Why you should buy Fairtrade flowers:

When you say Fairtrade most people will automatically think; chocolate, bananas and maybe even wine! But did you know that you can also buy Fairtrade roses amongst many other items including ice cream, quinoa vodka and coconut oil?

Fairtrade roses made into a bouquet for a University staff member

Across the world the flower trade is a large, and rapidly expanding industry, with global trade estimated to be worth more than $100 billion every year! With the industry expanding with every year, it is becoming important to understand how the whole industry is run, who is involved and what goes on before the flowers land on our doorsteps.

The flower industry is incredibly important to developing countries and counties who rely on this trade  as one of their main sources of income. For example, Kenya’s flower industry provides income for up to 2 million people and generates more than $500 million a year. This industry predominantly employs female workers, often from poor and uneducated backgrounds. Although with the help from Fairtade and other companies, working and living conditions for workers and their communities have improved across the world, however there is still plenty that can be done.

Fairtrade seeks to protect and benefit workers on farms across the world. By purchasing flowers with the Fairtrade logo you can be sure your money is going to those who need it the most, through the protection of worker’s rights including economic, environmental and social factors. To date there are 50,000 flower workers working under Fairtrade! Fairtrade currently works with 55 Fairtade flower producer companies across 8 countries. Sales of Fairtrade products generate a Fairtrade Premium, which is spent on improving education and housing systems, provision of safe water supplies and sanitation systems, renovation of buildings, and empowering and supporting people in their own businesses and communities to create sustainable economies. 

Last week saw Valentine’s Day and the University of St Andrews Fairtrade Steering Group thought it would be a good opportunity to spread the love for Fairtrade! With orders placed, we sourced some Fairtrade roses to be brought in and gave the bouquets to our staff members to give to their loved ones. 10 days later and you can see that the flowers are still as beautiful as the day they were bought.

10 day old Fairtrade roses

Many farmers who work hard to grow and make the things we eat and use on a daily basis but do not get treated or paid fairly. We want to put an end to this. Choose Fairtrade!

Join us for an exciting few weeks of Fairtrade Fortnight filled with different events. For more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1265702060185233/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where can you buy Fairtrade roses in St Andrews?

Marks and Spencers:

St Andrews Simply Food, 23 Largo Road, St Andrews KY16 8NH

M and S sell a wide range of Fairtrade flowers. Why not drop by on your way home from work, or make it a nice addition to a dine in for two deal!

Sainsbury’s:

71 Market Street, St Andrews KY16 9NU

Ravine Roses

Sainsbury’s has supported Fairtrade Premium and a microfinance initiative to provide the local area with interest free loans for schools fees. Furthermore, Fairtrade Premium has funded the construction of a numerous amount of facilities across the local area, ensuring that workers have access to clean and safe water.

Primarosa Flowers

The Fairtrade Premium supports local projects to help education and healthcare systems develop. A number of projects have been set up in the local area including the vaccination of all workers against typhoid.

Co – operative:

Tom Stewart Lane, St Andrews KY16 8

All single stem roses are provided from Fairtrade farms in Kenya.

And remember it doesn’t just have to be Valentine’s Day when you buy flowers…..

A visit to the Eden Campus to see our Biomass District Heating

The Eden Campus Biomass District Heating Scheme located at Guardbridge is the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom. In late November the Biomass Energy Centre was awarded the Sustainable Development Award at the Scottish Green Energy Award, a trophy that now sits proudly at reception in College Gate. A week later our Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, officially lit the district heating boiler and the Energy Centre was commissioned.

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Environmental Facilitators checking out the wood chips at the Energy Centre

From the beginning of this month the Biomass Energy Centre has been heating all of the buildings on the North Haugh and the halls of residence on that side of town, consuming 40 tonnes of wood per day. All of the buildings still have their gas boilers as a back-up; so there is no need to worry that an issue in one building could take the whole system down. This investment is a demonstration of the University’s commitment to sustainability and reduces our annual carbon footprint by 6,000 tonnes.

On the 26th of January, twenty-six Environmental Facilitators from the University of St Andrews were taken on a tour of the University’s Biomass Energy Centre located at the new Eden Campus in Guardbridge. David Stutchfield, Sustainability Manager for the University of St Andrews, and David Raley from Vital Energi, led the tour, giving the Environmental Facilitators a fantastic insight into the inputs, processes and relevant outputs of this district heating scheme.

