Grimsby Institute goes Green Week 2014

Students joined staff from academic and business support areas from across the Grimsby Institute to look at a range of sustainability and green issues including; reducing carbon emissions, recycling, renewable energies, sustainable crops and upcycling for Green Week 2014.

Lots of organisations helped us celebrate, from Biffa Waste Services to North East Lincolnshire Council, and students were given the chance to take part in activities that included an upcycle competition, a ‘Trashion’ Show and even an information event about the Renewable Heating Incentive for local heating installers.

Debbie Norman, Fashion & Textiles Lecturer, was part of the team who organised a ‘Trashion’ show at the East Coast School of Art & Design on Westward Ho. Debbie said:

“Gradually the industry is becoming more aware of the ethical need to become a less ‘throw away’ society and produce garments that are customised and individual.

“The mini collection was done by Year 1 National Diploma learners and modelled by the Performing Art students. It’s important as it gives them an opportunity to produce designs and garments based on recycling clothes, in keeping with the ethos of sustainability and ‘make do and mend’.

“The learners got the opportunity to work in a team, considering industry specifications, and the Year 2 National Diploma learners choreographed the catwalk and worked with other levels to produce the photographic evidence.”

Two members of staff explained why they thought car sharing was an easy and responsible way of getting to work every day. Phyliss Downs, Payroll Manager, and Angela Smith, Management Accountant, share their travel to work from Immingham every day, with them alternating the driving each week. Angela said:

“There are lots of benefits to sharing the drive to work with Phyliss. Apart from the fact that we enjoy each others company; we use less petrol meaning we save money at the same time and we’re not having a negative impact on the environment.

“It also means we’re individually running up less mileage and there is less wear and tear on the roads and on our cars. We also bring my nephew, who is studying an Engineering course, into the Institute three days a week. We can use a dedicated car parking space in the blue car park, which makes it a lot easier for parking; I just wish more people did it.”

Kim Sawden, the Regional Account Manager for Biffa Waste Services, visited the Institute to talk to staff and students about recycling. Kim said:

“I’ve been invited in to promote recycling onsite. We’ve put a lot of containers around the campus that are all labeled to help everyone know what waste needs to be placed where.

“We don’t want to carry on sending things to landfill and, as an organisation, Biffa is trying reduce all waste so that we are sending zero to landfill. There are massive cost implications to not recycling – it’s the way forward.”

Horticulture students spent the week in Reception, promoting the sustainability work that Horticulture undergo throughout the year. Level 3’s Hayley Carter and Level 2’s Gareth Gale set up a stall and offered passers-by the chance to take Green Week home with them in the form of a grow-your-own Sunflower.

Hayley explained: “We wanted to give people an idea of how things grow so we have been giving away little pots with compost and sunflower seeds that people can take home and grow for themselves. Sunflowers are completely edible as well. People can do these little things at home, you don’t need a lot of equipment.

“As well as growing things and recycling, we’ve been looking at reusing and upcycling as a way of promoting the week. We’ve been using logs from a tree that was struck by lightning at Lincolnshire Rural Activities Centre (LRAC) to create ornamental features; we made holes in the tops of logs and turned them into planters to use for events, in the Gallery Restaurant and even to sell.”

Hayley was also part of a team that organised tours of LRAC for students from Grimsby. LRAC, located on the outskirts of Louth, is the home for the Institute’s landbased courses that include Animal Care, Horse Care and Horticulture. Horticulture students, Jason Ladley and Angela Robinson, compiled the script for the tour themselves which looked at the wide range of activities that take place at the site including conservation, planting of vegetables and the courses that run from there.

Other activities saw students switching off their computers for a day, an upcycling competition organised by Learner Services and staff from North East Lincolnshire Council visited the Institute to talk about the advantages of cycling and the series of dedicated cycle paths that have been introduced in the county.