UWE Students Union Green Leaders and the University of Bristol Students Union Get Green team came together on the 3rd February for a student specific launch of the 2015 Bristol Green Capital. Bristol is the first city in the UK to be given the status of European Green capital, the initiative run by the EU which rewards cities that have accomplished a high level of environmental standards and a plan for a sustainable future.
The event at Hamilton House in the heart of Stokes Croft was well attended, kicking off with speeches from some of the organisers of the event and those supporting it, and filling the fifth floor of the former office block with a bustling mess of stalls and activists. In attendance were representatives from UWESU’s Green Leaders and UBU’s Get green team as well as Bristol Nature Network, Community RePaint, Groundwork Bristol and Bristol Parkhive, all promoting their projects involving sustainability and green issues from re-using left over paint to protecting parks and green spaces in the city. UWE’s volunteering team was also recruiting potential volunteers for their Green Space Conservation Project which focuses on clearing and hedge building in green spaces close to UWE. Also in attendance was Skipchen, a Gloucester Road restaurant, providing “intercepted food waste” thrown out by supermarkets and other restaurants for donations.
There was a large number of Green Leaders present, including Ali, a second year UWE Planning student who said that there were “so many positive messages taken away from this event to enable green activism”. The event wasn’t just a launch but a call to arms, as one speaker highlighted the protests against the proposed metro bus route and how it will damage some of the most fertile ground in the city, and called on the mayor to rethink these plans, highlighting how this was not keeping with Bristol’s new Green Capital status. This was relevant not just for those in attendance but for UWE students as well, with the protests being just five minutes from Frenchay campus.
UWESU’s elected Sustainability Officer, Tom Rowlands, said, “It was good to see so many opportunities for students to get involved in, it shows what a contribution students stand to make a big green capital and towards a sustainable future”.
To find out more about the Bristol Green Capital and to become a green leader at the SU click here.
By Will Anderson