Millie and Lottie make TESA Available to all Students!

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Friday 21 August 2020

Misplaced recycling, a global challenge competition, and the need for simple and practical tips to guide sustainable behaviour, inspired Millie and Lottie to create TESA: the first module in the UK to provide university students with Training in Environmental and Sustainable Action.

Millie and Lottie outside of McIntosh Hall. The photo was taken before COVID-19.

Approximately 11 000 students are currently enrolled in the newly introduced module TESA at the University of St Andrews. The module was created by Millie and Lottie, who themselves are 3rd year students in St Andrews. They identified a gap in the information provided by the University during matriculation.

“There was very little accessible information for students regarding sustainability. During our first year in halls, we noticed that there was a lot of food waste and that students did not recycle. A reason for this is, simply, that some students are unaware of how throwing away food and putting plastic bottles in general waste instead of the recycling bin impacts the environment”, Millie says.

The module aims to provide practical guidance on how sustainable behaviour can be achieved easily by everyone, everyday. This includes taking a reusable cup for take-away coffee, eating one more plant-based meal a week, and recycling properly. The module also presents local initiatives that support the environment, such as the tree, edible gardens, and the bike pool. These initiatives are driven by the community to support local farmers, enable students to grow and harvest vegetables, and provide people with a sustainable option of travel for a reasonable cost.

Besides having a local focus on sustainability, TESA addresses the global challenges and impacts of climate change. Among others, climate justice is included in the module. Climate justice acknowledges that different people are in different conditions to support sustainability and, thus, have different responsibilities for sustainable action. Climate change is not just an environmental issue – it is also ethical and political. Staying afloat with these aspects of climate change is crucial since they are receiving increasing attention on the global agenda. Therefore, TESA is not only a tool to ensure that students are on board of what is happening in the world; TESA also supports students to become leaders of climate action.

Those taking this course are the future innovators, leaders, educators, diplomats, engineers, and politicians, so empowering them is crucial.”, Lottie emphasises.

TESA is now accessible for all matriculating students in the University of St Andrews. An enormous amount of time lies behind the module and Millie and Lottie have done an astonishing work. If you are a student, please, share your experiences of the module by emailing environment@st-andrews.ac.uk. TESA is meant to be continuously improved upon to ensure that students are updated with the current status of climate change, provided with the most recent information on the elements of sustainability, and supported by relevant guidance on environmental and sustainable action.


Millie Sutton, studying Geography and International Relations, and Lottie Evans, studying Geography, are co-directors of TESA and about to start their third year at the University of St Andrews. The Environment Team are inspired and proud of their hard work and ambition that made TESA into a module accessible for all students by the university.

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