Sustainable consumption on a student budget

Posted on: 17 March 2015

On Saturday 7th March, Southampton Hub held another daylong Sustainability Festival that proved to bring even more students, staff and external organisations together than last year’s! With ninety-nine attendees, inspiring talks and stallholders, delicious food and live music, the Physics building was buzzing with likeminded people eager to learn and make a change.

CURB: Southampton’s Real Junk Food Project outdid themselves with their first big event by providing an incredible spread of food and snacks throughout the whole day, along with drinks. All of which, might I add, were intercepted and would have otherwise gone to waste! To top it off, we even had a raffle with incredible prizes like facials, theatre tickets and restaurant vouchers.

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The theme of the festival was Sustainable Consumption on a Student Budget in order to encourage attendees that there really is no excuse not to lead a sustainable life. Speakers included local, national and even global organisations that spoke about topics ranging from food waste to energy efficiency to ethical labour.

Chris, a Bike-It Officer from Sustrans, gave some helpful tips on purchasing bikes, bike maintenance and cycling; all while convincingly explaining why cycling really is the better method of transport. Clare from Southampton Repair Café (and Transition Southampton) explained how most items can be reused from bins while Seb, from Food Up Front, stressed the importance of having ‘good food’ available to all. Means of adapting the current democratic structure to better represent the interests of future generations were discussed by the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development in order to promote sustainable living. These are just a few of the topics that were discussed on the day! If this has got you interested, check out a copy of our programme to see what other exciting talks happened.

The key points that were raised throughout the day all came down to a few simple rules: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (or upcycle!).  These three words may sound out dated but the way you interpret them is fully up to you. Instead of throwing away broken items, take the time to fix them. Instead of buying new clothes, swap them at Swap Shop, donate them to a charity and go thrift shopping. Instead of doing massive food shops, buy less more frequently and you’ll be surprised by how much food you’ll save. It’s also essential to educate yourself about the environment you live in – seasonal and local are also important words to remember. For the more adventurous ones out there, you may even want to try adding bugs to your diet as a way of reducing your meat consumption. There is a lot of room for innovative thinking and creative ideas – the possibilities are endless!

 

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Keep an eye out for what Southampton Hub has planned next and if you didn’t make it to this year’s festival, don’t worry; there will be another one happening next year too!  Once again, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came, took part and helped with event.

Maddy Michelotti

Maddy is a second year Marine Biology and Oceanography student at the University of Southampton who loves adventures, food and running. She dedicates much of her free time to Southampton Hub as the Sustainability Coordinator and volunteers for Schools Plus at Science Club.

Tags: Environment & Sustainability, Student Voice


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