Raising student awareness of sustainabilty

Kingston University has a commitment to sustainability through education and teaching, research and operations and is a member of various UK institutions which promote sustainable activity.

But how much are its students aware of the need for action in view of climate change? Sustainability week will be hoping to raise that awareness.

Aiden Whitehead, an economics student said: “There’s the issue of global warming affecting climate across the planet, but there are also concerns like plastics in our oceans and rivers biodegrading and creating toxic microplastics which fill these bodies of water and pollute the life within it as well as our water supply, and since humans are at the top of the food chain it is obviously of huge concern for every one of us.”

Whitehead continued: “The repercussions of our actions will affect future generations, and if we don’t get our act together it will mean certain areas such as places on coastlines becoming uninhabitable and the people living there will have to relocate at the expense of their governments which will create even more issues down the line.”

In a university league table compiled by People & Planet (2021) it stated that: “Kingston University scored 10/10 per cent for highlighting research in sustainability.”

However, data from the league table also showed that: “Kingston University scored 0 per cent /10 per cent for including sustainability policy in staff inductions.” 

Laura Byrne Jeronah, a dance student said: “I initially did not think there was a link between my course and sustainability, but after our module on climate change we were spoken to by various activists who enlightened us to the fact that sustainability affects all aspects of our lives.

“Even if you reduce your meat intake slightly, that’s still doing more for the planet than most people. There are even more ways that I could do better and I am working on that.”

Akinbode-Dunlop, also a dance student continued: “We tend to reuse our costumes to support sustainability and we even had talks about noise pollution and how we can fight against various climate issues in our art form which was very insightful. I think we are all aware of it now and trying to do our best.”

A Students Organising for Sustainability International Report (2022) stated: “Sixty-nine per cent agree with the proposal announced by the UK government during COP26 that young people in the UK should be educated from nursery to university levels on the importance of conserving and protecting our planet.”

Agatha Kisakye, who studies biomedical science said: “I recently watched the movie called Don’t Look Up and the whole movie was a metaphor. It used satirical humour as a means to express the message of climate change which I think is a good tool to reach a wider audience in our current society.”

In the People & Planet (2021) university league table Kingston University was awarded a 2:2 overall.

Details about the university’s sustaiability acitivities and plans can be found on the university website.

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he/him | Third year journalism student @ Kingston. Soon to be running the social media accounts for The River from January, but for now I'm just a writer.

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