Energy and emissions footprint

First class train travel instead of economy plane travel

When I was at another University the university encouraged people to choose first class train travel and stay an extra day instead of quick plane travel in cramped economy. It was good for the environment, and reduced stress as people took the slow approach and took in the journey and not just the destination. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190918-some-firms-give-more-time-off-to-those-who-shun-plane-travel... more »


Energy and emissions footprint

Flight shame


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Appoint an 'Environment Champion' in each department/team

In line with the Wellness Champion idea this is an opportunity for to single out a person to take on a leadership role. Co-ordinating local initiatives, communicating about and helping put into action ideas that will make a difference with the support of their team. This will have rewards for the individual, the team and the environment. Allocate a budget to this initiative which can be applied for to ensure there is... more »


Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Sign the No Plastics Pledge

The City of Sydney already have this in place both internally and for events, and 50 other organisations/businesses have as well. UTS have gotten rid of single use plastic in their food court. "The City of Sydney has taken a platinum pledge, committing to phasing out 7 single-use items in its buildings, at its own venues and at events within our area. The City will eliminate or reduce the use of: bottled water plastic... more »

Engagement and awareness of sustainability

Flea market day on Eastern Avenue

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.


Educating students about the harms of fast fashion

As fast fashion is filling landfills, would there be any idea with eg marketing or meco students (or a ICPU unit) to collaborate with op shops or Vinnies to promote used and recycled fashion? For example, Vinnies is promoting their fashion finds on Insta.

Also, a spot at the bi-weekly (?) market on Eastern Avenue for recycled/used goods seller?


Biodiversity and landscape

The Great Tree Planting

The idea of the Great Tree Planting arose from new research showing that planting trees is the single most effective thing we can do to save the planet from climate crisis.Ethiopia, which had 35% forestation in the 1980s and now has 4% forestation, recently mobilised 20m people, a quarter of its population, to plant an estimated 200m trees. Wouldn't it be amazing if we mobilised the 7500 staff and 70,000 students here... more »

Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Collaboration with eg. Terracycle

Terracycle recycles eg. Ballpoint pens and markers. Bumped into their pen collection box at the footbridge kiosk but is this promoted anywhere eg on usyd instagram etc?



Reducing waste and our contribution to landfill

Recycling single-use lab plastics

Laboratories use a massive amount of single-use plasticware that is sent to landfill. There are ways of decontaminating these plastics,a and recycling them:





Initiative to target cigarette butt litter

I am entering this under the water category as cigarette butts frequently end up in water ways and leach toxic chemicals such as nicotine and heavy metals into our water. (More information: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/cigarettes-story-of-plastic/ ) While we have banned smoking on campus, there are some spots on campus or in the surrounding area that are full of cigarette butts. I think we need... more »



Don't flush drinking water

Utilise recycled grey water (eg from sinks and showers), or captured rainwater for flushing. Look into installing on-cistern sinks as a quick win with minimal infrastructure adjustments needed (see image for eg). Sydney uses more water per person than Melbourne and the dam levels are getting dangerously low (see "troubled waters" article in staff news: https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/09/27/troubled-waters--experts-comment-on-the-drought-and-water-policy.html?tc=edm|staff-news-brnd|mc-staff|||)... more »


Energy and emissions footprint

Sustainability index

Create a 'green' sustainability index and rate all buildings across all campuses on things like energy consumption (break that down further by renewable and non-renewable energy), carbon offset that the building contributes, energy and water efficiency as well as other sustainability options that the building provides. Make this list publicly available to staff/students. This may already be happening but I cannot see... more »


Energy and emissions footprint

Severing Ties to + Investments in Fossil Fuel + Arms Industries

The Chancellor is the chairwoman of tech company Thales Australia, which builds railways for coal mines, but also weapons of mass destruction. 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions, the world's biggest polluter is the U.S. military. Universities should not be institutions which profit at the expense of people and planet. They should not be promoting the social license of fossil fuel companies. There... more »