Examples of Ideas Received
Here are just a few of the ideas we've received:
Marvin Hanson / Dan Taylor, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: The recycling of all end of lifecycle PCs across the university through the distribution of these units, plus peripherals, to local voluntary sector organisations. Using the costs that would be involved in decommissioning, to refurbish and distribute, for the benefit of the local community.
With the help of volunteers we could use the time and experience given, to recycle back into the community PCs that would otherwise be destroyed thus reducing our carbon footprint.
My Big Sustainable Idea is: A reduction in the standard size of computer screens from 19" to 17". In theory a smaller screen should use less energy to power it. A 17" screen is adequate for most uses?
Helen Medley, EARTH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: A few ideas: - Put recycling bins in all the labs (they are absent from many so lots of cardboard and plastic is put in the ordinary bins). Automatic shut down plugs for when computers are left on at night (these are now used by Cardiff council I believe). Seal up the windows that don’t shut properly or use some sort of draft excluder as we lose a huge amount of energy from our old windows. Check all the taps stop all drips and make the push down taps shorter so they use less water. Encourage scrap paper boxes by printers so people can use paper twice for less important prints. More eye catching signs, e.g. “ Don’t just turn me on and leave me!” by light switches. Better bike facilities, especially for staff who spend money on good bikes but don't feel they want to lock them up outside the University.
Ralph Kent, ARCHI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Some covered, secure bike stores at every department would be good. It is annoying getting your bike vandalised, rusty or just wet. Some second year architects could probably design & build them.
Ben Faire, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I have noticed that in some areas PIR detectors are used to control lighting and toilet functions are these going to be used on a larger scale? Do they reduce costs?
Could the water created from air conditioning units be recycled?
Cristiano Torti, OPTOM
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Reduce reliance on air conditioning. There are several months in the year where heating or cooling is unnecessary. The OPTOM building is meant to be an energy efficient with it's ground-source heating system. I think it's a step in the right direction - it just be nice if it worked most of the time.
Further to the idea is making allowances for people to open windows to allow for improved air flow during the summer (for when, as the case with our system, the A/C system inevitably fails). Perhaps the lack of latches is simply a means of saving on construction costs, or another example of how everyone is trying to control every aspect of our life in the most trivial of ways - right down to our choice in opening windows. Come on, we're not stupid - allow us the opportunity to let nature provide the "air conditioning" and save energy in the process.
Liam Barcoe, CARBS
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I have recently spent the summer carrying out a finance placement at Amazon.com. One of there products which has recently been released across Europe is the Kindle E-Book reader.
E-book readers are the next generation of book reading and the Amazon Kindle currently has 360,000 books available to download within 60 seconds each.
I recently then read an article that it was being trialled in the USA in a number of universities and I feel that this would be an excellent opportunity to be pioneers of a similar project here in the UK where we could have all recommended readings available on these e-book readers which would reduce the need for the use of paper substantially.
Future opportunities for this would be to access academic journals and other electronic resources without having to print out journal articles.
Another suggestion is that in fresher’s week at the fresher’s fairs there was numerous local nightclubs, bars, restaurants etc handing out thousands upon thousands of leaflets and carrier bags which ended up being dumped all over the city or being confined to the bin. If we can communicate with these local businesses we can come up with an environmentally friendly way of distributing this material by using CDs/DVDs containing all the different offers etc with covers that can be recycled.
Please let me know if you think any of these ideas will be of any use and I’m sure I can provide further information.
Cristiano Torti, OPTOM
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Reduce wasted energy on unnecessary lighting. There's no need for lights to be running 24 hr/day. Someone else has already touched upon this by suggesting that lights be turned off at night. I'll go one step further in advising that motion sensors be installed in corridors. Europe is far ahead the UK in this extremely simple energy-saving idea.
E. Brede, BIOSI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: A summation of my previous ideas and how they could be managed.
Charge a parking fee to drivers and then use it in the following way:
1. To provide changing/drying facilities for cyclists/runners. The facility can be operated with a key system OR the current university swipe card system (individuals can have access included on their card).
2. The facility can have a subsidized vending machine for hot drinks/water and snacks, the subsidy coming from parking fees.
3. Any surplus funds can be used for more secure bike rack facilities (also operating on the swipe card system?).
Clive P. Mitchell, MEDIC
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Showers. Put the cold water inlet pipe inside the bottom of the waste outflow pipe running in opposite directions to act as a heat exchanger thus reducing the energy required to run the shower. This should work with both electric and hot/cold showers. The design must avoid accumulating hair.
Georgia Slade, REGIS
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I think installing good facilities for cyclists/runners in University buildings would encourage staff and students to cycle to work. Good, hot showers, hair dryers, possibly somewhere to hang wet towels...
