One of the biggest worries and threats that face this world and every generation on it is how societies around the world treat the environment. However, it isn't all bad news and sad faces. While many abuse the environment and treat it as though it's a barrier instead of a gift, a growing number of people are becoming interested and active within the environment and the campaigns and support groups that work to conserve and save it. One of the biggest groups doing this are students.
Over my time at university I have seen so much love for the environment and so much passion to save it from my fellow student friends. This passion for the environment has always been a part of me but until getting to university I didn't realise how many other fellow-minded people there were! To arrive at university and see how many and how much people wanted to help conserve and fix the environment got me more enthused than I had ever been before and so a path was set to carry out environmental campaigning at university.
After two years helping on other peoples campaign at university I am now starting to lead several campaigns. I have found that the student body is enthused about our world and no matter what the subject people study, they are starting to understand that they will be impacted by things like climate change no matter what, unless we make a change. So far it seems to be working. In my first year I helped run a 'Green Week' at university to promote eco-friendly living, and environmental awareness. At this time no one was really interested, the events were poorly attended and many people didn't even realise it was happening. This year we are running a newly refreshed 'Green Week' and it is already promising to be bigger and better than before. With a week until it begins we already have huge swathes of students interested in helping out, volunteering to run events and signing up for events. The message of environmental awareness and campaigns such as this are helping to increase that awareness I believe. In my three short years at university I have noticed a huge growth in people engaging with green issues and wanting to make changes, it has been phenomenal and so I have decided to take this wave of hope to create even more campaigns to spread the word more.
After our 'Green Week' we are starting a campaign to decrease waste across uni and increase the reusing of items. After learning about the high amount of reusable items that are wasted and how much energy goes into recycling products I have decide to launch a scheme to educate students as well as provide opportunities for them to change how they use products. For instance, we are adding waste paper trays across campus to lower waste paper from printing something wrong, something small but it could make a huge difference. We are also going to offer reusable mugs at reduced prices in our SU shop so people don't buy bottled water every day. It is simple changes like this that appear to grab people's attention and set them on a path similar to me, to helping promote environmental change.
Even after this there are more campaigns planned, not just by myself but a large range of students. We have campaigns based around fossil fuel divestment, green points for societies and increased cycling to uni instead of using your car, all beginning soon. The great thing about all this though, and the thing that gives me most hope for our planet, is that all these campaigns are student run! These ideas come from first, second, third years and even master's students. The growth in environmental promotion and campaigning is growing massively and really does show that we are in a better position than many people think. There is a passion to do something, and no one wants to simply sit down and let things happen now, not from what I have seen at university anyway. It is incredible and each campaign is having an impact, students are starting to get the message and share it.
Student campaigning is becoming ever more vital and it should give us all a little bit of hope. It appears to be happening nationwide with a variety of universities, so we can hope this current success extends into the future and the environmental issues we face now may begin to get tackled.