Westminster is continuing to work towards its sustainability goals throughout the festive season with a variety of projects encouraging environmentally-friendly festivities.
The University of Westminster together with the Sustainability Team address the everyday issues of sustainability to reduce the University’s environmental impacts and be as sustainable as possible, using the sustainable development goals as a framework to achieve a better future for all.
During the festive season, the University has been pulling out all the stops to ensure that the season is celebrated more sustainably than ever before.
The University’s award-winning catering team has served over 500 Christmas lunches, including a vegan wellington. The themed Christmas menu used locally-sourced produce, including British Farm Assured meats and MSC certified fish. The carrots came from Nottinghamshire farmers, while the parsnips came from Birmingham and the cabbages from Lincolnshire. This local sourcing is key to the University’s sustainable goals and also offers quality British produce to staff and students.
The University is also running a switch off campaign during the festive period to help reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, by urging colleagues and students to switch off non-essential equipment at the plug during the University’s holiday closure. This includes computers and laptop monitors, personal phone chargers, office printers and photocopiers and all kitchen equipment.
From 25 to 29 November, the University took part in the Community Toy Appeal with the Baker Street Quarter Partnership, which supports underprivileged children in the Church Street Ward area. The toy appeal has been running for six years, with this year’s gifts going to COSMIC Ward at St Mary’s Hospital. Last year, over 500 gifts were collected by 42 businesses within the Quarter, all of which were given to children who might otherwise not have received a gift at all.
The sustainability team will also run a wreath making workshop, using old materials and decorations. The team are providing the basics to make wreaths including wire, pine cones and spruce but encourage attendees to bring leftover decorations that aren’t in use to give the wreath a personal touch.
From 8–13 November, the University of Westminster Students’ Union’s (UWSU) Environmental Society collected unwanted coats for the charity ‘Hands on London’ to help keep those in need warm this winter. The Society was inspired by University staff donating their unwanted coats to the charity and decided to do the same. The Society made up a poster and set up collection points within three University sites for all staff and students. The donated coats are distributed to local charities and community groups who directly offer support to people who are homeless, refugees, older people, people fleeing domestic violence and those at risk of living through poverty.