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Inside the main room – just look at all those pipes!

The Environmental Facilitator training programme aims to drive positive change within the workplace through the training and supporting staff to promote sustainable behaviours and find innovative ways to engage colleagues. The Environmental Facilitator training programme is open to all staff members and helps us reach our sustainability targets, including zero waste to landfill by 2020.

The University has invested in the highest quality products. Scandinavian series-3 insulation of the 23kms of piping means that water from the Eden Campus arrives in St Andrews only 1.5C lower than it left. A new innovation embedded with the pipes allows leaks to be detected and located to within a meter. The system can also cope with a wide range of humidity in the wood so that we can be flexible with our suppliers. Right now all of the wood is from forestry in Scotland and the University is looking to make this even more local going forward. This is part of the ‘Guardbridge Guarantee’, a commitment to the local economy, which is an ethos that pervades this entire development. In fact, despite importing the best Danish and Swedish manufactured technology, 73 percent of investment in construction stayed in Scotland.

Locally sourced wood chips ready to be used to generate heat for our buildings!

Locally sourced wood chips ready to be used to generate heat for our buildings!

The site has been designed to be able to accommodate tours, so if you want to know what 1,000C looks like or hear about how our biomass boiler operates get in touch with the Environment Team (environment@st-andrews.ac.uk) and we’ll organise a visit!

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David Stutchfield, Sustainability Manager for the University of St Andrews, taking some of the Environmental Facilitators around the main room

 

Rescuing beds from landfill!

Did you know that since partnering with The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR Group) we have recycled over 2,000 mattresses duvets and pillows?

Every year, 4.3 million mattresses, including bedding, are sent to landfill in the UK alone. The University of St Andrews has an ambitious target to reach zero waste to landfill status by 2020. With support from companies including the TRF Group we are steadily making progress towards achieving this ambitious target, but what is a circular economy?

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Picture from WRAP

Circular economies strive for maximum resource productivity aiming to minimise the amount of waste produced from the resource by seeking to extract and regenerate materials before the resource comes to its end of life. Circular economy seeks to have sustainable processes throughout the life cycle with the intention that as little of the resource should be wasted as possible. This process intentionally, and critically, analyses the processes of production, use and disposal of a product or resource, and exposes areas in which companies or manufactures can improve on to aid a sustainable life cycle .

Why is it important?

In a world which is under threat by climate change, circular economies will not only drive innovative ideas and creativity, but also reduce the damaging impacts of landfill by increasing recycling and reuse rates. Reducing carbon footprints is only one benefit! Increasing circular economy within businesses can:

  • Reduce waste
  • Increase opportunities and growth
  • Reduce global environmental impacts
  • Increase productivity and innovation
  • Drive a competitive and sustainable economy
  • Drive regeneration rates
  • Create opportunities for employment
  • Boost global competitiveness

What does this mean for the University?

As the University strives for sustainability a switch to circular economy will not only help us in this process but help us to stand out as one of the leading higher education institutions for sustainable practice, process and delivery. Circular economies will enable us to nurture sustainable, and self-sufficient economic growth which will undeniably strengthen us as we seek to transition to a sustainable University.

A fantastic opportunity arose for the University to partner with The Furniture Recycling Group to recycle and reuse donated mattresses, duvets and pillows. Donation points were set up in each hall of residence at the end of the academic year and students were encouraged to drop off any unwanted mattresses, duvets and pillows. The bedding was picked up by the company and processed and recycled the materials. These materials were then passed on to R&R beds who used them to fill new mattresses.

This is just one fantastic example of a circular economy within the UK. Watch this space to see how we implement and drive circular economy infrastructure in the coming year….

A new year! A new greener you?

Happy new year!

At the beginning of every year many people around the world make New Year’s resolutions to drink more water, read more literature, visit a new country – the list could go on. Have you ever considered making a Green New Year’s Resolution? Here is your chance to consider changing something in your life to help protect and conserve our planet!

Making a difference doesn’t mean doing all these things at once. Why not try changing one thing every couple of months. Living more sustainably should be easy and enjoyable, and not a burden! You might even find that by following some of these 10 steps you will notice over health and fitness benefits, and savings!

Let us know if you decide to take on a Green New Year’s Resolution, we always love to hear from you.

