Further Green Award Successes in 2016

Following the successes of the annual Green Sports Award, an award introduced to recognise and reward sustainable behaviour change within our sports clubs, the Environment Team have introduced a second award – the Green Society Award -to bestow upon the greenest societies of the Students’ Asssociation.

The Green Sports Award, now celebrating its third year, was won by the St Andrews University Canoe Club (STAUCC) for their wholehearted efforts to reduce their environmental impact as a club and to improve the local area. This year they undertook a recycling project with other sports clubs, to collect bras for the charity ‘Against Breast Cancer’ (ABC) which helped to avoid unnecessary landfill waste whilst fundraising for ABC. Their members also undertook a beach clean and clean-up of the Kinnessburn and helped improve biodiversity at Cambo Estate by purchasing bird boxes.

12998306_10154028228212457_6622560070706456714_o

Hugo Fairclough from STAUCC picks up the Green Sports Award from Mark Simpson, Director of Estates at the Sports Awards Ceremony

STAAG bike

STAAG’s 24-hour cycle ride outside the Students’ Association

For the inaugural Green Society Award, the St Andrews Adventure Group (STAAG) were announced winners for their use of sustainable transport on their

expeditions and by encouraging their members to think carefully about travel. For their Canoe Across Scotland challenge participants canoed from Fort William to Inverness and made sure to only use electric vehicles in the process, renting from the local E-Car club. Nearer to home, they run micro-adventures which support local hiking and camping without the need for transport at all and recently hosted a 24-hour cycle event to raise money for the charity Fauna and Flora International, who seek to protect and conserve threatened ecosystems worldwide.

13087062_1017769488270613_8179022273010515835_o

Stephanie Haywood of STAAG talks about their green activities at the Societies Award

A sneak peek at Green Week

preview(1)

With Green Week kicking off on 7th March, we’ve put together an easy guide to the week’s events, whether you’re into poetry or permaculture, ethical investment or eco-beer. Go get your green on!

If you want to…get your hands dirty

There are plenty of opportunities to get down and dirty during Green Week! Want to get into gardening but don’t know where to start? Uni Hall gardener, Charlotte Davis, will be running an “Introduction to Permaculture” session on Wednesday afternoon to get you all clued up. Or if you prefer sand to soil, get yourself down to next Sunday’s Beach Clean with the Marine Conservation Society to help keep West Sands beautiful.

Leave a lasting legacy in St Andrews by coming along to one of our tree planting sessions – taking place on Monday at DRA, on Tuesday in the Community Garden, and on Wednesday at Albany Park. If you prefer to eat the things you plant, help plant fruit trees as part of an edible walkway in Guardbridge, celebrate the creation of a new Edible Campus garden at Agnes Blackadder Hall, and get stuck into some vegetable seed sowing at Andrew Melville Hall. Full details of times and locations are available here.

If you want to…try something new

Get yourself along to Sunday’s Skillshare Extravaganza – try your hand at everything from photography to cooking, hen keeping to bike maintenance, and much, much more! All the sessions are completely free (including the tasty lunch!), and will be running from 10.30-4.30pm in the Cosmos Centre.

If you want to…shape a sustainable future for the University

Tuesday’s Transition Open Forum is the place for you to share your big ideas for our small town, creating a sustainable vision for the future of St Andrews.  If you’re curious to find out how the University’s money is managed, come along to meet the fund managers at “Investing for a better future” on Wednesday and find out how our £48 million of endowed gifts have been invested.

If you want to…work up a sweat

Sign your sports club up to Cycletricity – the most competitive event of Green Week! Watch as the teams battle it out to produce the most bicycle-powered electricity in 20 minutes. Not part of a sports club? No problem! There will be a give-it-a-go session between 12-1pm so anyone can hop on a bike and feel the burn!

If you want to…get creative

Feeling crafty? Beat the 5p bag charge, and upcycle a boring bag or decorate a 100% Fairtrade cotton tote bag with the help of CraftSoc this Saturday. Alternatively, head along to one of StAnza’s climate change themed poetry readings, or explore folklore stories in the surrounds of the Botanic Garden with environmental writer Mandy Haggith on Monday.

If you want to…get sustainably sloshed

Reward yourself after a hard day’s tree planting! Cosy up with a glass of wine on Monday night at Topping & Co to celebrate the launch of Joanna Blythman’s latest book “Swallow This”, an expose on the food processing industry. If the Brew Pub is more your scene, sample a socially responsible tipple (or two!) at our biodynamic and organic tasting on Tuesday, or join Transition from some green chat over local brews on Thursday.