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Encourage staff to work at home for one day a week (where feasible) - thus saving energy on travel and running costs in the university.
Pam Walsh, CARSV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Install Grey Water Recycling in all large university buildings.
Alastair Smith, CPLAN
My Big Sustainable Idea is: The University has a number of vehicles for security and logistical purposes. If these are diesel engines there is great potential to run these on bio-diesel refined from waste vegetable oil which significantly reduces CO2 emissions. If engines are suitable, this simply involves replacing the fuel (fuel has the same chemical characteristics as vegetable oil and so provision could easily be made on site for its storage).There is even a Welsh supplier of such diesel further reducing CO2 output in the running of the fleet.
Given the university also has a major catering system, oil from this can be recycled and thus the cost of fuel can be dramatically cut. This makes environmental and financial savings and has already been done by universities in Canada and elsewhere.
The only barrier here would be the University's imagination and commitment.
E. Brede, BIOSI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Why can the University not produce a university designed envelope sticker for recycling envelopes/jiffy bags...we try to recycle but this would make life easier, and if it is easier more people do it!
E. Brede, BIOSI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Having seen the recent success/support of the 'cycle into work day' where you were able to get a free breakfast (part of the health week initiative), why not charge motorists for parking/a parking permit and reward all of those who cycle in with a warm drink/sandwich? This way those who pollute pay and it ensures 'hard up' students get at least some healthy nourishment in a day...as well as some exercise!
E. Brede, BIOSI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Why oh why are we using petrol driven leaf blowing machines?....Go back to a rake or broom.
Why?.....We don't get enough exercise (as a nation) as it is, we would be saving a valuable resource, we would avoid the effects of pollution (global warming and health issues) and we would save the university money (I don't believe leaf blowers are any quicker).
Ben Faire, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: The various mass mail shots that go out to every member of staff within the university like Cardiff News, the training booklet or the telephone directory. Could they be done electronically or people could opt into receiving them rather than having to opt out? I put this forward as a suggestion as from my own experience the majority of people in INSRV take it out of their mailbox and put it straight in the recycle bin. A few copies make it to tea rooms and other areas where people then look at them and then leave them for others. This idea would save money and reduce the carbon foot print caused by printing and sending the paper versions out to all.
My other idea is regarding heating. Many areas have radiators that are set to a temperature that cannot be altered like those in Julian Hodge, so if like recently we have a mild November day the rooms are still heated with no way to turn them off. Surely this is waste we can easily change? Plus it would make life a lot more comfortable for people in those areas.
Sylvia Harris, ARCHI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: This is more than just an idea. Here in the Welsh School Architecture we have constructed a vault as part of the Vertical Studio for 1st and 2nd Year earlier this year, in a material of known high natural insulation value. This is hemp/lime. Both can be sourced in the UK. The purpose of building the vault is to discover the structural strength of hemp/lime. This has not been done before.
The vault will be tested to destruction tomorrow in the Bute Building. Surely one of the most significant happenings in Cardiff University's Sustainability Week.
Andrea Chmitorz, MEDIC
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Intelligent heating systems
The heating in most of the buildings is far too high. Actually, it is sometimes so hot that students are sitting in the lectures wearing shirts and tops instead of jumpers! (In autumn and winter....)
Andrea Chmitorz, MEDIC
Please introduce reusable cups instead of one-way cardboard cups in the university coffeeshopS. One-way cardboard cups 'to go' could be charged extra (like 10 p). It would reduce waste to a great extent. In general , it would be great if the amount of plastic waste could be reduced in the coffeeshops by alternative packing.
Julia Price, MEDIC
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Provide a recycling bin within offices for paper. There does not seem to be any paper recycling in the offices.
Jenny Smith, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Stop printing copies of Cardiff University News. They are sent to all members of staff and are usually binned on the day of receipt. Maybe just a couple of copies to departments or just online access. This would save on cost and paper wastage.
Simon Parker, ENGIN
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Encourage better use of transport for staff working at the University:
- charge people that have a parking permit for the University
- use the money to provide financial incentive for those that lift-share or use bus, train, bike or walk.
- provide showers, lockers for those that cycle
- provide assistance for those buying season tickets and bikes.
Clive P Mitchell, MEDIC
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I have an idea for a type of cycle which may increase the deliverable power by about 30% over a normal recumbent bike. I have another idea which may increase the peak power on a more conventional bicycle. World record attempt, anyone? :-)
Nicola Loten, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Please can we go back to using date stamps in the libraries? Those annoying and wasteful slips of paper are useless! Such a waste of paper, plus they instantly fall out of the books anyway. No need for them!
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Why not have a shuttle bus which travels between say UHW, Newport Road & Park Place etc at regular intervals throughout the day? There is one that goes round carrying the post - seems daft to not make more use of that!
