Better World Books

By John M Draper, on 25 November 2013

Better World Books are a charity that work with other charities and organisations in the UK and across the world to promote literacy and the pleasure of reading.

They were involved in the PALS Green Impact last year where we sent them any left-over books from our Green Awareness Day. We have also set up book-collection ‘bins’ in our buildings and would like to further improve our working arrangements.

They’d like to be involved with other Green Impact teams this year. Further information about Better World Books is at: www.betterworldbooks.co.uk where you can see that ‘Helping the Planet’ is one of its key aims. Their contact is Andrew Parker at: aparker@betterworldbooks.co.uk so please contact him.


Bartlett Competition

By Louise A Raynham, on 13 March 2013

PrintThe Bartlett Green Action Team is running a media competition to help raise awareness of green issues, particularly ones pertinent to our faculty.  An exhibition will be created from the entries.  This is a chance to have your work go on display.

Imagining a sustainable future

The Bartlett’s Green Action Team invites competition entries in any media that communicate the sustainability agenda in new and exciting ways so that people, particularly those from the Bartlett or wider UCL communities, feel that they are able to make a difference.

Entries will be displayed in on the Lobby Gallery in Wates House in April 2013.

The winning entry will be awarded £200 with two Runner Up prizes of £100.

Prizes will be presented by the Dean, Professor Alan Penn.

  • Entries are invited from students and staff within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment or from teams involving others from UCL or elsewhere, where the team leader is a Bartlett student or staff member.
  • Any media may be used but entries must be no larger than 1m3.
  • Monitors will be available to display video entries.  Other equipment will not normally be available but please contact Helen Fisher (h.fisher@ucl.ac.uk) if you would like to discuss this.
  • No funding will be available for materials.
  • We are particularly keen for entries to have a relevance to UCL, and ideally the Bartlett in particular, but entries with for a more general audience are also welcomed.
  • The deadline for submitting entries is Wednesday 27 March 2013 and they should be delivered to Helen Fisher, Bartlett Faculty Office, 6th Floor Central House.

Love food hate waste: UCL staff and students reduce food waste

By Rosemary Willatt, on 11 March 2013


UCL’s Environmental Sustainability Team has been working with Toby Jones from the North London Waste Authority to help UCL staff and students reduce food waste. As part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign  Toby has set up stalls during Green Week UCL and at halls providing information and tools. Here’s what Toby has to say about Love Food Hate Waste and working with UCL…



“We have had a great response so far from UCL students to our food waste prevention campaign! The campaign aims to highlight how much food we waste at a household (or student kitchen) level, and provide practical tips on how to easily reduce this waste, as well as giving out some useful tools to help you. An example is measuring out portions of foods like rice and pasta so that we only cook as much as we mean to and won’t end up with a surprise pan-full. We also provide recipes and storage tips so that this surplus gets used up rather than thrown away.

The message certainly seems to be well received once people stop to chat – it helps that you can take away our handy freebies: rice and pasta measurers, a tea towel, bag clips and more! You can get involved by simply stopping by to browse our information stall when you see us, or find more online. If you want to go further we’re always happy to run workshop sessions if you know of any interested groups who would like one.”


It’s Climate Week!

By Ellie Jones, on 4 March 2013

clouds (c) SXC

To celebrate Climate Week 2013 (4-10 March) UCL Energy Institute and UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources are running a week-long blog written by staff and students on a range of climate related topics from biodiversity to recycling to using data.
Read new posts each day of Climate Week – http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/energy why not join in too? To add to the blog email  energy@ucl.ac.uk


Meeting with TfL – cycle safety ambassador scheme

By Elmer A Van Der Wel, on 7 February 2013

During lunch hour, 6th of February, a small group of 9 people from different UCL bodies, London Metropolitan University and City University came together with TfL’s Joe Lewis and Chris Morris to discuss possibilities to make cycling safer for students.

One option, if you feel you could do with some training, is to get free cycle training. The other and more advanced option that TfL provides is a free four-day cycle instructor training for which anyone can sign up and after which you will be accredited with a cycle instructor diploma.

Green Week UCL was reviewed, some events were reviewed and the foundations for safer cycling have been laid.
More information can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/greenucl/whats-happening/programmes/tfl-cycle-safety-ambassador-scheme and any ideas on how TfL and UCL could provide safer cycling are welcome! Let us know what you think by commenting below.

Elmer van der Wel – http://urbansensation.wordpress.com/

Lunch hour lecture on risks and benefits of active transport

By Elmer A Van Der Wel, on 4 February 2013

On Monday the 28th of January, Dr Jennifer Mindell of the UCL Research Department of Epidemiology & Public Health held a lunch-hour lecture on Cycling, walking or driving – what are the risks and benefits?

