‘Campuses are hubs for learning and development and as such they should be kept as an area of good physical and mental health - a healthy environment is key to that,’ says Oscar Bradley, chair of Sustain. Bradley and fifteen other enthusiasts were not afraid to get their hands dirty in exchange for a more sustainable campus. Seemingly, the campus appears clean and tidy, however the participants collected nearly 31 kg of trash within two and a half hours. The event trailed the living areas around campus and a couple of other zones.
‘The ponds, forests and ditches are the messiest since the wind blows big amounts of trash there, which just sinks or gets stuck. We found plastic bags and random bits of plastic in the water which we couldn’t reach. This was shocking since the biggest amounts of trash were closest to the wildlife areas on campus,’ explains Bradley and continues saying that ‘the largest part of the garbage involves beer cups and cans, cigarette buds, small pieces of flyers and plastic wrappers’.
The cleaning up followed after another identical act in March. The initial one was hosted by the campus management organization Krinkels, but apparently there was more action needed on behalf of the youth at the UT. ‘Krinkles contacted us so that we could get more students engaged with the problem, who were eager to live in a litter-free space and it worked’, says the board member.
Sustain began a year ago, having grown into 18 members active in committees, working groups and more. Its numbers have increased even further since last month when the association was officially established and recognized. ‘It is not for us to teach how to do sustainability. All we can do is set-up committees and working groups of students, professors and staff, who are motivated to be part of the solution. Here, people are experts in different areas, but no one is an expert on this topic. It is just about being creative and learning from each other.’