On the 23rd of March 2015 Leonore, Stefanie and Tabitha participated in the first ever Student Sustainability Summit at the Leeds University. Together with 260 other participants they followed several workshops on sustainability.
The participants were welcomed by the National Union of Students (NUS) , the Leeds University Union (LUU) and the Leeds University Vice-Chancellor. Afterwards the summit started with a great introductory note by Crystal Lameman. Crystal spoke out about the exploitation of the oil sands, of her people, and of their land and trying to hold the Government of Canada accountable for violations of their treaty rights.
After this it was time for the first workshop session. Our team members followed workshops on behavioural change and the circular economy. Stefanie and Tabitha had the assignment to set up a campaign to reduce meat consumption at the university. During the workshops they got to talk to other attendees from all over the world and exchange knowledge.
And then it was lunch time and time for some real junk food! The Real Junk Food Project is a collaborative effort between catering professionals and activists to bring about a radical change in our food system to prevent food wastage. After lunch it was time for the second round of workshops. This time our team members followed workshops on food and the universities sustainability strategy. The summit closed with an empowering keynote by Sara Parkin, a former Green Party of England and Wales activist and politician.
The morning after the summit Leonore, Stefanie and Tabitha had a meeting over some good coffee with Anna-Marie Vickerstaff from the Green Exchange. The Green Exchange is a project of the Leeds University Union. With an amazing £250,000 of funding from the NUS Green Fund, the Green Exchange works across Leeds on various sustainability projects. Anna-Marie shared some very insightful tips and ideas with our Green Office team members.
Our team members had a very inspirational and interesting time in Leeds and can’t wait to get back to work to implements all of these fresh ideas in our own VU university. We would like to thank NUS, the Leeds University Union and especially Anna-Marie Vickerstaff.