In your spare time:

Green Resolution 1

Join Transition!

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Transition Universities seek to promote sustainable behaviours, ways of living and scholarship on campus’ and in local communities. St Andrews Transition is a fantastic, welcoming and diverse community of people who are striving for low carbon ways of living through practical and creative ideas and activities. Why not consider joining this community in one of their projects whether that be with Bike Pool, Edible Campus, SkillShare, StAndRe-Use, Carbon Conversations or The Tree!

Green Resolution 2

Become an environmental champion!

If you are passionate about saving and protecting the environment, why not consider becoming and Environmental Champion, and help others to change their attitudes and ways of life to benefit our surrounding environments. The Environmental Facilitators network training is open the St Andrews’ University staff and equips you with the knowledge and understanding to make a difference in your workplace through personal changes and interactions with colleagues. If you would like to learn more please email environment@st-andrews.ac.uk or click this link.

What you eat:

Green Resolution 3

Eat less meat

Now, we aren’t saying that everyone should become vegetarian right away! By cutting down on the amount of meat you eat, even by having one or two meat free days a week, you could reduce your carbon footprint! It is estimated that 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water goes into a single pound of beef! Maybe it’s time to consider going meatless on Mondays? Try this website for some inspiration: http://www.meatlessmonday.com/. Remember, when you do eat make sure it comes from a high standard welfare farm!

Green Resolution 4

Switch to Fairtrade

Fairtrade is fundamental to changing the lives of farmers’ and workers’ lives for the better. Fairtrade is an international movement primarily focused on improving trading conditions for farmers across the world. Fairtrade products taste wonderful too from chocolate, to bananas to coffee, the product range is expanding! Look out for the symbol when you next go to shop, and purchase knowing that your money is going to those who have grown in it for your enjoyment.

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As a Fairtrade University we recognise the impact we have on producers and communities throughout the world, and therefore are committed to increasing the use and sale of Fairtrade products across our campus. The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group is committed to engaging with staff and students to increase the awareness of the benefits Fairtrade brings to farmers across the world through social, environmental and security sustainability. If you want to join the Steering Group for St Andrews’ University email us at fairtrade@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Green Resolution 5

Think local

Try sourcing your food from local shops instead of buying from large supermarkets. This will help support local businesses and reduce the miles your food travels from farm to plate. Here in St Andrews we have a multitude of different stores selling fresh, local produce and we also have the local farmer’s market which meets on the first Saturday of every month: http://www.fifefarmersmarket.co.uk/st-andrews-farmers-market.html

  • Kerachers, Fishmonger, 73 South Street, St Andrews
  • Minick of St Andrews, Butcher, 47 Bell Street, St Andrews
  • John Birrell, Fruit and vegetables, 201 South Street, St Andrews

Travel:

Green Resolution 6

Holiday locally

I know everyone loves to jet off on holiday across the world in search of some sun, vitamin D and temperatures that go above 20 degrees during the summer months! But, have you ever thought about exploring the country you call home? Scotland has some beautiful nooks and crannies ready to be discovered! Beaches off the coast of the west of Scotland can often be mistaken for the Bahamas with the mountains in the Highlands offering stunning views over deep valleys. Follow this link to get your holiday planning started: https://www.visitscotland.com/holidays-breaks/.

Green Resolution 7

Switch to renewable forms of transport

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How do you travel to work? How much travel do you do each week? One of the ways in which we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint is by switching to renewable forms of transport ie. walking, cycling, electric cars or switching to using public transport. For many, walking or cycling to work is a very viable option yet there are multiple factors stopping us from doing it. This year, why not give it a go once or twice a week and see the benefits to both your health but also your working day! For more information on bikes in St Andrews, E Car club and car share please follow the links.

In your home:

Green Resolution 8

Make your home more energy efficient by changing your light bulbs to LED bulbs, stall reflective radiator panels and using window insulation film and see your bills plummet!

Green Resolution 9

Reduce, reuse and recycle more!

Consider areas that you think you are particularly wasteful and see if you can find creative and innovative ways to reduce your waste in 2017! Why not invest in a reusable water bottle and stop buying new ones? The University sells Keep Cups for hot and cold drinks, and if you use one in our cafes you’ll receive a discount. Pop a reusable bag in your car or handbag to escape those 5p bag charges at the supermarket and help reduce the amount of plastic bags in our environments! If you are student in St Andrews a fantastic way to kit out your student flat is to come along to StAndReUse giveaways at the start of every year! One of our team picked up a Christmas tree, lights and baubles for her flat this year!

