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The Wolfson Wee Green Guide

A guide to eco-friendly student living

The Wolfson Wee Green Guide 2015-2016 copyright ©2015 GUEST

Wolfson Hall West of Scotland Science Park 2317 Maryhill Road Glasgow G20 0TH Tel: 0141 330 3773 Fax: 0141 330 2828 E-mail: GUEST Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team E-mail:

Illustrations courtesy of GUEST.

Photos on pages 20, 21, 22 and 25 courtesy of Sequoia Hearne.

Foreword Welcome to Wolfson Hall! Foreword.................................. 1 Wolfson Hall is the only catered halls of residence within the What is GUEST?...................... 2 University of Glasgow and is home to approximately 250 Energy Conservation ............... 4 students and staff when full to capacity. The Residence offers Recycling Facilities ................... 6 ensuite and standard rooms for Recycling Map ......................... 8 students from around the world, leading to a fun and interesting Avoiding Waste & Upcycling ...... 10 living environment with students just like yourself. Car-Share & Public Transport ... 14 Since moving away is a time for Cycling .................................... 16 change, we would like to draw your attention to ways in which Cycling Maps .......................... 18 you can use the time spent here to minimise your impact on the Food and Nutrition ................... 20 environment. This booklet compiles advice on Events and Activities ............. 23 energy saving, waste avoidance Additional Resources ............. 25 and recycling in your term residence, transport methods that reduce your Carbon Footprint, healthy and sustainable eating, and tips for getting involved in the local community. Our recommendations can help you to easily reduce your impact on the environment. They do not require extra effort, just doing certain things differently and readjusting the attitudes we approach daily tasks with. The Wolfson Wee Green Guide has been written by GUEST in collaboration with University of Glasgow Wolfson Hall of Residence. 1

What is GUEST?

GUEST has seven branches: Waste Reduction Energy Sustainable Food Biodiversity Sustainable Transport Student Engagement Communications

Glasgow University Environmemtal Sustainability Team are a team of part time staff Want to get involved? We will be working to improve the environHIRING in September and lookmental practice of the university. ing for volunteers throughout the We focus on: year. •

Events and campaigns to promote sustainability on campus.

Influencing University policy to make it more environmentally friendly.

• Providing services to make sustainable living easy!


Follow us on Facebook: GUEST - Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team Twitter: glauniest Instagram: glauniest. Got ideas, interested in learning more or seen something you think we should now about? Get in touch: estates-guest@glasgow.

Look Out For: Our Freshers Week line up!

An alternative option for Freshers and returning students. GUEST will be running several daytime events with a sustainability theme! Full details available on the GUEST Facebook page.

The Bike Hub

A free, weekly DIY bike repair workshop run by our Sustainable Transport branch.

Our Pop-Up Eco Hub!

We are very excited about our brand new Cargo Bike and will be using it to set up popup swap shops, food sharing and more in different locations on campus throughout the year. Scanned by CamScanner

Biodiversity Work Sessions

Get outside with our Biodiversity branch in their regular work sessions in GUEST’s Wildlife Garden and Community Gardens. We even have bees!

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GUEST Refreshers Week

We will be starting the second semester with our alternative Refreshers week. Previous events included balls and eco-fairs! Scanned by CamScanner


The highlight of the GUEST callender. In February we will be teaming up with environmental groups across the city in a big celebration of all things sustainable! 3

Energy Conservation A few easy changes to your daily habits can help keep your room or flat energy efficient.

Living & Study Areas Turn entertainment equipment off when not is use! Most appliances still use several watts while in stand-by. Don’t leave your phone charger or hair appliances in the electrical socket when not in use - the latter is also a fire hazard!

We have compiled a list of small but smart changes you can make to your daily habits and routine to lower your energy consumption:

Switch off your computer and any peripheral devices, such as printers and scanner, overnight.

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Make a Do-It-Yourself Draft Excluder! GUEST Promoters frequently hold workshops aimed to help you save energy and resources. Keep an eye out on our social media for details!


General Areas Turn off lights when leaving a room or not in use. Remember common rooms, kitchens and hallways!

Cook in batches: cook as much as possible in the oven in one go to use all the space and heat produced. Freeze the leftovers!

Use the radiator thermostat to avoid unnecessary heating.

Defrost food in the fridge the night before; this can halve cooking time.

Use the weather! In winter, open curtains during the day to let the sun warm your flat and close curtains at night to retain heat. In late spring or summer, close curtains during the day to keep your flat cool.

Keep the oven closed: every time the door is opened it loses heat and requires more energy to get the temperature up again. Don’t overfill the kettle!


Make sure that your curtains don’t block your radiators.

Take short showers.

Only wash clothes in full loads.

Don’t let the tap run while brushing your teeth.

Air dry clothes if possible.

Kitchen Keep your refrigerator and your freezer stocked: it takes more energy to cool an empty one. Cut food into smaller pieces to reduce cooking time. Use lids on pans to retain heat.

