Don't be a mug - reduce your carbon footprint

21 Nov 2011 16:02:56.987

PA 362/11

Four students from The University of Nottingham have launched a campaign to encourage students, the university and the wider community to take action against climate change.

Under the title ‘Love Your Mug’, Rebecca Lyons, Tolani Alabi, Laura Burke and Rebecca Collins aim to get water fountains installed across campus and improve student recycling in University accommodation.

Throughout the campaign week — 21-27 November — the team will be running information stands and love your mug evenings, to illustrate how much money and energy is wasted by using plastic cups. Reusable bags will also be distributed and an inter-hall pledge competition will be held.

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Geography student Rebecca Lyons explained: “It is our theory that a great number of students feel disconnected when it comes to climate change, as they rarely see the impact of their efforts. We aim to raise awareness of their impact by showing how small changes to a students’ way of life can save a surprising amount of money.

“We want to leave a legacy by creating a campaign that will attract enough support to have water fountains installed across campus and individual recycling facilities added to all bedrooms in university accommodation. We want our ideas at Nottingham to inspire others so that we can have a global impact.”

The team’s project has been welcomed by the University and is set to add to the ongoing environmental work, which saw Nottingham crowned ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking. Since then the University has continued to lower its environmental impact, while investing in research to improve the efficiency and capability of green technologies.

Ahead of Love Your Mug Week, Energy & Environmental Officer Kay Gregory, said: “It is fantastic news that these University of Nottingham students are taking it upon themselves to raise awareness of environmental issues.

“While the University’s Sustainability Team works to practically reduce the carbon footprint of our campuses and operations, the promotion of greener behaviour on a peer to peer level is a very effective way of making a real difference to reducing our emissions. Congratulations to the girls on making it to the finals of the competition and we wish them the best of luck in winning.”

The students’ efforts have also been recognised by energy giant Npower, who have listed the team as finalists for the npower Future Leaders Challenge 2011. The competition challenges students to find new and innovative ways to engage the community, university and peers to reduce their carbon emissions.

Four Nottingham students — Umesh Kumar (Geography and Chinese), Ben Blackburn (Geography and Business), Andrew James (Management Studies) and Eliot Booker (Sociology) — won the competition in 2010 for their project ‘SheepMob’, for which they received a trip to the Arctic Circle.

Judges were impressed with the team’s social media campaign and pledge event. Under the brand ‘SheepMob’ the project was designed to encourage students to be more environmentally friendly without having to make major changes to their normal behaviour.

For more information about Love Your Mug, please visit the campaign website or facebook page. You can also find out about the npower Future Leaders Challenge 2011 online.


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia. Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit:  

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

Story credits

More information is available from Rebecca Lyons, Carbon Neutrals team leader at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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