As part of The Southern Co-operative’s ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ scheme - we have been working in partnership with our very own Bramber House store to support students in giving back to their local community.
We asked student groups to put forward short proposals highlighting how they would spend £500 funding to make campus a healthier, greener, safer and/or more inclusive space.
We had some incredible submissions, now we need your help to select the student-led project that the Students' Union should facilitate this year. The winning project will receive £500 funding, donated by The Southern Co-operative Bramber House store.
Voting EXTENDED TO MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER, with the winner being announced on Monday 2 December.
PROJECT 1 - LEAVE NO TRACE
‘Leave No Trace’ is a new society at the University of Sussex which aims to reduce consumption across campus and help people take little steps to become greener. Our first initiative is a stall at the Falmer Tuesday market – we collect a range of rubbish that cannot be recycled through Brighton and Hove City Council or in recycling collections at the University halls. We then take this rubbish to The Green Centre at Brighton Open Market, where the rubbish is recycled, therefore diverting it from incineration. By providing this service on campus, those based at the University can easily recycle a variety of everyday items including bread bags, clean aluminium foil, toothpaste tubes and crisp packets.
To help incentivise the bringing of waste to our stall, we have created a points system where you collect a certain number of points per item you bring to the stall. At the end of the year, we will award experiences (not physical prizes due to the nature of the society!) such as tickets to events to those who recycled the most. We are planning to hold events on campus that fit the ‘Leave no Trace’ theme such as environmentally-themed quizzes and club nights. £500 would go a long way to funding the prizes for the recycling at our stall and other events, therefore helping to provide an incentive for recycling on campus and heightened awareness around the topic of waste.
PROJECT 2 - SUSSEX ROOTS
Roots is a community based, organic, no-dig gardening project. We come together to grow food, socialize, have an outside therapeutic space, and create space for wildlife. Everyone is welcome to our sessions or use the allotment space and fire pit. There is no cost for members and people can come to work or spend time in a peaceful space.
Volunteers are part of a supportive community; we share the produce we grow, providing healthy organic food as well as gardening promoting good mental health. The experience of working with roots provides skills for when volunteers leave in organic gardening and DIY skills. Roots actively creates a healthier community for people and nature.
We have sustained Roots on very little money using our DIY attitude, events such as Seedy Sunday where we swap our saved seeds and making compost. Almost every structure on the allotment is recycled and repurposed! £500 could be transformative for Roots! We could get equipment such as a hot composting bin which would allow us to compost faster and a wider variety of waste (putting nutrients back to the soil rather than landfill!). We could also set up a vermiculture (earthworms!) bin which will help us to improve our soil quality, sequester more carbon, and grow more! Perhaps most importantly, we could buy or build a shelter for our social space, encouraging people to come at all times of the year and in rain as well as have more opportunity to hold events for the wider Sussex community!
PROJECT 3 - SCOOP
Scoop is facilitating sustainable living on campus by providing students with organic fair trade products at the lowest possible price. We are advocates for as little waste as possible and encourage students to bring their own containers which we can fill up with wholesome nutritious dried foods such as chickpeas and black beans. We are encouraging healthy eating and diets with snacks which contain no or only naturally occurring sugars, such as banana chips/mango slices. We also sell non-toxic washing up liquid, to make people aware of other ways they can be more sustainable. We recently changed a product (quinoa) as we became aware of the amount of water needed to process it, and opted for a more sustainable option. We regularly ask our customers if there are any products they want to see Scoop sell, listening to the feedback we now sell gluten-free oats and pasta. We hope to be able to offer students even more variety and increase awareness of Scoop on campus in the future.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if there's something you're wondering about that we haven't covered here.
For more information on the scheme, please visit The Southern Co-op’s website.
Got a comment/criticism about anything discussed in this article? Let us know on our social media channels!
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