Jolene Twomey, EARTH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Only a small idea but I was thinking it would help save waste if the Cardiff News was available to download online or perhaps emailed to people rather than giving everyone paper copies. This could probably be applied to other documents as well.
Rachel Payne, SOCSI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I was wondering the other day how many disposable cups each cafe in each university building gets through a day, a week, whatever. It must be thousands. This is not only expensive by wasteful. Would the university consider instituting a system where you get 10p (for example) off your drink if you bring a reusable mug to put it in?
Jane Henderson, HISAR
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Fit more automatic openers on doors upstairs n the humanities building. Then close all the corridor doors. AT the moment the external air rushes up the stairwells and down the corridors. All the staff have their heating on much higher than necessary to compensate. But I think it is an access issue if we just close the corridor doors as they stand.
Jane Henderson, HISAR
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Twin with some bigger charities. Then create web space both the Schools and the charities can access. Then we post information about equipment and resources that we have but no longer want - perhaps because they are a little out of date by our terms. Allow them to look over the lists and contact the relevant Schools if they want to take them. A sort of managed freecycle.
Sue Lay, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Here in the Heath, we have Pasta King in Heathfields restaurant. This is served in a polystyrene container, whether you choose to take away, or sit down to eat in the restaurant. This creates an awful lot of unnecessary waste which cannot be recycled. There are plates available for use in the restaurant, so all you need to do is ask for your pasta to be served on a plate. Trouble is, no-one knows this! I will be emailing Heathfields to raise this issue. Please help me reinforce it!
Sue Lay, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: It's an obvious one, and one that takes no effort whatsoever, And yet it is still not being taken up by most offices. Use recycled paper! The quality these days is so good you would not notice the difference. OK, it is a few pennies more but this could easily be made back by using paper more efficiently. It is shocking how many people don't make use of double-sided printing, even if their printer supports it! Where possible, I do multiple pages to a page and by combining this with double sided, I can fit 4 pages on 1 page of A4.
So my campaign would be;
1. Get the whole University using recycled paper
2. Make sure everyone knows how to print double sided.
3. When purchasing a new printer that will be used extensively, make sure it has duplex printing.
4. Teach people how to do multiple pages to a page.
Lindsey Axe, EARTH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: We now have automatic doors on the entrance to our building. The entrance is completely open plan to the whole stair well so this means a lot of our heat is lost every time the door opens. Wouldn't it be better to have a manual door with a button for the automatic for people who need it so saving electricity and to build another fire door and panel to isolate the entrance lobby from the main stair case and corridor so all the heat is not lost.
Sarah Price, DEVAR
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Here in DEVAR we have a "compost bin" in the kitchen. Everyone puts in their coffee grounds, tea bags, banana skins, apple cores, paper towels etc. At first my colleagues thought it quite funny - now everyone does it as habit. Each week I take it home on a Friday and mix it with shredded paper waste and put it in my compost bin in the garden. It makes great garden compost as it's a perfect carbon-nitrogen mix! If every office/kitchen across the university did this and it was collected, plus all paper waste was shredded, ESTATES could compost it all and use it on the university garden spaces and sell any excess to university staff providing some income back too. Catering could do the same with their compostable waste and you could even compost confidential waste. We've proved it works on a mini scale on just one floor of one part of the university. Times that by thousands of people and you've made something valuable out of our waste.
Ralph Kent, ARCHI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Stop super-heating the Bute Building. Its like a sauna in here, hot and airless. Consequently windows are open in the middle of winter - energy out the window.
Corrina Skelton, PSYCH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: The library lights are always left on when there is no need as many of them are not 24-hour libraries. Furthermore, many electrical items in the union are left on throughout the night when it is likely that they are not needed. These are such simple things that could be changed!
Miranda Bishop, ENCAP
My Big Sustainable Idea is: to install rainwater systems in our Halls of residence which will recycle rainwater for use in flushing toilets. Rain falls in Cardiff on 146 days during an average year, with total annual rainfall of 1,111.7 millimetres (43.77 in). With a water collection and storage system installed on the roofs of every house in a halls of residence we could significantly reduce water bills therefore making residency cheaper for the university and for students, as well as having a hugely positive impact upon our water consumption.
Richard Perks, ENGIN
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Simply turning lights off. I walk around the Trevithick site in the morning and personally turn off around 10kWh of lights that are on in corridors with blinding sun light coming through the windows. Additionally, some years ago, lights in ENGIN were hard wired on permanently so they could not be turned off. Usually people look at me as if I'm a nut case so I must have got the wrong idea. Maybe lights should be on all day? Please note, it's not rocket science.
Ceri Thomas, CARBS
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Give us printers that print double sided and use recycled paper.
