Paper hand towels can create a lot of waste especially when people use them liberally. Other universities such as the University of Auckland have implemented continuous cloth hand towels which are washable and reusable.
Labs generate a lot of waste (eg soft plastic packaging from deliveries, batteries, foam eskies from deliveries). There are companies that will recycle these items (eg Cleanaway, Redcycle, Kimberley Clark, Terracycle, Expanded Polystyrene Australia, Foamex). Some of these companies provide recycling bins and a pickup service, so it would be fantastic to partner with these companies so that we could recycle this waste... more »
There are two issues with recycling on campus: first, that there are very few recycling bins on campus. From what I remember, there are only one or two outside on Eastern Avenue. Matching recycling bins 1:1 with general waste bins would make it more accessible and easier for students to consider recycling when they throw away their rubbish. The second issue is that myself and a few other people have seen rubbish cleaners... more »
The only drawback of first world countries. Why waste a kilometer of toilet paper when one can send all the dirt to oblivion with a small amount of high pressure water from a hand-shower or hand-sprout and get a cleaner area at the same time.
Wipes + dustbin or a gel like 'Satu' would promote this too.
An Oxford study found that adopting a plant based diet is the single biggest thing one can do to reduce their environmental impact, reducing their carbon footprint up to 73%. Harvard, a leading institution, has planned to focus on promoting plant based food as a part of their commitment to reducing their environmental impact, with Cambridge eliminating red meat on their campus altogether. A plant based diet has also been... more »
One of the biggest problems that needs to be addressed these days is water crisis. In fact it can be considered as the biggest problem since it already started to affect people among the world. More than a billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. More than half the population do not have access to adequate sanitation. At least 3-4 million people die every year of water related diseases. More than half... more »
Turn one of the sections of lawn out the front of the Quad into a garden with native plants such as bottlebrushes or grevilleas. It would require less water, provide another colourful photo up for graduates, and attract pollinators.
Stop prioritising the attendance of endless international conferences as a measure of academic influence and success. Thousands of flights are taken annually by academics attending conferences when a video link would often do just as well. Air travel is one of the greatest contributors to global warming. Collegiality and social networking opportunities for academics should be developed locally, not at the cost of flights... more »
One of the most powerful things a University can do (as opposed to a company or government department) is to have impact through TEACHING and RESEARCH. If we don't harness these strengths, we'll always have much less impact than we could have. I propose a high profile University challenge event (eg USYD vs UNSW or Melbourne, but with the aim of becoming national/international) to encourage student teams to develop new... more »
Monash University has a Keep Cup share program in which you can freely take a keep cup, use it to buy your coffee, and return it once you have finished using it, and people are simply hired to wash the cups at the end of each day. The program is obviously based on trust so the cups aren't stolen, but perhaps specially printed cups exclusive to the share program could mitigate this problem.
22nd of September marks World Car Free Day where towns and cities around the world close the main parts of their town/city to cars opening up space to pedestrians, cyclist and any other non-motor transportation. Maybe next year (on a Tuesday!) we can shut down the main parts of campus to cars, leaving only our perimeter roads open. We do this to an extent on main campus for Open and Info Days so lets expand it a bit... more »
Reduce water wastage by turning the taps down to decrease the flow (or completely turn off and turn on when required) while rinsing/washing.
Develop a section on sustainable research practices within the 'Responsible Research Practice' module that is already mandatory for all new academic research staff and affiliates. Also extend this to all staff in some form.
Create programs with cafes around campus to encourage the use of reusable cups and also encourage people to bring their own clean containers and cutlery
Besides the market on Eastern Ave every two weeks (can't remember, I never go there), what about a sustainable market day eg. once a month or once per semester? Flea market stalls, food trucks with no disposable cutlery, OzHarvest, societies selling baked goods etc.
Students could buy a spot (or even better, USYD students get a free spot!) and sell their old stuff too.