Category Archives: SAUWS

Sustainable Travel by Florent Montoya

This December will see Paris host the COP21, the biggest conference yet, aimed at changing the regulation for environment and climate change. Today, due to globalisation, exchanges between countries are more and more important with people and merchandise having to travel more regularly.

As people travel to discover new countries and cultures and to create new business and partnerships, aeronautic industry tries to find new eco-friendly ways to fly. Airbus is a major actor in this field with the E-Fan project. Indeed the company created a plane which uses 100% electric power!

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This little plane is the first plan totally eco-friendly machine as it does not emit any harmful gases, such as CO2 in the atmosphere on account of it not being powered by fossil fuels. It flew for the first time in 2014, and in 2015 it crossed the English Channel to show the world that air travel is not dependent on petrol, and that electricity can provide enough energy to fly safely above the sea.

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Moreover, the benefits of travelling with an electric plane will also change the lives of thousands of people living next to airports. Indeed electrical engines are much quieter than what we are used to and creates less vibrations so these long white strips will tend to disappear of our blue sky.

As the E-Fan is a real success, Airbus is designing a 4-seat version and is developing more powerful engines to fly longer distances. The company hopes that they will be able to provide 100% electric passenger plans such as A321 or even the huge A380 by 2050.

So today everyone is doing something for environment, even YOU can do something. So if you want to travel, favour green means of transport such as the train or even your bike for shorter distances! And maybe in few years you will fly to another continent in a 100% electric and quiet plane such as the E-Fan!

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COP 21 by Florent Montoya

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was signed in order to reduce gas emissions, such as CO2 in the atmosphere and fight the global warming of our planet. To limit the industrial pollution, some countries have implemented laws and taxes, when others proposed targets or maximum emissions.

climate-change_1509200cEven with this agreement and regulations on industry, global temperatures are still rising. It increased by one degree during the last century, and we are heading to one more this century. If the earth’s temperature gains another degree, it will be the limit for us to have a safe life, for a healthy environment and an efficient economy. Global warming, is contributing to the melting of the glaciers and rise of the sea level, to the destruction of ecosystems, to weather changing… and all of that impacts humankind. Villages are flooded, crops are destroyed and food doesn’t grow correctly, new diseases are appearing and finally, states are spending billions of dollars to try to fix these issues.
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Because of the “failure” of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce gas emissions, the COP21 conference will be held in Paris in December 2015 in order to find new ways to reduce pollution, and to regulate companies and industry; but this time, all countries will have to implement the same rules and laws. Governments will try to find solutions to fight over-consumption of energy and above all reject toxic gas emissions in the atmosphere. They will promote renewable green energies using the sun, water, wind or natural warmth.

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As a student, you can do something to save the planet as well. Indeed basic actions made by a lot of people can change the future. For example remember to turn off the light when leaving a room, and shut down your TV or computer when you’ve finished using them. Also recycling your waste is very important because making a can from recycled material uses 3 times less energy than creating a new one.

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Above all, you have to teach other people how to do all of that, explain to them why they have to work for the planet and their future. Show them the benefits of their actions.

Wimbledon 2015

As the nation watched with bated breath we seen Novak Djokovic beat seven time champion Roger Federer to win the men’s singles title while Serena Williams was the winner of the women’s singles title at this year’s Wimbledon tournament.

The tournament had many twists and turns that resulted in Dustin Brown taking out Rafa Nadal, Murray Mania sweeping the nation, Roger Federer refusing to age and Heather Watson taking the tournament by storm.

With such an established and elite event we wondered how sustainable is the All England Lawn Tennis Club?

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The organisers of Wimbledon are keen on recycling and the sustainability of the event. For all recyclable materials, they are sorted out through a Material Recovery Facility with non- recyclable materials being processed at an Energy from Waste facility. This means that they achieve an overall reduction from landfill of around 95%. This has also been made possible with the introduction of a two-streamed waste bin system which has seen a recycling rise to 53% of all waste.

Wimbledon also has the responsibility to take care of the local community who are affected when the event is being held. The Wimbledon Foundation was created to fund charities, fix roads, flowers and statues that may be damaged during The Championship. This also directly involves developing effective transport solutions during the tournament which will reflect the priorities of the club, its neighbours and those visiting during The Championships.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club pledges to “take into account the environmental impact of everything it does and will strive to reduce direct and indirect resource consumption and to reduce more generally its impact on the environment”.  The Championship has committed to minimise fossil fuel use as much as possible, and to use only bio-friendly gases, with the key objective of reducing carbon emissions from the grounds.

We all know that Wimbledon is famous for their Pimms as well as strawberries and cream. The strawberries and cream are locally sourced from within a hundred miles; nearly all of the strawberries come from Kent and are picked at 5.30am that morning. In total 28,000kg of strawberries are consumed during the fortnight with more than 7,000 litres of cream.

With the environmental care being well managed it came to our surprise of how the 54,200 tennis balls get to centre court. The Slazenger tennis balls travel over 50,000 miles, fly between 11 countries and across four continents to then arrive at centre court. Although this may be more cost effective for Slazenger to produce the vast amount of tennis balls needed, it does create a vast amount of footprint. This shows that there is failing to ensure manufacturers pay the true cost of their environmental impact which can lead to an extraordinary supply chain in a globalised world.  It may not be practical for the tennis balls to go on a round the world trip but this has more to do with the suppliers rather than Wimbledon.

