Raisin Green Guide

** Update: 1st place prize for Green Raisin competition wins a meal for them and their academic family at The Doll’s House! Join event here http://goo.gl/Kj1foT **

Did you know that Raisin Weekend is so called because academic children traditionally gave their mother a present of a pound of raisins to thank her for the weekend’s festivities? In response, academic parents gave a ‘receipt’ for their gift which has developed into the humorous receipts we see given today!

In the spirit of this tradition, and in light of the fact that all Raisin receipts require disposal after they are no longer needed, we’ve developed the below guidelines for constructing environmentally friendly and safe Raisin receipts and costumes to keep Raisin a truly sustainable tradition.

In appreciation for following these guidelines we will be giving away a prize for the most environmentally friendly and creative Raisin receipt and costume awarded to your academic family (to be judged by our Energy and Environment Officers).

How do I enter the competition?

Post a picture of you and your academic parents with your receipt & costume on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentStA, or via email at environment@st-andrews.ac.uk. Include a brief description of how it was made and why it is environmentally friendly. We look forward to seeing your creative ideas!

How do I design a “green” Raisin receipt?

Do REUSE unwanted materials such as cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, or old clothes.
Design SMALLER receipts that are not overly heavy and take up large amounts of space (eg avoid bicycles and mattresses).
Use materials that are EASILY RECYCLABLE such as paper and cardboard, plastics, wood, and textiles.
Avoid Buying large amounts of NEW materials which will end up in the skip after one day.
Using HIGH VALUE items such as electronic equipment.
Using FOOD products as they contaminate recyclate.
Do not Use DEAD animal carcasses as these will be confiscated (see below).
Use GLASS as this can be hazardous.
Use STOLEN materials (this includes waste taken from skips) as you can face police and/or academic discipline (see below)
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A poor raisin receipt that is dangerous, not easily recyclable and questionably sourced.
good raisin receipt

A good raisin receipt that is creative and easily recyclable.

Please also keep in mind the follow rules for Raisin receipts and costumes:

Rules for receipts

  • No electrical goods.
  • No livestock (dead or alive).
  • No foam-filled furniture.
  • Nothing too big.  Remember this is based on Raisins.  Raisins are not big.  We have to try to stop filling up landfills so think creatively, artistically, be original and think about the environment.

If you disregard the above – we’re afraid you’ll be turned away at the Quad, miss the foam fight, and will be charged for the cost of disposal of your inappropriate item.

Rules for costumes & props

Due to logistical reasons, you will be required to remove parts of your costume that are not integral before you enter the quad so anything that you are carrying (apart from your shaving foam) including, but not limited to, cardboard, hats, props, and very bulky or pointy items will be removed and recycled. Therefore, please be aware we are unable to keep or return items.

Please remember to wear appropriate clothing underneath your costumes as November in Scotland can be very cold and wet. Academic parents, please be aware of this and design accordingly.

We also know that you all put a lot of effort into your costumes so please make sure you take photographs to enter the competition before joining the procession. For inspiration and a behind-the-scenes perspective on how Raisin gets cleaned up, see our blog post from 2011: http://environmentsta.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/behind-the-scenes-at-raisin/

Interhall Energy Competition 2013/14

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Energy data

Graph showing one-month energy data (Albany Park) which is used to determine the monthly winners of the competition – can you spot the peak in energy consumed over each 24hr period?

For the past 7 years, the students and staff of St Andrews have been doing their part to reduce the energy consumed in student accommodation via the Inter-Hall Energy Competition. The combined actions of 3,500 students really can make a big difference to our carbon footprint  where over 7,500 tonnes of carbon were associated with Halls’ energy consumption in 2012/13 alone.

Foortpint of waste

Click to view the 7,510 tonnes of carbon associated with halls’ energy consumption in 2012/13

How does it work? Each hall has a monthly target energy consumption which is based on how much energy was used that month in previous years. We are now recording gas and water in addition to electricity consumption this year. The hall that makes the most savings relative to their target each month wins £150 towards their hall committee funds – this means the only thing stopping your hall from winning month after month is how well the other halls are doing!

How do I help my hall win? Your hall environment rep will be able to point out ways you can save energy and water in your particular hall. These general actions are always a good start:

  • Turn lights out when you leave the room (or if the sun comes out!)
  • Switch off electrial appliances when you have finished using them
  • Don’t over fill the kettle if you only want 1 drink
  • Put on a jumper or other warm clothes
  • Turn radiators off if you open a window
  • Use less water while washing up; report taps that keep running when turned off

How is my hall doing? View your hall’s realtime energy consumption here on our online energy monitors. Your environment reps have access to an interactive energy data system that allows for a better understanding of the peak energy times during the week. Also, make sure to like the Facebook Page where we will post the monthly results and winners.

