By Orla Leahy – News Editor
UCC Green Week 2022 ran last week, from March 7th to 11th inclusive. Maeve Richardson, Community & Engagement Officer of the Students’ Union (SU), has described Green Week as a “week of activism, initiatives, and campaigning by UCC students and staff to create a better world.”
The week kicked off with a sign launch on Monday morning at 10:30am. UCC Enactus’ Timothy McGrath created a sign, spelling out “UCC”, by upcycling plastic bottles. The sign was situated outside the Hub, and functioned to raise striking, visible awareness of Green Week and the importance of taking climate action. Ultimately, UCC has witnessed huge reductions in waste, reducing 56% of its waste from 2019-2022. The sign also highlighted how far UCC has come with regards to waste management, but how much more is still to be achieved.
Following this, the President’s Picnic took place in the ORB Garden, a round table with the current President of UCC, Professor John O’Halloran, looking at what green initiatives can be introduced to UCC to improve the university’s sustainability. Monday concluded with the “No Plastic Period Workshop.” The UCC Law Society, in conjunction with the UCC Feminist Society, launched the period poverty campaign in UCC earlier this year, availing of Riley period products. Riley, originally founded by UCC students, aims to eliminate period plastic and to end period poverty. UCC Green Campus and the SU have supported the initiative to roll out permanent free, sustainable period products across campus since, following the success of last semester’s programme.
Other significant events over the course of the week included the Fashion Fiesta at the Honan Plaza Marquee, to promote second-hand clothes purchases, in favour of more sustainable fashion. Promoting more sustainable eating was the Community Market on Tuesday, outside the Hub from 10-3pm, and an Instagram live with the UCC Vegan Society at 7pm on Friday.
Competitions over the course of the week included the opportunity for students to win a refurbed MacBook Pro, by following a link on the SU socials to plant a tree with refurbed. Students also had the opportunity to post a photo of themselves on Instagram wearing second-hand clothes, tagging Green Campus, to enter a competition for a refurbished Samsung phone.
From the 8th-13th of March, the Glucksman Gallery was home to an Interactive Wall of Climate Action in the Foyer Exhibition Space.
On Wednesday, in order to raise awareness about the significance of positive action for biodiversity, head gardener of UCC’s gardens, Jack Murphy, guided an urban trail walking tour, in collaboration with artist Cassandra Eustace.
Speaking in a press release on the week, UCCSU Environmental and Sustainability Officer, Alicia O’Sullivan, stated, “UCC is an institution that not only actively works in the green space, but we are also aware that we have a long way to go too. This week is about bringing environmentalism and sustainability to the forefront of UCC students’ and staffs’ minds. “
Professor John O’Halloran remarked, “UCC’s Green Campus programme is ‘student-led, research-informed and practice-focused’…UCC has led the way in sustainability in Higher Education and we pledge to continue to be open, ambitious and evidence-based in delivering our climate action and sustainability programme.”