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Green Resolution 10

Try making your own compost

Do you have a garden? Do you use store – bought fertilizers? Making your own compost is not time consuming and may save you money in the long run, and is a wonderful way to recycle old plant based material. Follow the link here to find out you can make your own compost: http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_makecompost1.shtml.

Merry #greenChristmas

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The festive break is a time for friends and family to gather together and celebrate the year that has past and all that we have to be thankful for, and perhaps eat a little too much. However, amongst all the merriness of the holidays there are some important things that we all should remember. According to WRAP the amount of Christmas wrapping paper thrown away every year in the UK could stretch to the moon! Although this is an impressive statistic, there is something deeply concerning about this figure. We all have the responsibility to do something about it, but this doesn’t mean we to be Scrooges. So how can we still enjoy the festive period in sustainable ways?

This festive period, the UK will generate millions of tonnes of rubbish that can be saved from going to landfill. Aside from recycling, there are some fun, creative and hassle free ways of saving and reusing those spare turkey trimmings, wrapping paper and cards. We have compiled a Green Christmas Guide to help you start planning what to do with your left overs and to inspire you to think beyond Christmas Day to how we might conserve our planet during the busy festive period.

The #greenChristmas Guide

Christmas trees

Your Christmas tree can be recycled! Most councils will pick up your Christmas tree for you to be composted so be sure to check out your local councils’ website for specific details.

Fairy lights

Using LED lights to decorate your home will not only reduce your energy usage by up to 90% compared to traditional lights, but also save you money on your utility bills. Remember to turn the lights off before going to bed to avoid wasting energy.

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations can be expensive to buy on top of everything else at Christmas. Why not try making some of your own decorations by using some these effective ideas: http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/recycled/projects/5-recycled-christmas-decorations-crafts.htm.

Christmas cards and wrapping paper

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We all know how many cards come through our letter boxes, and the dreaded feeling we have when we remember that we’ve forgotten to send someone a card, but can’t quite remember who. We all know too well the huge mound of wrapping paper in the middle of the room at the end of the day, but it all doesn’t have to be thrown away to landfill. Wrapping paper can be recycled, or if you are a neat person you could try and reuse it the following year! Cards can also be recycled but check out these fun and creative ways of reusing them:

  • Cut off the side of the card with the picture to make present name tags that can be used the following year. Use a whole punch and some ribbon to tie!
  • Cards can make lovely little gift boxes! Check out this link for more details http://www.kinderart.com/recycle/cardbox.shtml
  • Make some Christmas confetti for the table for the following year by cutting out small shapes from your cards’ designs

Gifts

If you receive something you already have, or if you have that family member who is particularly bad at choosing presents don’t throw it away! Perhaps in time you will come to love that present or find a use for it? Otherwise, why not think about donating it to a charity shop or to a friend who may have always really wanted those socks your grandmother knitted you!

Food

Every year during the Christmas holidays we eat too much, yet every year we inevitably leftovers, but what should we do with it all? Now is the time to plan what you want to do with your leftovers and when you want to eat them. And, leftovers CAN be delicious! Did you know that brandy butter makes an excellent ingredient when making sweet short crust pastry! Weigh and use the label to calculate how much butter is contained in what you have left. For more exciting and yummy recipes follow the link: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/christmas-leftovers.

Glass and Cans

Remember you can recycle glass and cans! From wine bottles to cans of beer, to jars of cranberry sauce to cans of tinned tomatoes, make sure you recycle recycle recycle this Christmas and New Year.

 

Winter Shutdown 2016: Switch Down and Shut Off!

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This winter break help us to meet our carbon reduction targets, and reduce costs to the University over the break! The Winter Shutdown is a University wide campaign for all on campus to make students and staff aware of the importance of leaving offices/workspaces and University halls of residence correctly. We are striving to become a sustainable University and one of the key elements of this movement is behaviour change. The Winter Shutdown campaign by the Environment Team aims to make all on campus aware of the effects that we have on energy consumption in the University and in time the amount of money we spend on energy bills. Furthermore, we hope to make everyone aware that through a set of four simple steps (outlined below) we can easily and effectively make individual differences!

