Meet Our New Sustainability Coordinator!
My name is Hanna and I am the Environment Team’s new Sustainability Coordinator! I am just about to finish my MSc in Psychology by the University and will contribute to the behaviour aspects of sustainability in this role. Besides being excited to stay yet another year in Scotland, and continue cycling (the route to Falkland via Kemback, Ceres, and Burnturk is my favourite!) as well as walking up Munros (mid-south of Sweden – where I am originally from – is surprisingly flat), I am eager to start working with every one of you to make St Andrews into a more sustainable community.
COVID-19 has put us in odd circumstances and the confusion of moving to a new city, enter a new University, and finding your place in a new context might be even greater than normal. That is completely understandable. To make things a bit less confusing, I have made a list of concrete tips on how to make a transition like this more sustainable – both for your well-being and for the environment.
- Explore! The first weeks at University, whether you are coming back or are here for the first time, can be intense. Allow yourself a break from the bubble of St Andrews. There are great cycle paths out from Town and you can easily rent a bike from the Transition Team’s Bike Pool (link). Cycle to Tentsmuir, Kemback, Blebocraigs, or any of the other nice locations surrounding St Andrews.
- Eat! Food is good and cooking can be relaxing. If you have time, try to make food waste into food. Save the left-over bottom parts of your spring onion and replant in a small pot or old tin can. It won’t take long until they start growing again – voilà, free food! If you don’t have time and need energy, brew coffee. Maybe even quite a lot. What you don’t finish, safe in a jar to enjoy as an iced coffee later. My best iced coffee contains Oatley barista edition and about five ice cubes.
- Join! There are several projects in St Andrews. A good way to get to know people is to join these communities. There are several community gardens around Town (link) where you can grow and harvest vegetables; The Tree (link) is a cooperative that supports local business and sells fresh-grown vegetables from Fife. You can also become an Environmental Hall Representative for your student hall to lead sustainable actions.
- Learn! The University offers a module – TESA – made by students, for students, to include you in the local sustainability work in St Andrews. The module takes a global perspective too, to support you and sustainable actions no matter where you are.
- Relax – which is arguably the most important thing on this list. Remember to take time off. Do what you enjoy the most, whether it is to bench-watch Netflix series, cook or have a stroll with good music in your headphones. Our behaviour should be as sustainable towards ourselves as towards Earth.
I hope to see many of you in Town! If you have any questions about the Environment Teams work, other sustainable related issues, or just want to have a chat, don’t hesitate to contact me!
Wish you all a sustainable autumn,
Photos by me from Kemback, left-over coffee made into a thirst-quenching iced coffee, my left-over spring onions, a cycle tour along River Tay, and my way to relax – picking berries! Feel free to share your best sites for berry-picking.