____

Don’t forget to check out the Green Week website, Facebook, and Twitter (@GreenWeekStA) for the full event lineup and latest updates!

Bike sales, repairs, and security marking – oh my!

Thanks to all those who came along on Friday to our annual Freshers’ Bike Sale hosted by the Environment Team and Bikeworks Fife. Hopefully everyone was able to go away from the sale with something – if not a new bike, then some safety advice, free reflective armbands, or a new set of lights or lock.

Bike Sales

We know that unfortunately not everyone was able to get a bike on the day, so to those who are still looking to purchase an affordable bicycle for getting around town, I’ve compiled some links that hopefully will be of some help:

  • Bikeworks: Call to arrange a visit to purchase a bike directly from their workshop in Glenrothes. A very friendly team who will build the bike to your specifications, pick you up from Glenrothes bus station, and will deliver your bike to St Andrews once built.
  • Skillshare Dundee: Call to ask for availability and/or bike maintenance sessions in Dundee.
  • The Bike Station: Call to check next date of bike sales at their workshop in Edinburgh.
  • Please note that while the above 3 options are not located in St Andrews, it is possible to transport a bike back to St Andrews on the train.
  • As always, there are also new bikes available for purchase at Spokes on South Street.
  • And finally, a great place to look for one-off sales is through the St Andrews Flea Market Facebook page and website.

Bike Repairs

983954_2417545360047_15637491_n

If it’s bike repairs you’re after, then look no further than our very own Bike Pool. They will be offering training classes on 27th and 28th September, and will be carrying out their first maintenance sessions at DRA on 25th October and 29th November. Please email ke68@st-andrews.ac.uk for more information.

Security Marking

As for bike security marking, the police will be in attendance in halls from 12.30 – 2pm on the following dates:

17th September – McIntosh Hall

24th September – DRA

1st October – Andrew Melville

8th October – Agnes Blackadder

15th October – Uni Hall

22nd October – John Burnet

29th October – St Salvators

5th November – Albany Park

Happy cycling!

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

Cycletricity 2013

Cycletricity 2013

We had initially planned for Cycletricity to fit in with the St Andrews Green Week in March but had to postpone the event due to snow! However, the sports clubs came back after the Easter break rejuvenated, ready to pedal and the snow had long gone.

After some testing of the  4 bikes and generating equipment by the Saints Sport Team, 15 sports clubs then battled it out to see who could generate the most power (in watt hours). They each had 20 minutes to cycle as hard as possible to turn the generator and create electricity. The electricity they created was then used to charge the University’s electric vehicle, the Wee Green Machine (seen in the back left of the photo below)! The idea of the whole event was to raise awareness of clean, renewable energy and the projects and opportunities for this in St Andrews. Church Square provided the perfect location for this and we had lots of interest from passers-by who were not deterred by the roar of the bikes.

As the day progressed various tactics emerged, some clubs brought enough people to switch cyclists every 2 minutes (or so it seemed) whereas others opted for the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ approach with just one person on each bike for the whole 20 minutes. Overall winners were Men’s Rugby who were extremely competitive and showed up with about 20 people, beating Triathlon into 2nd place by a huge margin! Everyone who took part did a fantastically well but there are a few special mentions… First to Volleyball who generously allowed a small boy watching to have a go on one of their bikes thus forfeiting some power but getting top ‘community engagement’ points. Also to Boat club who only had 2 people for the entire 20 minutes but still managed to finish in the top half, huge commitment in their lycra rowing gear too! Finally, Cycling had 1 person for each bike for the duration but demonstrated their thigh power by finishing high on the leader board, just after the big teams.

Results Table

Position Club Total watt hours generated No. of people
1 Men’s Rugby 95.2 20
2 Triathlon 63.1 8
3 Men’s Football 61 12
4 Cycling 53.1 4
5 Canoe 43.2 6
6 Boat 34.3 2
7 Swimming 27.5 5
8 Athletics and XC 22.5 4
9 Hockey 16.8 9
10 Women’s Shinty 16.2 8
11 Tennis 11.7 3
12 Women’s Lacrosse 10.4 6
13 Lifesaving 9.9 4
14 Women’s Football 8.5 4
15 Volleyball 6.1 4

Check out https://www.facebook.com/EnvironmentStA for more photos.

Huge thanks to all the clubs who took part, we hope you enjoyed it!

Also thanks go to the University Physics Dept. for building the generating equipment and bike stands, to Transition University of St Andrews for their support and to Emily Griffiths, AU President, without them this event would not have happened.

Looking forward to next year!

Sarah Duley, Environment Team, Estates (environment@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Image

Cycling Club