7 easy ways to get active this summer

get active headerWith summer well on it’s way, and better weather (hopefully!) just round the corner, it’s the perfect chance to step away from the car keys in favour of walking or cycling. This not only reduces your carbon emissions, but getting active also has great mental and physical health benefits. It can be a challenge to break the habit at first, so here are some tips to help get you moving….

1. Make it social

Going it alone can be a bit daunting, so why not use a walk or cycle as an opportunity to meet up with friends? Instead of sitting in a cafe, get your drinks “to-go” and head for a walk around the park to catch up. It’s much better for you, and besides, who wants to sit indoors when the sun is shining?

2. Hop off early

If your destination is too far to walk or cycle, taking the bus and getting off a few stops early is a great first step. The idea of tackling long distances might be off-putting, but using public transport for part of your journey is much easier to manage – you can always increase your distance later on!

3. Use your lunch hour

Get moving and get away from your desk to help de-stress, rest your eyes from the glare of the screen, and energise yourself for the rest of the afternoon. Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for your health, so why not invite your colleagues on a lunchtime stroll to walk off your lunch and do a bit of team bonding?

4. Be a shutterbug

If it’s hard to motivate yourself to get walking or cycling without a purpose to your journey, take along your camera and turn it into a photography project. InstaMeets take place all over the world, encouraging people to get together to explore their environment creatively. Participating in a Weekend Hashtag Project is a great way to challenge yourself, get inspired, and update your Instagram feed in the process.

5. Use your tech

If you have a pedometer, activity band, or even just an app on your phone, you can keep track of the steps you’ve taken, calories you’ve burned, and some even record your heart rate. Monitoring your progress like this can give you the boost you need to keep going on a streak of activity, and should help you recognise your achievements, motivating you to keep active in your day-to-day life!

6. Keep up with what’s on

A walk or cycle can make for a fun day out, and there are plenty of organised events that you can get involved in, especially with Bike Week taking place from 13th-21st June. Check out Bike Events Scotland for more information about events in your area.

7. Commit to a good cause

If you need some motivation, sign yourself up for a sponsored walk or charity cycle to give yourself a goal to work towards. The money you raise will be great incentive to keep going, and will be helping out a worthy cause. Pedal for Scotland have a variety of rides organised for September – so you’ll have plenty of time to get training!

 

Image: Walk and cycle sign

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

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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!

Green Societies Guide

10458859_693481564069381_2113089142360349256_nIf you missed all the fun of the (Big Green) Fair on Monday, then don’t worry – there are still plenty of opportunities to meet the green societies and groups based in St Andrews. Check out our previous blog post for the full Freshers’ event line-up, or keep reading for our run-down of the different groups St Andrews has to offer – there really is something for everyone!

Animal Welfare Society

524962_147884018691164_2139361533_nThe Animal Welfare Society (AWSoc) are dedicated to the wellbeing and fair treatment of all animal kind. The society  campaigns against cruelty to animals and supports animal-friendly alternatives. The society also volunteers and fundraises for local shelters, and host regular documentary nights.

Check out their website and Facebook page to get involved.

Bike Pool Group

fd3c2f_8542d1b388d71c462639b8017a265d28.png_srz_1800_1200_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzThe Bike Pool are a community Group with a three-part program:
1. To operate as a skill share, primarily of bike repair and maintenance skills
2. To refurbish abandoned/donated bicycles so they can be put back into circulation in the local community
3. To promote cycling within our community as a healthy and sustainable form of transportation

Join their Facebook group to find out more information about the group and upcoming maintenance sessions.

Carbon Conversations

coffee-cup-image-300x212Carbon Conversations are a unique and inspiring series of 6 group discussions, and are cited as one of the top solutions to climate change. The sessions involve group activities, knowledge-building, idea-sharing and reflections, where participants will have the opportunity to explore climate change both practically and emotionally.

Sign up for a series of sessions here.

Edible Campus

1969157_366580283485024_996722225_nThe Edible Campus project aims to reinvigorate our skills, knowledge and interest in eating more locally whilst increasing the amount of food growing within the University grounds for the benefit of students, staff and the wider community. There are over 10 different Edible Campus food growing spaces across town, and everyone is welcome to get involved – whether you’re a keen gardener or have never planted anything before!

