I chose to study my undergraduate degree alongside staying on to complete my masters at Keele University due, in part, to its reputation as a University that really cares about its environmental impact. This was incredibly important to me due to both my undergrad and masters being related to environmental sustainability, making me want to attend a University that shares my values.
Since I started at Keele in 2015, they have continually aimed to improve the sustainability of the University, with one of the recent changes being the opening of a zero-waste store within the SU shop. This store was created due to the students lodging motions at University General Meetings to remove the use of plastics within the Students’ Union and is one of the first student-led outlets in the country to sell products without packaging.
At the Zero Waste Shop, people are able to select the product they want and weigh out the amount they require, allowing them to then take the products home in their own containers or in a recycled paper bag. This results in a shopping experience that generates no waste!
The shop allows people to buy cereal, dried fruits, grains, and pasta in the quantities they require, helping to also reduce food waste as people can buy exactly the amount that they need. Herbs and spices are also sold here, which is very handy for those recipes that require a tiny amount of one spice you end up never using again!
Alongside food items, the shop also sells household products to help students reduce the waste they produce from their day-to-day activities. This includes shampoo and conditioner bars, as well as menstrual cups to allow people with periods to reduce the waste associated with it.
This is a great move in the right direction from Keele and really demonstrates the point that we at Students for Trees are trying to make; when we students have our voices heard, we can make a huge difference!