Email the St Andrews Environmental Network at info@standrewsenergy.org

What if I live in a private flat? That’s great, you will get to keep all the savings you make, through lower bills. Have a look at the Energy Saving Trust website for some hints and tips. More help is at hand from our partners, St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEN), who can pop round to your flat to carry our an energy audit (it’s free) and offer you tailored advice.

Energy use is a massive part of the solution to climate change but there are a lot more benefits that being energy efficient can bring you. Students can save money, keep warm and increase comfort and wellbeing. Get involved with the most active environmental group in St Andrews, Transition, to make an even greater difference to community sustainability.

To see what the University is already doing about reducing energy consumption across all buildings and departments view their Environment and Sustainability pages here.

Launch of This Year’s Green Sports Award

Compete for the £100 prize that goes to the greenest sports team!

Following on from the success of late year’s first Green Sports Awards competition, the Environment Team will be offering another £100 to the greenest sports club of the year.

How to competeGreen Sports Award 2013-14

The award is designed to stimulate and encourage environmentally friendly behaviour amongst University of St Andrews sports clubs.

The criteria is fairly simple; your club must have undertaken some kind of environmentally friendly project, activity or event during the course of academic year 2013/14.

This is very flexible and you are free to focus on any specific area e.g. energy usage, recycling, biodiversity or more generally on awareness raising or behaviour change. One-off events or more regular initiatives will all be considered. It could be fundraising for an environmental charity, volunteering for environmental organisations or something else entirely – be creative! This does not have to be a huge undertaking, the scale of your effort is up to you. The award will be judged more on the positive impact of your project/activity/event, the creativity and your enthusiasm than the scale. The only real stipulation is that it must be explicitly related to environmental sustainability.

You have until nominations open at the beginning of Green Week 2014 (semester 2, week 7) to complete your environmental project/event. The award will be judged by members of the Environment Team in Estates and will be presented at the SVS awards ceremony in April 2014.

The winning club will receive £100!

Suggestions to get you started include:

  1. Help out with a Fife Coast and Countryside Trust event http://fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk/Support-Us/Volunteers_11.html e.g. Dune Action Days happen once a month on West Sands.
  2. Plant trees – free from Woodland Trust (although this has been done before…) http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/en/moretreesmoregood/free-trees/Pages/free-tree-packs.aspx
  3. Run any kind of event/party but donate profits to an environmental charity.
  4. Run an awareness raising event e.g. contact One World Society to promote their veg boxes or ask Transition for ideas transition@st-andrews.ac.uk
  5. Make a note of all your club mileage and publicise to club – then petition AU for a hybrid vehicle!
  6. Run a fairtrade bake sale in coordination witht the University Fairtrade committee.

These are only suggestions… some a lot wackier and bigger than others… feel free to use, adapt or do something entirely different.

all smallLast year’s top 3 contesters included the Women’s Shinty team, Women’s Lacrosse team, and the Canoe Club! Can your team best them?

To register your intention to compete and for questions and support contact the University Environment Team at tsd6@st-andrews.ac.uk

Kenly Windfarm Approval!

View of wind turbines from Boarhills.

View of wind turbines from Boarhills.

Well it’s been a long time in the coming – and finally, last friday we heard back that the University’s planning proposal for the construction of 6 wind turbines on a University-owned property at the outskirts of St Andrews has been given the go ahead by the Scottish Government.

Roddy Yarr, the University’s Environment and Energy Manager, explains the vision and the benefits that drive this project forward.

LOGO- smaller“Kenly will reduce our carbon emissions by 19,000 tonnes per annum, helping us to achieve our goal of becoming carbon neutral for energy by 2016. The wind farm will generate an inward investment of more than £20M and a community benefit of £1.2M over the life of the project. It will provide local construction and maintenance jobs and help secure jobs at the University.

“The University is also developing a low carbon energy centre at Guardbridge that will provide heat from locally sourced and sustainable biomass, solar thermal and ground sources for the North Haugh buildings and save 12,000 tonnes of carbon. These two projects are visionary and proof that we understand our responsibilities with respect to climate change and the sustainable supply and management of energy costs.

“There have been no statutory consultee objections to Kenly. It is our contention that based on the results of our Environmental Impact Assessment, Kenly complies with the Development Plan and is aligned with UK and Scottish Government energy policy. The development of a wind farm that directly powers world leading research and teaching at this University will be a step change towards protecting the institution from escalating fossil fuel prices. On this scale, it will be a first in the UK higher education sector.”

Copy of proposed windfarm layout: site plan layout f5.6 Proposed Windfarm Layout

Check out a full interview with Roddy Yarr taken back in 2011 while the planning application was still underway: http://environmentsta.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/musings-of-a-windfarmer/