Cheese or Chocolate?

We know that cigarette ends getting discarded on the ground looks unsightly but it also has an impact on wildlife and the natural environment. As a University, we (officially!) have one of the best green spaces in the country and we are committed to keeping it that way. To encourage people to dispose of their cigarette ends responsibly, we are trialling new ballot bins. These new bins pose a question and allow smokers to vote on what they think! These have been used effectively in other areas of the country and we are looking forward to seeing the results of some of the sillier research we are going to get up to at the University. Do let us know what you think of them by emailing us at sustainability@reading.ac.uk. We've had 2 installed, one is outside the URS entrance and one is next to Old Whiteknights House. We'll keep people updated via Twitter on the results. This week, its cheese vs chocolate. Whats...
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Green Gown Award win for Carbon Reduction

We’re proud to be awarded winner in this year’s carbon reduction category at the EAUC’s Green Gown Awards, recognising our significant achievements in delivering a 35%* reduction in our emissions across the University. Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland. With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector. The ethos of the awards is to celebrate, share and promote the outstanding sustainability leadership, management and best practice initiatives from tertiary education in the UK. The judges described Reading’s entry as “A very comprehensive carbon reduction project producing significant savings. Students have been integral to achieving a 35% reduction in carbon emissions in an imaginative way.” How did we achieve it? The approach we have taken doesn’t focus on one technology or action but rather a large number of complementary...
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New drinks machines provide free water and cut plastic waste

University students and staff will help stop more than half a million plastic bottles being thrown away every year with the introduction of new drinks machines around campus. The University of Reading is becoming the first university in the UK to introduce new vending machines designed to provide healthier drink choices and cut the volume of plastic waste on campus. Around 650,000 plastic bottled drinks are used across the University’s Whiteknights and London Road campuses each year. To reduce the volume of plastic used on campus, the University is this week launching the Sustain It bottle – a reusable bottle that uses technology to offer students and staff a range of vending machine drinks. The Sustain It bottle contains a microchip that allows users to pre-pay for drinks either in multiples of 10 (£12) or unlimited use for an academic term (£39.95). Most of these will be zero and low-calorie options. Free filtered water will also be available at each machine, allowing students and staff...
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Q and A with Abi, our summer intern

This summer, Abi worked to raise awareness of the University’s new Waste Strategy including the new 60% recycling target. This included upgrading recycling facilities across ten buildings on campus, communicating with staff and students and investigate waste and recycling issues across campus. What did your role involved? As a Junior Sustainability Officer, I created a communication plan to engage with staff and students about upgrading facilities across campus. From Health & Safety’s input into the floorplans, porters’ assistance in moving newly unpacked and labelled bins and talking to staff during our recycling roadshows- this internship has taught me the importance of communication across all services and departments. In addition to co-ordinating distribution of stock, I also undertook investigative tasks across campus such as resolving recycling from sports pitches and a fall in Foxhill House’s recycling rate. Whilst putting our Sherlock caps on, we managed to form both temporary and permanent solution for this and other scenarios. What have you gained from this experience? A vast...
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