One of the largest ways that the University wastes energy, which in time increases our bills, is by people on campus leaving lights on, computers and other electrical running over the break. This winter 2016 we would really appreciate your help in making sure you follow these steps closely before you leave, and ensuring your colleagues and friends do the same.

All staff:

Check all rooms in your building for the following:

  • Switch of ALL lights (including Christmas tree)
  • Switch off ALL electrical appliances, at the wall
  • Turn radiators down to ‘1’ setting or set thermostats to star
  • Leave nothing on standby
    • Computers
    • Photocopies/printers/scanners
    • Fans, heaters
    • Water coolers
    • Kettle, microwave etc.
    • Vending/coffee machines
  • Ensure windows are closed and blinds/curtains are closed (to keep heat in)

Academic building:

Equipment to think about switching off, if not being used over the break

  • Ovens
  • Centrifuges
  • Gas Chromatographs
  • Fume cupboards

All students:

Before leaving your room in University halls of residence for the festive break please remember to:

  • switch off ALL electrical appliances at the wall
  • switch off ALL lights
  • turn down radiators to “1” or set thermostats to star
  • do not leave anything on standby
  • close curtains

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Fairtrade in St Andrews

Did you know that St Andrews is a Fairtrade University?

One of our Hall Environment Representatives helps spread the word about Fairtrade!

One of our Hall Environment Representatives helps spread the word about Fairtrade!

What is Fairtrade?

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‘Fairtrade as a certification is much more than merely an environmental certification, it is the only and best ethical and social certification that really ensures social and environmental, ethical and economic impact, and therefore human impact.’

Enrique Calderon

Coffee farmer, Coopeagri.

Fairtrade is fundamental to changing the lives of farmers’ and workers’ for the better. Fairtrade is an international movement primarily focused on improving trading conditions for farmers across the world. Fairtrade strives to achieve and maintain fair prices for farmers to cover aspects including production costs, and to ensure that they can achieve long term sustainable farming practices and livelihoods. In addition, Fairtrade guarantees long term contracts with the farmers to provide security for their families and local communities, and the opportunity to benefit from expertise that will enhance the skills needed to develop their businesses.

This is just the beginning! For more information on what Fairtrade does please follow this link.

What does it mean to be a Fairtrade University?

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Search Fairtrade in St Andrews on Facebook

‘A Fairtrade University or College is one that has made a commitment to supporting and using Fairtrade.’. Throughout the UK there are more than 170 Fairtrade Universities and Colleges. As a Fairtrade University we recognise the impact we have on producers and communities throughout the world, and therefore are committed to increasing the use and sale of Fairtrade products across our campus. The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group is also committed to engaging with staff and students to increase the awareness of the benefits it brings to farmers through social, environmental and security sustainability.

Our Fairtrade University status shows our recognition and awareness for our global responsibility as a higher education institution and the influence that we have. Being apart of this wider movement is of great importance to the University as we live in a continually changing yet fragile world and should therefore consider the wider impacts we make.  The potential we have to raise awareness of Fairtrade on this campus and to our wider community  is incredible. We are not only proud of our Fairtrade status but recognise the beneficial effect this could have on producers and farmers around the world.

We believe that people are at the centre of Fairtrade on this campus.

What does this mean for the future of our University?

Being recognised as a Fairtrade University is of great importance to St Andrews as it shows our on going commitment and support for Fairtrade across a variety of sectors, departments and disciplines. This commitment is not short term, it is long term, with not only our policies reflecting change in our on going support of Fairtrade but our outreach to staff and students. The University encompasses both staff and students, and as the University is Fairtrade we hope that our staff and students will show their support for this important movement in the years to come. The Fairtrade Steering Group, that maintains the Fairtrade status, will continue their efforts to increase awareness, access, and availability of Fairtrade products offered within the University of St Andrews through new, innovative ways.

How can you be apart of the Fairtrade University?

The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group is made up of a mixture of staff and student representatives who meet a couple of times per semester to discuss Fairtrade within the University and to renew and update policies if necessary. The University’s Fairtrade Steering Group also seeks to partner with St Andrews Fairtrade Town Group in offering support, joint promotion and positive and pro-active engagement.

