Banner Image: When the UK lockdown first happened in March, the Union’s outlets already had their food deliveries for the week and were fully stocked. Student Staff from the Cafe team made sure that every last item was taken to the nearby Euston Food Bank. Anything the food bank couldn’t take, sandwiches with an expiry of that day for example, were distributed to homeless people in the Euston station area. This was led by student staff, Alec and Karolina, who are setting an incredible example for all of us to follow.
This year we've been working to make the Union more sustainable, but to achieve this we need your help! There are so many different ways to get involved with opportunities for all commitment levels across a wide range of sustainable development activity.
Become a member of the Student Sustainability Council:
This Sustainability Council gives you the opportunity to provide directional guidance on the Sustainability agenda across UCL and the Students’ Union. We will be looking for new members at the beginning of the academic year, but don’t worry we will let you know when applications open in the weekly Union newsletter you get sent every Thursday so keep an eye out for these.
Propose policies to shape your Union
Any student can propose policies and ideas for discussion for any one of our Policy Zones, so you can write your ideas for change and easily submit them online for debate at any point next year. Here are several of the ratified policies that we are currently working on:
Plastic free union: Banning the purchase of single-use plastic in Union venues including bars and cafes
Waste-neural events: Reducing the amount of waste the Union produces at events eg. no more wasteful glowsticks that only last a couple of hours and are never really remembered as the highlight of the ‘night’
Increase digital signage: A commitment to reducing printing and increasing digital signage wherever possible.
Check out our Clubs and Societies
With over 320 different clubs and societies, the Students’ Union pretty much has a student group for (almost) every interest you might have. From Vegetarian and Vegan Society and Climate Action Society, to the Green Economy Society and the Conservation Society, there are a variety of different student groups focused on sustainability - check out our clubs and societies directory for more information.
Browse volunteering opportunities and student-led projects
As well as all of the student societies mentioned above, the Students’ Union also supports a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. We also support students who set up their own volunteering projects, the #Zero Food Waste, an amazing initiative started by UCL students to re-distribute food that would have been thrown away in our cafes to local homeless shelters, the Green Walkers who organise regular litter-picking walks to clean up Bloomsbury and The Climate Collage who educates students in local schools about the far-reaching impacts of climate change.
Talk to the Sustainability Officer
Our Sustainability Officer works part-time alongside their studies, volunteering their time to champion sustainability within the Students’ Union and working closely with the Sustainable UCL team to make sure UCL is as sustainable as possible. They work closely with me and are supported by a team of Sustainability Ambassadors. To get in touch, simply email su-[email protected]
As you can see, there are so many different opportunities and ways to get involved! In the only world we have, looking after it and taking care of something that takes care of us is so important. We might not think that little old us can make a difference to such a big wide world problem but there’s about 40,000 students at UCL. If we all made a small change in our lives and were able to influence the friends and family around us then the ripple effect would be huge. Here’s some big and small ways from Sustainable UCL that we can make a change.