Penryn plastics

Each group of students ran a five-week social media campaign

Students rally support for climate change initiatives

Students are calling on their peers and the wider public to protect the environment by cutting down on single-use plastics and other waste.

This week third year Climate Change and Society students at the University of Exeter have been encouraging people to make small changes that could make a big difference.

Students from Geography, Environmental Science and Bioscience degrees took an optional one-term module and formed eight lobby groups asking people to:

  • use less shampoo
  • choose food with less packaging
  • reduce food waste
  • reduce the carbon footprint of your food
  • have a climate conversation
  • upcycle clothes
  • use alternatives to plastic-laden sanitary products
  • reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.

Each group ran a five-week social media campaign, which culminated in interactive and persuasive displays on campus to encourage students and staff to make a few positive changes.

Catherine Leyshon, Associate Professor of Human Geography at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus said of her students: “I’m extremely proud of how well they’ve been able to filter the high level COP23 UN Climate Change conference outcomes into simple every day actions that anyone can make, which cumulatively can make a big difference. Their campaigns are really hopeful and relevant in that they pick up on different aspects of life from food, to clothing and washing that affect everyone. Making a few small changes does not just affect climate change, but will help the environment in general, for example by keeping plastics out of the ocean.”

Professor Leyshon is especially pleased that this year students have taken their message beyond the university population and into the community. The “Climate Conversations” group, who advocate regular talks about climate change, met with local businesses, such as Finisterre and the Natural Store in Falmouth to find out they run they run their businesses sustainably.

Earlier this month saw the launch of the Final Straw campaign to rid Cornwall of single-use plastic straws and raise awareness of the damage single-use plastics are causing to our environment.

Date: 24 November 2017

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