Green Raisin Competition Huge Success

The Environment Team have partnered with outdoor adventure group Blown Away Experiences, to deliver a hugely successful Green Raisin Competition, which seeks to promote and reward environmentally-friendly behaviour amongst students.

Modern ‘raisin receipts’ have made a departure from traditional Latin parchment once given to academic children and have since gained a reputation for being oversized, unwanted items instead. This has become a problem when it comes to their disposal as they are hard to recycle and contribute to landfill waste.

To combat this waste, students are being encouraged to think about the environmental impact of their receipt and costume efforts. Now in its third year, the Green Raisin Competition encourages academic parents to design their children’s costumes and receipts so that they are made from 12122578_10207943469213463_2715722554013700019_nreused materials, which are light and easily recyclable.

Congratulations to this year’s winning entry which was both creative and gave consideration to its environmental impact. Their ‘dragon’ costume was made entirely of unwanted cardboard boxes gathered from shops around St Andrews, bed sheets from local charity shops and old bamboo canes from their garden. As a reward, the winning family were treated to a kayaking and SUP-ing (stand up paddle boarding) session, courtesy of Blown Away Experiences.

blown away prize croppedThese efforts to engage students with waste reduction were acknowledged at the Public Sector Sustainability Awards, where St Andrews were ‘Highly Commended’ in the Best Waste and Recycling category.

raisin award

Raisin Monday: Behind the Scenes

IMG_6798Every autumn, hundreds of first year students get dressed up in a variety of creative costumes by their academic mums, collect a receipt from their academic dads, then participate in a massive shaving foam fight that is broadcast across the world’s press in celebration of the St Andrews tradition that is Raisin Weekend.

In order to make this event run smoothly, a lot of University staff are involved – from the Students’ Association, to Student Services, the Janitors, Grounds staff, and the Environment Team, as well as assistance from Police Scotland. So what does Raisin Monday look like from behind the scenes…?

The morning starts off with a tour of the waste collection locations and Lower College Lawn (the home of this year’s foam fight), before heading into Lower College Hall for a hot cup of coffee and a bacon roll!

DSC_0418

DSC_0450The calm before the (foam) storm…

The janitors and grounds staff receive their briefing, then head out to finish setting up the barriers and man their stations!

DSC_0396John Jardine, Head Janitor, delivers the briefing.

DSC_0444The Grounds staff, ready to recycle!

The Police help control the crowds on North Street, managing the traffic and directing those headed to the foam fight through crowd barriers where they will meet the Environment Team!

DSC_0425

Two large skips are set up behind College Gate, along with glass and food waste bins to help separate the waste from everyone’s raisin receipts.

skipLynsey Smith, Sustainability Officer, ready to collect receipts!

This separation process has led to 2014 being the first ZERO WASTE Raisin Monday, meaning that every receipt collected was able to be recycled! All the waste was collected by the Binn Group and taken to a recycling facility just 30 miles west of St Andrews in Glenfarg. The collected food waste was anaerobically digested, which turns the waste into biogas and biofertiliser, which will be used to produce heat and electricity, and fertilise the fields of Fife! The recovered plastic, cardboard, and wood waste from the receipts was then separated and sent on to be given a new life as (among other things) plastic bottles, fleeces, newspapers, tissue paper, MDF, animal bedding, and biomass fuel.

Not only is this year the first time no waste has been sent to landfill, but it’s also the least waste we’ve ever collected – the receipts weighed under a tonne, when in previous years the receipts have weighed between 3-4 tonnes!

IMG_6802The skip isn’t even half-full!

IMG_0343

It’s always great fun to see the creative costumes and receipts the academic parents come up with…

DSC_0620…the Raisin Express

DSC_0631…a Tunnock’s Teacake

DSC_0744…raisins

DSC_0867…and Buzz Lightyear!

More photos of the costumes can be found in our Raisin Monday Facebook album.

After all the hard work collecting and sorting receipts, we head through to watch the end of the foam fight from the press area, where the world’s media were snapping away, capturing the foamy fun.

DSC_0959

DSC_1031Even the Sabbs aren’t safe from attack…Students’ Association President, Pat Mathewson, gets foamed!

Once people have had enough foam, they exit onto the Scores after a quick hosing down. The Grounds staff then move out to begin the clean up and restore Lower College Lawn to its former (unfoamy!) state.

DSC_1062
We hope you all enjoyed Raisin Monday this year, even with the change in location. In fact, I think a lot of people preferred holding it on the lawn as it allows academic parents access to view the fight from a safe distance to take photographs!

Thanks again for following the Green Raisin Guidelines, and doing your bit to help make this Raisin Monday the greenest one yet…and if you haven’t entered our Green Raisin Competition then send your photos to environment@st-andrews.ac.uk before Monday 27th to be in with a chance of winning a meal for the whole family! Good luck!

(a huge thank you to Amanda Cook for all the photographs!)

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)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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/