A few words on the Green Challenges Campaign
The Green Challenges Campaign 2021 is a call for projects launched by the UNI-ECO partner universities for their students and staff.
Using a bottom-up approach, the Green Challenges campaign aims to support the implementation of projects carried out by campus users to develop solutions that will improve sustainability at their university campus, working toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A total of 64 applications have been received in the framework of this first call for projects.
Among each university, five projects have been selected and dedicated Living Labs have been created to foster knowledge-sharing while facilitating communication between all the actors involved.
Twenty-five projects are now being developed by teams of students and staff, and progress reports will be submitted to the selection committees by mid-June 2021. Winning teams will then be selected by each partner university and will have the opportunity to present their project to an international community during the UNI-ECO Summer School in July 2021, thus enefiting from a unique international networking opportunity.
What are the 25 selected projects about?
Each university selected a variety of promising projects, responding to the four themes proposed this year.
Trinity College Dublin selected five projects dealing with very different ambitions. One is trying to set up a lab coat resale service for its students. Another project aims to provide students with information on the availability of sustainable period products. A third project wants to install ‘bio-boxes’ on campus to enhance wildlife populations. A website, EcoCalc, is also being created, keeping track of the Carbon Footprint by their commute to and from college. Finally, a Biodiversity Audit is being established to enable the college to determine key areas for conservation, as well as aid in establishing conservation priorities.
Utrecht University chose five projects to be implemented. The first project is the creation of a quiz aiming to educate people on recycling. The purpose of the second project is for UU to obtain the “Fairtrade University” title in 2022 with a focus on food and beverages. On a similar topic, a team will work on promoting low-impact food by creating an environmental impact label in the canteen. Biodiversity is also promoted with the creation of biodiverse flowerbeds on the main campus of the university. The fifth project will be dedicated to plant sustainable facade gardens to increase biodiversity.
The University of Montpellier’s projects are also dealing with many green issues. MAYA plans to install beehives on the IUT campus when another project wants to build and install nesting boxes and insect hotels in green spaces on campus. A third project is about organizing a student resource centre for solidarity, the “Ressourcerie“, to encourage reuse of furniture. A fourth innovative project, “Bouge ta finance” is about creating an outreach tool on Green Finance. Finally, a last project is about developing the web app “Mobilan” to raise students’ awareness of the carbon footprint induced by their mobility.
The University of Barcelona selected a first project that intend to install an ecological composter bin on campus to improve the treatment of organic waste and use it as a tool for teaching natural sciences. Another team of campus users wants to assess the environmental impact of office supplies. A third one is focusing on a proposal for the implementation of sustainable food and catering services to offer planetary health diet options to the university community. A fourth project will try to enhance the vertebrate biodiversity by setting nest and resting boxes for birds and bats on campus. Finally, a fifth project aims to encourage the use of public transport thanks to the design of a team-based trail game in an epic environmental storyline.
Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) will also accompany the development of five projects. A team of campus users wants to provide residents with alternatives to packing, storing and disposing of their belongings, since students are moving quite often in their dormitories. The second project aims to create a green, biodiverse area on the campus and a third one is planning a complex reinterpretation of the green areas around ELTE, from installing composting bins on the uni’s property to planting bird-friendly plants. One of the selected teams wants to promote biodiversity and sustainability in the garden of the Dürer College in Ajtos. The last project will be about promoting a more conscious approach to Zero Waste by encouraging creative upcycling of university waste.
If you are interested and want to take part in the Green Challenges campaign, do not hesitate to visit the Living Labs of the 25 selected projects in order to share your ideas and experiences, follow and contribute to their development!