Open the windows and close the kitchen door when cooking, especially if you are producing a lot of steam or smoke. A false fire alarm and a visit from the firefighters will not only waste a lot more fuel and energy, but it might also get you fined and keep the firefighters from attending a real emergency!

If you see any dripping taps or radiators, or any other piece of furniture or equipment that needs repairing, fill in and submit a maintenance report. The online form can be found here: residentialservices/maintenancereporting/wolfsonhall


Recycling Facilities By turning recycling into your second nature, you’re giving nature a second chance! Vast amounts of energy and natural resources are being used to make products from raw materials. Most of these products will end up in landfill sites, where they release harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses. By recycling and upcycling you help preserve natural resources for future generations, you reduce the amount of energy consumed by the manufacturing industry and you help avoid the pollution caused by waste.


In each Pantry Kitchen we have: One bin for general waste disposal (Square bin) In the Common Room, Dining Room and at the Main Entrance we have mixed recycling and general waste bins. Silver Euro Bins for general waste are located throughout the site. Two blue bins (for mixed recycling) are located at the car park located at the rear of our conference centre. These are provided for you to recycle: newspapers magazines cardboard paper tins cans plastic bottles other types of mixed plastic

On Campus Bins on campus are clearly marked with LIME GREEN for DRY MIXED RECYCLING, BOTTLE GREEN for FOOD WASTE and BLACK for GENERAL WASTE.

Top Recycling Tips •

Wash & Squash items before recycling them to optimise the process.

Don’t worry about the labels and lids of glass jars or bottles these are removed mechanically during the recycling process.

Remove the caps and lids of plastic containers. These are

If you are still unsure, most of often made of a different type these bins come with detailed of plastic than the bottle and will instructions. Please try to adhere contaminate the process. to these guidelines as much as • Always remove paper clips, possible. staples, plastic envelope windows, tape and labels!

Within classrooms and lecture halls, there are mixed recycling • Remove unclean sections of posts available (look for the white greasy items such as a pizza cardboard bins). boxes before recycling them. Bins to dispose of excess liquid • in bottles or coffee cups are now provided in many locations on campus. Please use these so that your left over coffee does not contaminate the rest of the load! • Both unions have WEEE points for recycling electrical items!

Never throw batteries in the general waste or recycling bins! Instead, look out for the special collection points which are usually located in supermarkets. Recycle plastic bags at special collection points located in shops and supermarkets; avoid ever throwing them in the recycling bins as they will contaminate their full contents.




Avoiding Waste & Upcycling With just a bit of inventiveness, you can learn to turn trash into treasure. Try... •

Packing your own lunch in a reusable container.


Washing & reusing ziplock bags.

Use old jars, tins and pots as glasses, spice holders and for storing dried food.

Takeaways and pre-packed meals – cook your own instead Scanned by CamScanner and save on packaging.

Use all of the vegetable to avoid food waste!

Buying new carrier bags each time – carry some tote bags or bags for life with you.

Cook and freeze extra food to avoid throwing it away!

Disposable plates and cutlery whenever possible.

Switching to reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.

Paper towels by cutting up old clothes to be used as rags.

Repairing things that break and mending your clothes instead of buying new ones.

Turning egg cartons into biodegradable seed starters.

Reusing envelopes by placing a label over the address.

Reusing old magazines as wrapping paper.


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Ethical Shopping Buy... •

Loose fruit and veg.

In bulk and refill where possible.

Rechargeable batteries.

Second hand: clothes, shoes, kitchenware, bikes, electrical equipment, phones, tools, bags etc.

Items that will last so that you don’t have to keep buying more! Scanned by CamScanner

There is a wealth of second hand shops around the West End, ranging from bargain charity shops to fashinable vintage stores. Explore Ruthven Lane, Byres Road and Great Western Road to find some amazing bargains. Keep an eye out for second hand fairs such as the Glasgow Vintage Kilo Sale! Gumtree, FreeCycle and Student Voice are excellent services for exchanging selling and buying second hand goods of all kinds. Check out the Glasgow University ‘Free and For Sale’ Facebook group!


Please donate any unwanted goods that are still in good condition! There is one British Heart Foundation Clothing Bin on site, located in the Courtyard area beside the B Block walkway. You will also receive British Heart Foundation (BHF) donation bags a few weeks before you leave the accommodation. During the 2014/15 academic year, University of Glasgow residents donated a total of 903 bags, with an estimated resale value of £12,642.This was the second time University of Glasgow has taken part in the BHF ‘Moving On’ campaign and had great success. Between the residences, students donated bags of clothes, books, CDs and DVDs. Their efforts raised money for the charity which pioneers research into heart disease. At Wolfson Hall Reception you can also recycle the following items: • Stamps • Batteries • Printer Cartridges and Mobile phones - with all proceeds going to Childrens Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS)

Formore information:


If you can think of any other recycling we can offer, please let us know at reception. 13

Car-share and Public Transport Driving to university or work might seem convenient, but it does very little in terms of a sustainable future and your physical health. Whether you decide to leave your car at home and put your bicycle back on the road, swap to public transport or simply go for a healthy walk, there are various ways in which we can all improve our travel arrangements to help the environment and our personal wellbeing. The lack of parking spaces on campus and high cost of fuel makes driving a poor option for students.


