By Lucy Kellly
As sustainability and climate action has been drumming up support and momentum over the past few years, student interest in taking action and staying informed has also increased. In turn, lastmonth, there was an abundance of virtual events surrounding sustainability, wellbeing and climate action. Various different societies, groups and supports services held events for students to attend to broaden their knowledge of all things sustainability. While there were amazing events held, I wanted to highlight the amazing opportunities, as a student, I got involved in throughout the week.
Starting this month, NUIGstudents have the opportunity to develop their ideas and projects surrounding the SustainableDevelopment Goal(SDG) 12, responsible consumption and production, and SDG 13 Climate Action.The development of the Climathon is an initiative of the French Embassy Ireland and is being offered to all campuses across the country. The main aim for the groups is to develop policies, social projects, and frameworks to adopt responsible and reduced consumption and navigating the effects of climate change. Through weekly sessions the groups are given the necessary skills to develop their projects! This effort is not for nothing, as students will have their chance to pitch their projects to pitch their ideas and potentially present their final pitch at the Climate Tous Ensemble and implement their solutions on campus. Students were given the opportunity to meet likeminded students, find out more about the Climathon and gain a deeper understanding of the SDGs and the work that is happening across campus to improve the sustainability and consumption.
Good Food for All
Later in sustainability week, students got the opportunity to take part in an independent dialogue session held by World Vision Ireland, as part of the development of the UN Food Systems Summit later on this year. NUIG students had the chance to have their voices heard on all things food systems related. With guest speakers from the Chefs Manifesto, SDG hubs and activists, a real flavourof all the different aspects of food systems was given. Within thesession, participants were broken into different groups to develop dialogue on how food systems can be made more sustainable and equal for all. Several different perspectives were showcased in the development of the discussions, from farmers, to policymakers, students and activists. With all these different perspectives coming together to really delve into how food systems can be fixed and made more equal, through social justice, policy and more. This workshop proved just how important it is to develop open lines of communication between different groups to help develop and understand how food systems can be made more equal and sustainable. In participating in this session, I developed a new-found sense of empowerment in how I can contribute to positive change. It was also brilliant to see students actively engaging in such important conversations and showcasing the perspectives and what we can offer.
With all the overwhelming information we are told on a daily basis about climate change and the environment we often forget to process how we feel and understand our position in climate change and climate action. The eco-café allowed students to gather in a safe environment to speak about how the climate crisis was impacting them and allowed students develop skills and tools to help develop healthy processing skills to help understand the changes in the climate. At the crux of the café, was the need to properly look after ourselves and manage how we process and feel about the climate crisis before we can take part in creating positive change. Through understanding and developing tools for coping with the information we are given on a daily basis, we can start to have more mindful and productive conversations surround climate action.
With all the other events happening across various societies and groups, the students of NUIG were offered many tools to engage and better understand climate change sustainability and how to create positive change!