The University of Bath declared a climate emergency on May 14 2020. From taking the U1 bus, having ‘no meat Mondays’ to taking part in one of our Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs) here at Bath, we are making the effort to combat climate change.
Societies to Join
In Freshers' Week I signed up for multiple societies, but the ones in which I'm still an active member are those that positively impact the climate emergency. Upon joining the ‘Vegetarian Society’ I massively cut down my carbon footprint. Weeks after joining purely just for free food and socialising, I had my mind opened to the variety which exists in a vegan diet, and a year and a half on I am still vegan. Even if your meal at VegSoc is your only vegan meal of the week, all 30 people in that room are collectively making a difference and for that, I will definitely be signing up again next year!
Sadly, VegSoc is only once a week, so if you are wondering where you can dine or get a take-away for any of the other 6 days, try anywhere. Our university successfully integrates vegan options onto menus all around campus (I quite often treat myself to a vegan pizza at the Lime Tree because they have the ultimate vegan cheese).
The other society of which I am still a part is ‘People and Planet’. People and Planet, in their words, “campaign for action on world poverty, human rights and the environmental crisis". What I have enjoyed about People and Planet's action is that the results are tangible. As a result of this society, we have seen the University declare a climate emergency and seen food waste bins being installed around campus.
Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs)
VIPs have recently been introduced to the university in the past two years. A VIP is a long term project working towards a goal such as tackling climate change or improving sustainability. However, what makes them different to other projects is that they provide the opportunity for students to work alongside lecturers and staff members. This has led to increased diversity, thoughts and ideas being brought to the projects. They were trialled last year, and after a huge success, more projects have been introduced throughout this year.
In regard to the climate crisis, there have been multiple projects such as sustainable transport, green equity, creating carbon-neutral communities and food (in)security and waste on campus. To get involved or find out more about the VIPs, see the link at the bottom of this blog.
To combat climate change here at the University of Bath, you can join a project or a society, or feel like an eco-warrior when you walk to town or get the U1 bus to university. You will be reminded of the cause when you spot a climate crisis sticker around campus every so often, or when you see a climate strike on campus organised by People and Planet or in town organised by external groups. You should try it once; you might find it empowering to join in.