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World Earth Day 2020 and sustainable initiatives at the Institute of Orthopaedics Library.

simon.bralee.1522 April 2020

Wednesday 22nd April 2020 is World Earth Day. Across the world, individuals and organisations mark the day through participating in various ‘green, sustainable and environmentally friendly’ practices.

The mission of World Earth Day is: “To build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet”.

Every year there is a theme to mark the day, and this year the theme is Climate Action. Furthermore, this year World Earth Day is going digital, and there is a digital interactive world map, which people can visit to see what virtual events are taking place across the world to mark World Earth Day.

Sustainable Stanmore

In line with World Earth Day 2020, the Institute of Orthopaedics Library Team would like to share the green and sustainable initiatives we have participated in.

Prior to the remote working, we were involved in Fairtrade Fortnight 2020. The Fairtrade Foundation supports local farmers and communities through a range of initiatives. They also focus on protecting the environment, ensuring farmers have good soil and water quality which is important for communities and the environment.

In addition, on the 17th March 2020 our plants – the Oxilis and the Joseph Coat plants (scientific name of the plant is Amaranthus gangeticus) were ‘adopted’ by team colleagues – Jas, Danny and Beth. They are now very happy and flourishing in their new homes during the remote working period.

Below are comments from the team about Fairtrade Fortnight and our library plants.

Veronica Parisi (Acting Librarian)

Throughout Monday 24th February to Sunday 8th March, the Institute of Orthopaedics Library was involved in the Fairtrade Fortnight and several activities were organised to engage library users as well as library staff to raise awareness about Fairtrade.

The library provided an information stand at the entrance where users could read more about Fairtrade while sipping a complimentary Fairtrade tea, coffee and tasting delicious Fairtrade chocolate.

Library users also took part in fun and informative activities such as ‘storybombing’. This was a story hunt where users had to find in the library 5 different thought-provoking stories about the lives and conditions of women cocoa farmers. Once the stories had been found, users were celebrated with a sticker and Fairtrade Chocolate at the library desk.

Two library staff Fairtrade food and bake events were also organised where staff brought in homemade chocolate cookies, courtesy of our baker Maryam, and treats made only with Fairtrade products. Our baker Maryam also shared some delicious Fairtrade recipes from Fairtrade Foundation and the Co-Op. For pancakes lovers, there are some great ideas for Fairtrade topping .

This was an enjoyable and informative two-week period and it was rewarding to engage with library users in different ways whilst contributing to raise awareness about Fairtrade.

Maryam Ali (Library Assistant)

It was great to organise the Fairtrade Fortnight event at the Institute of Orthopaedics library. The main purpose was to raise awareness about Fairtrade and the work the Fairtrade Foundation does in an engaging, fun and informative way.

It was wonderful to see our users stop by at the Fairtrade Fortnight Information stand, speak to library staff about Fairtrade, the Fairtrade products, how they can get involved in the ‘Storybombing’ activity and tell us how good the Fairtrade Coffee tasted! We used biodegradable cups to try to make the event as sustainable as possible, and encouraged staff and students to bring their own cups too.

I also learnt more about the work the Fairtrade Foundation does, and the range of Fairtrade products available.

Library staff tweeted throughout Fairtrade Fortnight to raise awareness. Thank you to everyone who supported and participated during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Fairtrade stand Fairtrade Stand

Roberta Wiseman (Senior Library Assistant)

I enjoyed the Fairtrade Fortnight event organised by Maryam (who made some very delicious biscuits!), and feel that my awareness of the work of the Fairtrade Foundation has increased.

It is important that everyone is paid appropriately for their labour, and that people all over the world have access to healthcare, education, and the opportunity for a happy life.

I also enjoyed the excitement of having a scavenger hunt in the library throughout the fortnight, with chocolate prizes.  I think our users appreciated it too!

Danny Williams (Evening & Weekend Library Assistant)

I participated in the ‘storybombing’ activity mentioned above. I hid the second one of the StoryBomb leaflets on one of the library shelves, informing work colleagues of where I hid it. I then posted a tweet on the Orthopaedics Library’s Twitter account, informing library users of the leaflet. I also brought in a bar of Sainsbury’s milk chocolate, which had a Fairtrade logo on it, for use by library staff.

I am currently looking after one of the Orthopaedics Library’s potted plants whilst working from home, and until the library re-opens. It’s an Oxilis, with crimson-colour leaves, and I water it once a week. It also gets plenty of sunlight.

Photo of Oxilis

Oxilis

Elizabeth Metz (Evening Senior Library Assistant)

I was delighted to offer a temporary home to one of the Joseph’s Coat plants, which is thriving in its new home!

Photo of Joseph’s Coat plant

Joseph’s Coat plants

Further information

World Earth Day 2020

Fairtrade Foundation

Written by the Institute of Orthopaedics Library Team: Veronica, Jas, Ma’ali, Elizabeth, Roberta, Danny and Maryam.

orth-libary@ucl.ac.uk

Green Christmas: The Big Switch Off

Benjamin Meunier16 December 2019

UCL is powered by 100% renewable energy, and by 2024 our buildings will be net zero carbon, but this doesn’t mean we should waste energy over the Christmas break! On an average week UCL uses around 4.5m kWh of energy to heat and power our buildings. That’s equivalent to 630 flights to New York! Be a part of the solution and not the pollution, by participating in the BIG CHRISTMAS SWITCH OFF!

This year, the only Library spaces which will be open at Christmas are the Student Centre and the Graduate Hub (South Junction). This will make us far more environmentally efficient than previous years where we have opened the Main or Science Library.

Find out more about the Christmas Switch off at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/sustainable/news/2019/dec/dreaming-green-christmas

To make your pledge, click here

 

Global Climate Strike: Library Services staff taking action as part of global movement, 20 September

Benjamin Meunier27 September 2019

At lunchtime on 20 September a group of Library staff showed their support for the global climate strike by joining colleagues and students in the Front Quad. The below is a write-up of the events on the day by Catherine Sharp, one of the Main Library Green Champions, who attended the event.

“We heard an inspiring talk from members of the Islington Extinction Rebellion group, who described the risks of still-rising carbon emissions, including droughts, floods, extreme heat, wildfires, crop failure, disease, population displacement and species extinction – with human extinction becoming ever more likely. Climate tipping points could lead to irreversible change even if global temperature can be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, but on current estimates the remaining 1°C carbon budget will be used up very soon (see the CO₂ mitigation graph below).

The Extinction Rebellion representatives described the evolution of the movement, which was formed less than a year ago. They encourage people to participate in its non-violent civil disobedience to the extent that they’re able, and understand that the climate crisis can seem overwhelming. The next big action will begin in London on 7 October. UCU supports the work of Extinction Rebellion, and a UCL Extinction Rebellion group has been formed.”

Library Services staff are at the forefront of making UCL more sustainable, as demonstrated in our strong performance in the Green Impact scheme year after year. I had the pleasure of visiting The Bartlett Library in Central House last week, and witnessed how the team there is supporting recycling and sharing information through a prominent display of resources on sustainability at the entrance of the Library.

The new Sustainable UCL Strategy will be launched on 17 October in the Student Centre. After the launch, there will be lots more information on how you can get involved in playing your part in helping UCL to become one of the most environmentally-friendly universities in the UK and act as a model for other organisations to show that change is possible.