From the 27th Feburary to the 12th March, Fairtrade Fortnight will be on and we are in the process of starting to gather ideas for these two weeks. The aim of these two weeks is to reach out to staff and students on the campus, and to the local community, to spread the word about Fairtrade as effectively as possible, informing people of what it is, the good work it does and where they can find Fairtrade produce in St Andrews.

If you would like to have your say about Fairtrade in St Andrews, would like to get in touch or have some creative ideas please do email us at fairtrade@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Biking to work (and beyond)

Lindsey Mackay, the Sustainability Intern for the Environment Team, discusses the benefits of cycling to work and on-going projects and developments. The Environment Team strive to improve the sustainability agenda across the University and St Andrews.

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A cyclist enjoys a morning ride through the Old Course.

The image that sprung to mind when I first considered biking to work was not a particularly appealing one. Last year the UK saw 1272 mm of rainfall and with this in mind the thought of biking to work didn’t excite me in the slightest. Why would I want to arrive at work cold and wet?

Having recently moved to the edge of St Andrews I decided it would be a good idea to bring through my bike so I could easily get from a to b. In St Andrews the image of cycling to work or class is idyllic; cobbled, narrow lanes tucked away within the town center, a backpack full of books, and perhaps a bag full of groceries hanging from the handle bars. Students often choose to bike to their classes only to jump back on at the day to make a mad dash to get back to halls in time for dinner. This image may be familiar to many people, whether you cycle to work or class in and around St Andrews but cycling really does have many benefits!

I admit that at the beginning it was a struggle, particularly since I haven’t biked properly for 4 years. However, after a couple of days I started to feel the benefits. I noticed that I arrived at work energised, and found myself to be more productive throughout the whole working day. Now this might not seem like an obvious outcome, and for someone who often needs a mid-morning coffee to help me through to lunch, I certainly was taken by surprise at how refreshed I felt. Cycling provides a brilliant time to think about the day, to reflect and work off any built up stress. Furthermore, you get to beat the morning and evening work traffic which can be rather satisfying, it’s free with no fuel costs to consider, and there are absolutely no concerns about where you will park once you are home. Moreover, cycling is a green and sustainable form of transport, one with 0 carbon emissions and a way in which I can do my part to reduce my carbon footprint. Of course, there are some negatives to cycling, however I wholeheartedly believe that the benefits outweigh any negative aspects.

For some using their car is the only way they can get to work but for others biking to work is a very viable option. In 2012 cars represented 13.4% of all the UK’s CO2 emissions for that year. Since then these numbers have been declining, however more action is required. One way in which we can help to reduce the impacts of climate change on our world, the people and ecosystems within is by assessing our individual carbon footprints and taking action to reduce it. It’s true, the actions required may not always be easy however, we have a responsibility to care for our environment. On average you could save £1000 annually by choosing to bike to work. Although these results are conditional on factors including length of journey and type of car, it is evident that the savings are significant making it a more attractive option for people to switch to.

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Taking an evening bike ride past the Old Course and West Sands.

I have now found a way to use an enjoyable mode of exercise to transport me quickly to work, whilst benefiting the environment and reducing my carbon footprint. And biking to work is not the end of the story. Taking evening rides to chase the setting sun across the Old Course and West Sands has become a favourite past time, and with a beautiful setting like St Andrews I would encourage anyone to go explore in the quiet of the evenings on their bike. It’s true that up till now I have only experienced biking to work in the sunshine and haven’t yet faced the brutalities that can come with a true Scottish winter. I may need to invest in some good quality waterproof trousers. Any recommendations?

The University of St Andrews’ Environment team strives to help make the community of students and staff at the university live and act in sustainable ways. Just one of the ways in which we aim to do this is by engaging with staff and students. Recently we conducted a travel survey, now implemented every year, in order to establish the travel patterns and behaviours of those working within the university. The survey included potential effects of the developments at Guardbridge by considering the effects on travel when selected departments move out to the new site. We hope that the results of this survey will help us to put long terms plans into place to encourage and support staff to switch to (or keep using) sustainable modes of transport amidst all the upcoming changes.

THIS WEEK in St Andrews there will be a free bike to work breakfast at the Students’ Association on the 25th of August from 8 am – 10 am, and all staff members are warmly welcome. The Bike Pool team will be on hand to give advice and to do maintenance work. Bike Pool do regular drop in sessions around St Andrews and more details can be found by clicking here. If you are interested in cycling in St Andrews please take a look at the new St Andrews cycle map which is now available on the university website.

