Posts tagged ‘Attitudes and behavior’

Sustain Yourself, Eat Sustainably!

The Yale Office of Sustainability has monthly campaigns relating to different focus areas and October is Sustainable Food Month! Food is such an integral part of our lives, not only as a necessity for survival, but as a routine that reflects our varied lifestyles, cultures, religions and incomes. It is something we all have personal experiences with.

You could say we are all experts on our own food consumption. It’s really empowering to realize that many of us also have the power to reduce waste and CO2 emissions by changing our consumption.  Today I can make a choice to go vegetarian- once a week, twice a week or every day and this will have a direct, positive impact on the environment.

Sometimes we associate dietary changes with depriving ourselves of our favourite foods or eating bland or unsavoury meals, but there are so many creative ways to eat more sustainably: substitute meat for non-meat protein, incorporate more fruits and vegetable into your diet and more – all choices which can be delicious and healthy for you and the earth.  Our health, environmental sustainability and food awareness/curiosity align—definitely a sign to evaluate our diets and find ways to be better to ourselves and to the environment.

I challenge you to go on a sustainable food journey and to take your friends and/or family along for the ride! For university students that want to address this issue on their campuses, check out two food-related sustainability initiatives being implemented by members of the Global Climate Action Coalition:

  Eaternity Program at ETH Zurich University

Eaternity = a concept promoting the consumption of CO2-optimized meals, with the overall goal of reducing CO2 emissions related to food consumption on campus

Yale Sustainable Food Project


November 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

Project Update: Happenings in Copenhagen

from University of Copenhagen | Copenhagen, Denmark

Since the Project Highlights has been written, a lot has happened at the University of Copenhagen. At the beginning of 2010 we were focused on gathering information about the energy action plans and the electrical consumption at the university.

Later on we targeted the students starting at the university in 2010 by putting out small clues of our effort; a statement on the sleeve of the tutors t-shirts, an advertisement in the study handbook, a short lecture about the students contribution to the energy consumption, and handing out magnetic bookmarks; all with Green Action graphics and statements.

In regards to the employees, we have made ‘evening rounds’ at different departments at the Faculty of Science, where we have noted equipment which was left turned on after work hours. Afterward we tried to establish a dialogue with the employees about the wasteful energy consumption. In April we visited the Department of Chemistry, and the dialogue was established as a review at a department meeting. The yearly wasteful consumption was estimated to be about €7400. In October we visited the Niels Bohr Institute, where the yearly wasteful consumption was estimated to be about €4700; here, the dialogue was established as a report to the head of the institute. The evening rounds continue in 2011, hopefully in cooperation with the Science Faculty’s newly employed full-time energy-controller, Jürgen. We will focus on the behaviour, while Jürgen will focus on the structural solutions.

In December we participated in the planning and execution of Green Campus’ 4-week Green Action campaign all over the University of Copenhagen. Green student teams worked their way through the university, talking to the people they met, trying to make them aware of the possibility of more energy-efficient behaviour. They also promoted a big internet based competition, where the prices were bikes and climate-friendly dinners at Sticks’n’Sushi. A smaller competition took place in the canteens, where the price was a free lunch.

February 2, 2011 at 10:39 am Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Cop16 & Coalition

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

Throughout November when Cop16 was approaching, we tried hard to find funding and support to host an event, looking at it as an opportunity to expand the Coalition, invite student groups active in finding sustainability solutions on their campuses in Latin America to join us. Unfortunately, we flopped.

This may have something to do with the fact that as Cop16 approached, its ability to be effect waned. A really telling post on Cop16 comes from a foreign policy professor here at Yale. His perspective is interesting, to say the least. So check it out when you get a chance, Walter Russell Mead’s post on “Bureaucrats Swindle Greens in Cancun” .

But we look forward to a meeting in March at Yale, coinciding with the International Alliance of Research Universities Conference. Let’s hope that works out!

December 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Skype with MIT

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

Speaking with Katherine from MIT the other day gave me great insight into understanding what it’s going to take to make this Coalition more successful!

While she’s been working away on the MIT/Yale project, studying almost 200 different sustainability projects across universities–she’s also got some wise words about the Coalition.