The one-hour lecture had an extremely high information density and showed a variety of research findings, figures and statistics that are encouraging for us walkers, runners and cyclists. A small collection of great findings: in a Finnish study, 55-year old cyclists were found to have the aerobic fitness of someone 30 years younger. There were 8 times more road injuries amongst car occupants than cyclists, proportions of cyclist death and serious injuries have fallen 33% in the last decade and one cyclist fatality occurs per 30 million kilometres cycled. However, a wider adoption and more research is needed because the average cyclist is a man in his forties, and comparative data is still an issue. The lecture ended in style with a most amusing fact: cycling is actually less dangerous than fishing. So let’s cycle.

By Elmer van der Wel http://urbansensation.wordpress.com/

This presentation was given as part of the Environmental Sustainability Topic Lunch Series.

Use the Stairs

By John M Draper, on 15 January 2013

Research carried out by Yvonne Rogers of UCLIC (Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, and Department of Computer Science) has got people to use the stairs instead of the lifts. It involved placing small glowing LED lights in a path to the stairs. Further details of the experiment can be found at http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1864372

Maybe this could be implemented at all UCL buildings. Not only does it help the environment but it also helps people get fitter

Xmas Number One

By John M Draper, on 20 December 2012

Christmas came early as I answered to phone to hear Rosie tell me that PALS were Number 1 for Xmas and top of the Green Impact League Table.  We are the Band Aid, or rather the latest X Factor winner, of UCL.

How did we achieve this you may ask…indeed we’ve also asked this ourselves…  However we do have small dedicated team from across the many disparate parts and buildings that form the entity known as PALS.  We’ve met regularly both as a larger team, and as smaller teams from each building and allocated tasks where they best suit among ourselves.  We’ve battled with the vagaries and inconsistencies of our air-conditioning, we’ve risked offending esteemed academic colleagues by reminding them to switch off their lights, and we’ve tried to be as informative as possible over green issues eg designed a Green Web Page, set up Green Noticeboards, and sent e-mails encouraging all to walk and cycle. Everyone in PALS now knows that the cycle rate for work-related meetings or conferences is 12p per mile but nobody’s yet submitted an expense claim of £79.20 for cycling to a conference in Edinburgh. We live in hope though. We’ve even tried to understand and then educate our staff and students about the nuances between the red and clear bags for rubbish, even dealing with tricky, academic questions such as ‘What if there’s food on my plastic container?  Should that go in a red or clear bag?’…

However the success is down to having a dedicated and keen team of staff and students committed to making PALS a greener and brighter place.  Oh, and we also started to enter data into the Green Impact Workbook.

Sustainable Energy for All: this year, next year, sometime – or never?

By Lara Carim, on 5 December 2012

Liberal Democrat Energy Minister Ed Davey’s clash with his Conservative deputy John Hayes over the future of wind turbines earlier this month demonstrates how topical and divisive the sustainable energy agenda can be.

Despite the issue’s current high media profile, a quick show of hands at the start of Professor Paul Ekins’ Lunch Hour Lecture on 20 November illustrated that there is little public awareness of 2012 as UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All – even among an audience with an interest in the topic.

Undeterred, Ekins, who is Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, immediately set out in stark terms why sustainable energy is “a huge issue”: 1.3 billion people globally in 2012 have no access to electricity, and 2.7 billion – more than one-third of the world’s population – lack clean cooking facilities.

Read the full post on the UCL Events blog.

UCL CEGE Waste Scheme

By Claudia P Ramirez Brinez, on 3 December 2012

What we did in the CEGE (Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering) department was:

1. Hired a student for 4 weeks to carry out a very simple survey of all the bins, types of lighting, heaters, etc., in the Chadwick building.

2. Then we decided to investigate about how the UCL buildings around us dealt with their waste and decided to copy the Geography department.

3. Supported by the department, we decided to launch a CEGE waste scheme on the 26th of September 2011 by unifying all the bins and making it clearer for people to understand. We also held a feedback session on the 18th of November 2011 to review the sceme.

4. We updated the scheme once we found out UCL was dealing differently with the waste.

5. The scheme was then improved and updated.

6. And we made a video!

7. We are still trying to improve our waste scheme so any feedback would be appreciate it!



CEGE Green Group

For pictures of the same post, please see https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=277977

For more information on how the scheme started please contact: c.brinez@ucl.ac.uk and for more information of what the CEGE Green Group is up to please contact  kim.morgan@ucl.ac.uk