Here’s 50 things that were learned about Wimbledon over the last two weeks: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/wimbledon/11735538/Wimbledon-2015-50-things-we-learned.html

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Another amazing year, great atmosphere and emotional experience for us all!

Until next year…

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Community Food: 5 Fantastic things that come for FREE when community gardening

So the sun is starting to creep out a little more each day. If you are brave enough to get yourself out for that early morning walk or run you may just be doing it in what is almost daylight now. That’s right, spring is here! Summer just around the corner, so what better time to get yourself outdoors and into the gardening spirit.

The UWS Community gardens have just kick started again on the Hamilton, Paisley and Ayr Campuses in the past weeks and we are looking forward to reaping a harvest of goodies in the near future. This blog post will cover 5 of the things we are planting right now, what amazing ways you can cook and enjoy them and most important of all, How YOU can get involved in the Community Gardens.

First things first, let’s see what we are growing and what we can do with it.

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Potatoes

What is more versatile than the good old potato? Once we pull these from the ground the possibilities are almost endless. It could be in the form of mashed, chipped, roasted, sliced or whatever else to accompany a meal. It obviously does not just end there; they can often be the star of the show. I am thinking Dauphinoise potato, potato and leek soup or a good old baked potato with whatever filling you choose. Whatever way you choose to celebrate it, this versatile addition to the garden is well worth its place.

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Peas

Remember your grandparents telling you it was important to eat your greens? Peas are a great example of this, especially when picked straight from the community garden. Fresh peas are a fantatic accompaniment to that old favourite of fish and chips on a Friday night. As much as the spring is in the air it can still be chilly, enter the opportunity to make yourself a nice warm pot of pea soup, the beautiful green colour always excites me just as I blitz it up with the blender,mmmmm! For more pea related recipes follow this link.

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Onions

Ahhh, the old workhorse of the ingredient list. The onion often plays the role of the defensive midfielder on the football pitch or the cornerstone of a building, supporting and holding together all the other components around it with its strength and will. What would spaghetti bolognaise or a ratatouille be without this very ingredient? Not as good that’s what! Having these on hand, ready to grab from the garden is a real blessing, whether you are adding them as a building block to your recipe or giving them the lead role in a French onion soup, home grown is best! A great reason to get involved in the community garden!

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French Beans

Back to the healthy greens again. French beans or green beans as I knew them as a kid were always one of my favourite parts of a Sunday dinner,(I was always a big veg fan) a colourful joy on the plate next to my roast and potatoes. Later in life I also found out while starting to cook myself these were great when still in their crunchy form. French beans work as a great ingredient within a Chinese style stir fry or a salad. Like everything else we have discussed before, there is no substitute for the real thing, fresh from your own garden. For some more recipes and ideas for these for this link…..

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Garlic

It can be regarded as one of those love it or hate it things. This is usually depending on your take on the actual smell. I personally love the smell of garlic on my fingers after preparing a meal,  that said, it isn’t often the best idea to load your dinner with it before heading out on a first date. One thing that is for sure, just as in the same case as its family member the onion, garlic is an unsung hero in many a recipe. The cornerstone of Chinese, Indian, Italian and many more cuisines, what would we do without it. Grow it in your garden and you have a lifetime supply of it, just make sure you and your partner are both eating it J

So we have covered 5 of the many great things we plan to grow in the near future within the community gardens. The bonus of getting involved is that you get to reap the benefits of all these fantastic bits of fresh produce. All we ask in return is your help and support, whenever you can around the garden sites. This is only one of the real benefits of getting involved, for more check out our mind map of benefits below!!!

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The garden sessions run on a weekly basis. Days, times and places can be seen in the timetable below.

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If that is not enough we have a load of further FREE opportunities upcoming relating to the community garden projects.  Would you like to get involved in:

  • A practical hands-on 16 hour Grow Your Owncourse, which will give you all the basic skills and knowledge to get going with some of your own food; whether on window-sills, gardens, allotments or in our beautiful community gardens. We can run courses as day long intensives or staggered over the semesters. To register interest please email Natalie.McCall@sauws.org.uk with GROW YOUR OWN in subject heading·  A practical hands-on 16 hour Introduction to Permaculture course, which will give basic design skills for establishing no-waste projects. Special focus on permaculture in gardening setting. To register interest please emailNatalie.McCall@sauws.org.uk with PERMACULTURE in subject heading

The Green Games

Are you competitive in nature? Feeling athletic?? Get involved!

We are looking for team entrants for Green Games day to help build a new community garden in Paisley Campus. Heats will include: building and filling raised beds, planting fruit trees and creating flower beds. A beautiful trophy is up for grabs… Interested? Contact Ryan Wood sp@sauws.org.uk

Growing at Home Summer Research

Looking to keep busy over the summer?

From mid-April we will have 75 window-sill planters available for students interested in supporting our climate action research over the summer holidays. We will give you everything you need (container, soil, seeds, seedlings, feed) all you have to do is provide fortnightly feedback on how your mini-garden is doing. We need to measure the weight of all food so you will have to commit to your kitchen scales for us!

Interested? email:Natalie.McCall@sauws.org.uk with CONTAINER PROJECT in the subject heading

We hope you have enjoyed our garden themed blog post this week and we hope that you can recognize some of the benefits of the community garden project. Most of all we hope to meet you and get to know you in the near future.