  • Coalition teams had varying degrees of involvement–for future development, how can we incentivize the teams to contribute equally to the idea-sharing and the implementation of the project?
  • The involvement of the administration at the University is crucial–Katherine says it’s one of the reasons why the MIT/Yale project succeeded.
  • There was a lot of confusion about what it meant to be a part of the Coalition–looking forward to the second year of the Coalition, we should look into making it clear what joining the Coalition involves!

Will definitely follow up on these suggestions. Thanks, Katherine!

October 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Coordinator Update: Skype Meeting with Tongji Team

by Vi Nguyen, Coordinator

I had the opportunity to meet a few of the members from the Tongji team this morning (but last night for them). The key take-away from the meeting in regards to the coalition is that for Tongji, they are in it for the communication. They hope the Coalition will be able to foster a sharing of useful ideas and exciting projects.

They were definitely excited to share some of the initiatives going on in Shanghai at Tongji University! They’re trying to tackle waste by training students on how to conserve water, e-waste and paper. In the coming months, they’ll be providing more details and visual updates for you.

Another exciting thing is that for the past year, our team at Tongji hasn’t been able to access the old website–but on this new wordpress portal–they finally have access! So you’ll be seeing more posts from them.

October 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Project Updates 2: Stickers & Presentations

from Hokkaido University | Sappora, Japan

by Edgard Alves Bontempo e Silva

Our project is also moving slower than planned but we are advancing nonetheless. We have had a fruitful meeting with the head of the Sustainability Office of Hokkaido University and we are officially combining our efforts and will be making use of their structure to implement our projects. If anyone is interested in checking all the great stuff that they do, please follow this link:

They have, for example, made this incredible “Energy Use Sticker” (picture below) that we will use on our Energy Saving Competition:

The "Hokudai" written on the right-top of the sticker is the abbreviation of "Hokkaido Daigaku" - Hokkaido University in Japanese.

The black stripe is thermo-sensitive and those marks, red at 20 degrees and blue at 28 degrees, show the ideal spots for balance between comfort and energy usage on winter and summer respectively. In this picture taken on winter for example, the lightly-lit yellow spot at 22 degrees shows that the temperature is a little above the necessary (20ºC) and suggests that we should turn the heater down a bit. As you can see, the sticker also shows the basic tips for saving energy that we all know but seldom follow. Very simple and inexpensive way to give a heads-up to all on campus. This sticker is on the wall of my own lab and similar stickers are being place all over the campus, right beside the air-conditioning and light switches. No need to say that we will be advertising it widely during our project!
Soon we should have some kind of website running and linked to the one I mentioned above. Using that and the mail network on campus we are planning on asking students suggestions and project ideas to save energy and for sustainable campus development in general. We have also started recruiting new members to help on the projects and carry on with the work.
To finish, I will like to show 2 pictures taken during the preparations of the Sapporo International Night (event I mentioned on our last update)

Pictures by Hyunjun Seo (team member) and Katsutoshi Yoshida.

It was a great opportunity for us to spread the word to other universities and to the general public about our project! Good luck to all!

May 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Project Updates: Sappora Int’l Night

from Hokkaido University | Sappora, Japan

by Edgard Alves Bontempo e Silva

Last month we joined the 32nd Sapporo International Night, an event aiming to engage Japanese and foreigners living in Japan in discussions over important issues for society. This year their theme was “The Earth’s Environment” and five of us presented a series of speeches addressing possible consequences of global climate change, reporting the disappointing results of COP15, the objective and results of our meeting at Copenhagen University, what do we plan to do this year at Hokkaido University, and how that relates to the city and society. It was a great PR opportunity for us and it is helping to gather support inside and outside of the university to implement our proposals.

We also started a series of meetings with various university officials to explain our ideas and how do we plan to put them to practice during this year. While the “Warm Biz” proposal has received positive feedback, we are still striving to fine-tune our Energy Savings Competition so that it does not disrupt the normal activities of the university staff and students. Fortunately all the energy consumption data was already made available to us and it seems to be in accordance to our expectations and adequate to be used on the competition.

April 19, 2010 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

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