literacy highlights the need for substantial change and encourages people to have a cascading effect on a much wider audience.

Following an Environment Team initiative, every student studying the Level 4 Nutrition in the 21st Century unit on BSc Nutritional Sciences has become fully carbon literate, with them gaining an understanding of the basic science behind climate change, what they can do to act on climate change, and strategies and skills for communicating action on climate change.

The students of MetMUnch have helped take one of the University’s key targets for sustainability into the classroom. The first cohort of undergraduate students to become fully trained will now become trainers for carbon literacy, passing on the knowledge to other students through future sessions, and gain invaluable employability skills in the process.

There has been some great feedback from the students involved.

“Ignorance may be bliss, but truth is essential. Once exposed to that truth, it becomes almost impossible to ignore. I have, along with my course mates, been granted knowledge and insight to the truth of how our climate is changing. It is both shocking, challenging  and already impacting how I live on a daily basis. Though I claimed to care about the environment before, I really was ignorant and not thinking twice about how I lived. This new lease of knowledge may sound like a burden, as it certainly isn’t easy to implement, but when something stirs in your heart for all the right reasons, it compels you to take action. To live with purpose and passion is the best way to live. The Carbon Literacy course has stirred passion within me and has added purpose to how I live. I believe if more people were educated on this subject, the more positive changes and community support we will see. What a privilege that my university, MMU, allowed my course to embark on this training. Now think what an incredible testimony it would be for the whole of MMU to complete this Carbon Literacy course. The knock-on effect the students could have both in their future workplace and community is exciting and empowering. May Manchester grow in becoming more sustainable, looking after our city and country, thinking about our future and the generations to come. The benefits are endless, but the timing is urgent.”

Nikita Star Watkinson, Nutritional Scientist Student.

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