Click on the links for more information or get in contact with us!

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Evening views across the Old Course.

Fairtrade and Brownies

Lindsey Mackay, the Sustainability Intern for the Environment Team, discusses Fairtrade and shares a recipe which can be enjoyed by everyone. The Environment Team strive to improve the sustainability agenda across the University and St Andrews.

Fairtrade is an international movement helping to improve trading conditions for producers in poor countries. The movement strives to achieve and maintain fair prices for farmers to cover aspects including production costs, and to ensure that they can achieve long term sustainable living. In addition, Fairtrade guarantees long term contracts with the farmers to provide security for their families and local communities, and the opportunity to benefit from expertise that will enhance the skills needed to develop their businesses and increase production in a sustainable way. Fairtrade is fundamental to changing the lives of farmers’ and workers’ lives for the better. For example, according to latest data from the Fairtrade Foundation, workers on plantations spent 26% of their Fairtrade premium on education1.

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Look out for the Fairtrade symbol when you are at the shops.

It is important that we all think about the choices we make on a day to day basis, particularly when they can directly affect the livelihoods of others. Having researched the effects of the international food trade during my time at University, I strongly believe in movements like Fairtrade. We can often take the food on our plates for granted, but I have come to discover and learn about the shocking, unjust, and yet sadly true stories behind the treatment and payment of farmers who work hard to support and provide for their families and local communities. I now actively seek to look for the Fairtrade Mark (see picture above) when I go on my weekly shop, and it’s easier than you think. Many products are covered by the mark including bananas and chocolate (two staples of my weekly shop), yet still more can be done. You can play an important role in supporting this movement by looking out for and buying products in your local supermarkets and shops with the Fairtrade Mark on the packaging.

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Before..

I have to admit that I am a bit of a baking enthusiast. If I could live of cake for the rest of my life I would. I like to think of myself as a good baker, however, one bake that has always defeated me is the brownie. Multiple recipes have been tried and multiple methods used but all with the same result; a soggy mess. When I recently received a recipe from a friend I was skeptical due to previous failed attempts in the kitchen but I wanted to give it a go. The result? Mouth-watering, rich and moreish brownies that the Environment Team seemed to enjoy. Success!

If you want to try out the recipe I was recommended follow the link, and remember to look for Fairtrade ingredients when you go to the shops (I find that Green & Black’s Organic Fairtrade Cooks’ Dark Chocolate works particularly well with this recipe!). Stay tuned for more delicious recipes using Fairtrade products!

If you would like to get to more about Fairtrade in St Andrews and how you can get involved please email lm222@st-andrews.ac.uk, visit our Fairtrade Facebook page or click here for more information.

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The result!

1http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/what-is-fairtrade/facts-and-figures

The New Sustainability Intern

Last week the Environment Team welcomed their new Sustainability Intern, Lindsey Mackay, to the team.

11407155_10204150318418553_3892817286074196572_nLindsey has recently graduated from the University of St Andrews’ Geography and Sustainable Development department with Geography (BSc). She is looking forward to taking over and developing the projects that George King, the previous Sustainability Intern, has been working hard on over the past year. Having thoroughly enjoyed her last four years as an undergraduate at the University, Lindsey is thrilled that she is able to stay another year in St Andrews whilst using the skills and knowledge she has developed through her studies to help make the University a more sustainable place.

Over the next year Lindsey will be focusing on outreach, engagement and communication with student, staff and the local community. Lindsey will primarily be helping the University to achieve the sustainability agenda and goals. Part of the intern’s role is to support with University sustainability initiatives including Transition. She will also support the other members of the team: David Sutchfield (Energy Officer) and Barbara Aitken (Environment Officer) on their projects including the Environmental Facilitators Network, developments with projects including the renewable energy park at Guardbridge and Environmental Hall Rep training.

You can stay up to date with what the Environment Team are working on through their Facebook page and via Twitter. The team have also joined Instagram and you can follow them by searching environmentteamstandrews.

Lindsey enjoys horse riding, baking and going on walks with her camera so expect to see a few photographs from time to time!

If you would like to get in contact with Lindsey directly please don’t hesitate to send her an email at lm222@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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