Check out the Edible Campus webpage, like their Facebook page or join the Facebook group for more info!

Environment Team (that’s us!)

1465925_609448629115878_1841238397_oWe manage issues affecting the University that relate to sustianable development, including carbon emissions, biodiversity, waste reduction, transportation and resource use. We use this blog to engage with students to provide information on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved in making St Andrews a more sustainable place to live, work, and study.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with events, and drop us an email (environment@st-andrews.ac.uk) or check out our website for practical information regarding sustainable travel, food, energy use, the local environment, and waste management.

Fairtrade Steering Group

FairtradeLogoWhiteThe Fairtrade Steering Group promotes the use of Fairtrade products across campus and works on Fairtrade initiatives. The group also organises events for Fairtrade Fortnight, which takes place in semester 2 with Fairtrade wine tasting, bake sales, talks, visits to local schools, and the ever-popular Fairtrade Cook-Off!

Like their Facebook page or email fairtrade@st-andrews.ac.uk to get involved!

Greenpeace St Andrews

profile_img1_greenpeaceGreenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action. If you like a good project and a good cause, join Greenpeace. The group encourage you to join the action and the fun in any of their weekly meetings, street campaigns, actions or socials!

Find them on Facebook or Twitter to start getting involved.

OneWorld Society

50494_35775563516_9171_nOneWorld campaigns on human rights, poverty, and the environment as part of People and Planet (the largest UK student campaigning network). They also organise numerous events and run the VegBox scheme.

Join the OneWorld Facebook group, or the VegBox group to find out more.

Saint Exchange

10460451_318878784943846_5836232256016066555_nSaint Exhange is a local trading scheme allowing people to trade locally in and around St Andrews. The scheme allows local residents to join for free and trade goods/skills/services using “Saints”.  By measuring trades using “Saints”, the scheme provides a service whereby members can share skills and talents that they enjoy and thus earn Saints, which they can spend them on the things that they want or need from other members.

To sign up, check out their website and Facebook page.

St Andrews Environmental Network (StAndEn)

10455322_738217186201162_6047836635977374219_nStAndEn is a community-led energy saving project, which aims to help you reduce CO2 emissions and cut household fuel bills through simple low cost steps. If you live in private rented accommodation, they can do a free home energy assessment and tell you how you can make savings.

For more information check out their website and Facebook page.

St AndRe-Use

10154342_1380538758895673_1145329313350358460_nSt AndRe-Use is a student organised reuse scheme in St Andrews. They collect, sort, and give away all donated items for free! St AndRe-Use set up donation points across campus during exam and graduation weeks. They save the environment, space and your sanity from the burden of too much stuff!

 To get involved check out their webpage, or join the Facebook group to start claiming and giving away items!

Sustainability Society

1047963_1474211176126570_1312490545_oThe Sustainability Society’s mission is to raise the awareness about sustainability issues amongst St Andrews students, and are dedicated to making St Andrews as sustainable as possible. The society undertakes academic, social, and practical activities to implement sustainability at all scales – from organising seminars to practical action.

Join in and find out more by visiting their Facebook page.

Transition University of St Andrews

466289_251323201618555_1429781240_oTransition University of St Andrews is part of a global movement responding to the threats of climate change and resource depletion. Transition works on practical projects that help communities become more self-sufficient, minimises environmental impacts, and strengthens community ties.

To get involved email transition@st-andrews.ac.uk or explore the many projects on their website and Facebook page.

Veg Soc

10177317_762903493729892_1990981121759130606_nDo you love to eat and cook veggie and vegan food? Then this is the society for you! Join them for veggie feasts, potlucks, parties, picnics, trips and more. Everyone is welcome – no politics, just food.

Join VegSoc on Facebook to keep up to date with their events.

Wildlife & Conservation Society

seal10Interested in wildlife and conservation? This society holds events such as presentations, documentary screenings, moth trapping, bat tracking, local conservation work, and more!

Go wild and find out more on Facebook.

Most of these groups will have a stall at the Freshers’ Fayre (Sunday 12th Sept, 10-4 in Venue 1) so if any take your fancy then head along to find out more, and sign up to start getting involved in creating a greener St Andrews!