Of course, we should pay attention to our consumption and make our own lives more sustainable. But how? With the ‘Sustainability Guide’, the Sustainability Working Group wants to provide answers and show how you can make your own life greener by making small changes in your everyday life.
Sustainability is a constant theme – even for students at the University of Basel. Established in 2020 AG sustainability aims to make our university more sustainable through student projects. Already in November 2020, the Beast blog wrote about «Sustainability map» reported. The map showed the students Where you can shop cheaply and sustainably anywhere in Basel. about As to clarify, he was now “Sustainability Guide” brought to life. Selina (Master Changing Societies) and Muguette (Master Pedagogy) are two of the project leaders. They explain what the Sustainability Guide is, how the idea came about and how you can contribute as a member of the University.
Aspects of the Sustainability Guide
The guide reminds me a lot of the leaflet from the goodies that are handed out in the Kollegienhaus at the beginning of the semester. So again more waste to be produced? In the medium term, the answer should be no, Muguette promises: “We want to print the guide on seed paper that is completely biodegradable.” With this paper made from flower seeds, the waste product could become a vehicle for floral diversity in the city.
In keeping with the Sustainability Working Group’s motto, the Sustainability Guide is not a simple single-use leaflet, but a compact, modernly illustrated PDF file. If you open it, you will be greeted with the title of the guide: “Student’s Guide to Everyday Sustainable Living”. The name says it all, because sustainable living starts as soon as you get up: it’s best to turn off the heating when ventilating the room, pay attention to your own energy consumption or put on a sweater before turning the heating on to maximum . It is precisely in this style that the reader receives other small tips and considerations that will help you. The next chronological step for many people in the morning is going to the toilet. The guide also provides some helpful ideas for:
The sustainability guide thus fills almost all stations of the normal daily routine: lunch, mobility, shopping and also evening rest. In many places in the guide, it is particularly emphasized that living sustainably is not just about going through lists, but more importantly about being aware of resources. In the same way, one should not have a guilty conscience, because sustainability affects not only the world around us, but also oneself. So: cultivate self-love, dare to meditate, practice mindfulness – anything that makes you more sustainable about yourself.
With the Guide to Sustainability, the people in charge aim to engage the layperson in sustainability and provide food for thought; Putting the tools at hand to make a difference, even on a small scale. However, there are many other ways you can actively support AG Sustainability, because before creating the Sustainability Guide, AG had to collect several ideas to make it all happen.
From idea to practice
At the public “Monthly Meeting” of the Sustainability Working Group, which can be thought of as a large, collective mind map, the question was asked: “How can we educate university members about sustainability in everyday life?”. Selina says: «Muguette was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of developing a guide and we met several times. The handbook is intended especially for everyone who has anything to do with the university. Regardless of whether you are a lecturer, staff member or student, it is a good idea to engage with the topic. We wanted to show how easy it can be.”
“Universities as a center of knowledge production are exactly where sensitization can and must take place,” adds Muguette. There are also collaborations with other universities, such as D-BSSE at ETH Zurich or FHNW. In addition, a document on national requirements will also be prepared so that universities can adjust their standards.
The task force’s first project, the Sustainability Map, has had initial difficulties so far. “It’s mainly because of the pandemic,” says Selina, and the task force would like to answer questions about the implementation and cost of sustainable living with concrete actions: “There was a plan, a strategy to reduce the university’s disposable coffee cups, but that has now been put on hold, because everything was mainly closed, »says Muguette.
The Sustainability Working Group has many other projects, such as greening the roofs of some university buildings, a bicycle workshop if a bicycle needs repair, a recipe book, an information center, a clothes exchange and much more. So the two of them never run out of ideas.