Sarah Jenkinson, ARCHI
My Big Sustainable Idea is: the university could start a bicycle rental scheme for the academic year or something like Paris for getting between Departments.. UWIC have done this already as far as I know!
George Kirov, MEDIC
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Install wind turbines on the hospital grounds. There are a number of good sites, and they will not disturb anybody.
Joe Howlett, MUSIC
My Big Sustainable Idea is: You could get a full time environmental manager. Why not listen to this idea which people have been telling you for so long, before you start asking for new ones? This is an idea from people that have done their research and know their stuff, it would be nice if they were listened to by the uni that should be supporting them.
Teresa Mitchell, INSRV
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I suggest that printer paper used throughout the University be always sourced from suppliers who can provide recycled paper. It's possible that some of the paper purchased is "recycled paper" but this is not a standard procedure across the whole University.
R Langford, EUROS
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Make sure that the lights are turned off overnight! You only have to drive past university building to find that the whole place is lit up late at night when there are probably only a few people working. think of the savings in running costs as well as to the environment. This is something that drives me round the bend in my own dept - if I leave work at 6 p.m., there will be very few others around but lights on in every corridor on every floor
My Big Sustainable Idea is: For the University to consider making the Communications Directory available online only. I estimate that 1,236,000 pages of paper could be saved by making it only available electronically.
Annie Mitchell, SRWEB
My Big Sustainable Idea is: Charge a reasonable (e.g. 10% discounted) daily rate for car parking based on Cardiff City Car Parks to discourage staff from bringing cars on to the campus.
Consider rush-hour park and ride options in collaboration with other city centre employers.
Provide Velib-style loan bikes to get across the campus.
My Big Sustainable Idea is: For 9 years I have worked within the University on the subject of developing green commercial leases between landlord and tenant. Green leases would enable sharing of environmental obligations and improve energy efficiency and overall building performance. Important since Display Energy Certificates are required in all public buildings. The Heath campus and some buildings in Cathays I believe are leased - perhaps this could be a way forward?
My Big Sustainable Idea is: My idea would be to allow staff to work flexible hours. This would allow me to car share as I currently can't do this because my hours are different from the other person on my car share route! Leaving work at 5PM and starting at 9AM just means that I am stuck in traffic for hours pumping out fumes into the environment. Flexible working hours would mean that I could avoid rush hour traffic and reduce my travel time and reduce that amount of fumes that I pump into the environment. It would also improve my quality of life. The train is unfortunately not an option as there are no local stations near me.
Natalia Lawrence, PSYCH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: On a more local 'travel' issue, the results of the travel survey (in a powerpoint presentation) were interesting and informative. Are these going to be fed back to staff / students in a constructive way? e.g. one could take the 'average' person in the Survey and report how far they live, how they are likely to travel etc. and present some intuitive statistics such as what their annual carbon footprint would be from travelling this distance by car compared to other means, how much it would cost to travel by car compared to others, and how many calories they would burn by walking or cycling the 'average' journey instead (and how much weight loss could result!) Presenting these data in an imaginative way could really help get the message through to people that cars (for short avoidable journeys) are unhealthy and expensive.
Natalia Lawrence, PSYCH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: I notice that the university "will encourage alternatives to air and car travel whilst on University business within the UK", what about in mainland Europe? Promoting the Eurostar over flights where feasible would help to reduce our carbon footprint, and encouraging people to attend several smaller, more local conferences rather than blowing their entire annual travel budget on one conference in the US would also be a good suggestion. In my Dept, we are encouraged to attend the big conferences in the US and whilst this may be good for our careers and the university, it is disastrous for the environment (and our budget) so I think alternatives should really be encouraged and not going to the US should not be seen as a negative; e.g. this year, I am planning to attend 3 conferences in the UK and the EU (Paris) and I am going to completely avoid flying for conference travel. I am still building collaborations with the USA through video-conferencing and email though.
Natalia Lawrence, PSYCH
My Big Sustainable Idea is: The website states that "The University will encourage active travel first, i.e. walking and cycling, followed by public transport and the University liftshare scheme. In addition to this the University will actively encourage the use of tele- and video-conferencing and will encourage, where possible, alternatives to air and car travel whilst on University business within the UK."
I have not yet seen any evidence for a scheme to encourage video-conferencing. Is there to be one? Perhaps featuring successful collaborations that are maintained by video-conferencing in the uni Newsletter or on the website would be a place to start? I wonder how many staff are familiar with the video-conference facilities at cardiff, how to use them (set the conference up, who to contact) etc? More information on this might be a good start... I have been involved in a number of video-conferences and the new facilities in the Railway Room are really good and appear easy to use (although I haven't set up a call on my own yet). The sound and video quality is excellent and I think this is a great tool that can be used more by academics.