Let's Make Earth Day, Everyday! Vote Caitlin Turner for Sustainability Officer!
You’ve most likely seen that footage of a straw being pulled from a sea turtle’s nose, a koala picking its way over a burning forest, orangutangs fending off deforesting machinery. If you’ve watched this footage you’ll also be all too familiar with the phrase: “time is running out”. Action must be taken. And it’s that action that I want to promote and enable.
I live and breathe environmentalism. From founding the university’s Marine Conservation Society, multiple conservation volunteer roles – including the MCS and Sea Shepherd UK - to standing as the Sustainability Champion in my part-time job: environmental activism is essentially my life.
I’m incredibly proud to be a Stirling student. We care so passionately for our environment and have already taken incredible steps to reduce our waste and carbon footprint. But we can still do better. As your Sustainability Officer, I aim to do this through 3 main principles: Awareness, Accessibility, and Action.
AWARENESS: Provide education on the importance of sustainability and how students can help
- Improve signage for recycling: including details on what items/materials can or can’t be recycled, as well as the location of recycling bins on campus
- Deliver educational workshops on both simple switches that we can make as young people (on a student-friendly budget) to live more sustainably, and the intersectionality of the climate crisis: highlighting the interlinking of climate, racial and social justice
- Promote the Green & Blue Space: make students aware that our environmental hub sells second-hand kitchen appliances and clothing, has a refill point for dried foods (such as pasta), and arranges environmental activities (such as gardening and tree-planting)
- Be transparent on the steps being taken by the university towards becoming a more sustainable campus
ACCESSIBILITY: Ensure that sustainability is inclusive to all
- Work alongside the Equalities officers to ensure that changes made to achieve sustainability are also fully accessible to all students on campus
- Work with university commercial services to completely switch from polystyrene packaging in takeaways to an environmentally and sensory-friendly alternative
- Help to guide low-income students on how to live more sustainably with minimal cost
ACTION: Take direct action to help protect our environment
- Challenge the wider Stirling community to conserve our local environment: particularly by pressuring Stirling council to maintain rather than destroy our local ecosystems
- Regularly organise litter picks/beach cleans, and conduct waste surveys to inform where further action must be taken
- Ensure the introduction of a Bottle Deposit Return Scheme to the campus
- Monitor campus biodiversity to ensure our local wildlife is protected
- Ensure that all food served in campus facilities is from sustainable sources
I’m determined to see Stirling reach its full sustainable potential, and I know I’ll be able to achieve this by working both alongside the University and the Union, and also by fully involving the student body in the process. We have a beautiful campus that we should be proud of: full of life and wild space. Vote for me as your Sustainability Officer, and I promise I’ll see it protected.