Hi there! My name is Harry Sampson and I am your Student Union President. Today I’ll be talking about #DoYourBitWinch and the importance of education, like on issues such as Climate Change, for our collective future.
This week only is Go Green Week, lasting until Friday 11th November (also Remembrance Day). There is a whole set of events going on, some of which I’m sure many of you have already attended. Coming up on Wednesday morning is a Meat Free day by catering, as well as Vegan sweet food tasting from half twelve in the Food Hall.
On Friday BLACKOUT is BACK and BIGGER than ever, with our volunteers and University staff aiming to cover more of the campus than before. We’ll all be running around turning off all devices left on unnecessarily, finishing with attendance at the SU School Disco night party.
Also we’ll be doing an NUS scheme, called ‘Snap It Off’ – designed to reduce the number of needless lights left on around campus. It will start 6pm Thursday and be followed by a nice social!
But that is just a small taster, for a full list of events please follow the link here: http://www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/green.
However, while we like to run competitions throughout the year we have a special one open right now! This is the Environmental Photography Competition 2016, a chance for students and staff to capture images of the natural world around them. We have prizes to be given out; category winner taking home £25 and the overall winner of winners will receive a further £100!
This is open for a month, with all the work submitted being displayed at an exhibition following the announcement of the prizes on 5th December. You can submit anytime following a list of terms and conditions found here: http://www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/top-navigation/your-union/the-environment/environment-photography-competition-2014.
So I’ve listed some of the ways you can get involved in Go Green Week above, mostly which are fun and enjoyable. But that isn’t enough. Holding a week dedicated to some enthusiastic environmental behaviour change isn’t going to alter what is happening to the world; our habitat and home. The only way we are going to make a difference is through constant, sustainable effort. We often like to think of cutting down on our pollution and usage as a long-term solution, but that isn’t going to last forever.
We need to be conscious on our actions and the impact on the planet around us, but even more importantly we need to invent newer, more innovative solutions for the future. We’re going to be living in a world with a significantly higher population over the next century, so this is only going to get harder.
Far back in 2014/5 I was the SU’s Environment & Ethics Officer, and for Fresher’s Fayre I carried around an actual Jar of Misery, containing some fateful facts about the state of our natural habitat. The rate of rainforest loss, the global temperature rises, the number of species dying every hour; they shocked people. The first question on everyone’s lips was always ‘what can we do about this?’. There is only one answer.
Education is that answer.
I like to look to technology for many solutions, but that is only going to be possible if people like you – the leaders of tomorrow – engage with these issues in the present. Only by engaging with our studies to the fullest extent and incorporating the aforementioned causes into our academic courses will we become self-aware of the danger round the corner for our way of life.
All the best guys, let’s start learning today about building our brighter tomorrow.