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Car-Sharing Scanned by CamScanner

A great way to socialise, meet new people or spend time with friends and colleagues is car pooling. Not only does it save on the fuel bills (always a plus), but cuts down on your carbon footprint too. We recommend these resources if you’re interested: SPT Liftshare • GumTree Journey Share • Glasgow Uni Journey Share • sustainability/travel/cartravel/ universityjourneyshare Carpooling • Blablacar •

Public Transport Glasgow: Buses run every 10 minutes all over the city and are relatively cheap compared to driving. Remember: most buses in Glasgow only take coins and do not give change! The Subway is a quick way to get around. Closest to you is Hillhead Station, on Byres Road, or Kelvinhall Station, on Dumbarton Road. The Subway runs every few minutes and it can get you to most central locations around Glasgow: www.spt.

Alternative Forms of Transport Any form of transport that is energetic, low-cost and ‘manual’ is excellent for ourselves and our environment. Scooters, skateboards and longboards provide a great alternative method of getting around, while also exercising. Just make sure to respect traffic rules and wear safety gear if you feel the need to.

Scotland: The train is efficient and can be affordable with a student rail card (apply for at travel centres around Glasgow). Buses are the most environmentally efficient form of transport and usually the cheapest. Try National Express and Megabus. Intercity coaches are only £2 in November and February!

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Cycling Cycling can make significant changes to the environment and your personal wellbeing. A classic win-win situation! Here at Wolfson Halls we encourage cycling while also caring for the safety of you bicycle. We have bike sheds on site, where you can store your bike. After registering it at the reception, you will gain the access code to the bike sheds. However, we would always advise using a lock to secure your bike.

GUEST’s Sustainable Transport branch has provided two maps for the best cycling routes from Kelvinhaugh Residences to the University and the City Centre (see pages 18-19). They also run a weekly Bike Hub, a free, weekly workshop where you can learn how to fix your own bike!

Please note that keeping bikes in your flat or anywhere they may block stairwells or emergency exits is not allowed. Scanned by CamScanner

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Cycling Resources

Staff and students at the University of Glasgow can subscribe to Nextbike and get the first 30 minutes of each ride FREE. You can find out more about the tariff and the locations of these bike stands on www.nextbike. Join the Glasgow University Bicycle Users Group. They host fun events, workshops and safety advice sessions, as well as regular cycling trips for members of all ages and abilities. You can get in touch using the following links: or


Cycling Community If you’re afraid of cycling alone on the roads, Glasgow has its own Critical Mass group. They meet at 5.30 PM at George Square on the last Friday of every month, enabling cyclists to cycle on roads in a safe group setting. Cycle Safety Increase your visibility by avoiding dark clothing, wearing high visibility ankle and armbands or reflective vests and ensuring that your lights are working. Cycling safety gear can also be handed out by GUEST for free, while the University can provide you with free bike-marking in case your bike gets stolen. Route Planning Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde’s Go Bike! campaign and the Sustrans provide good maps for cyclists (, together with useful cycle tips for safety on the road and bike etiquette. Cyclists should ensure that they are obeying all road rules and for their own safety, reflective vests, helmets and functioning bicycle lights are advised to enhance visibility in the dark or in poor weather. Finding a Bike Instead of buying a new bicycle, you could get a second hand one. Affordable used bicycles can be found at the Glasgow Bike Station, located in Finnieston. They also provide servicing, repairs and fix your own bike sessions:




Food & Nutrition Always on the go and constantly studying good nutrition is surely at the foundations of a happy student life. The food we eat affects our health and our planet and it can feel difficult to eat in a way that is good both for our body and the environment, especially when on a student budget. The current system of food production is, unfortunately, not a sustainable one and it is a massive contributor to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, droughts and loss of biodiversity. The methods of production, preparation, packaging, storage and transport are complex issues to keep in mind when purchasing our food. On the bright side, food that is good for the planet is also good for you. There is a myth that being a student is a good excuse for poor dietary choices, but we would like to dispel that myth. 20

Being a student is strenuous at times, and maintaining healthy eating habits is the perfect way to ensure you have the energy to keep up with all of your academic, social and personal commitments.

If you feel yourself moving towards, or have a history of food related anxiety or eating disorders, remember there are organisations on campus there to help with this, such as the Starfish Group. For more information get in touch with the GUSA Welfare Convenor: or check this link:

If you do decide to rethink your diet in order to support a more sustainable agricultural system, keep in mind that food is also an emotional matter and that gradually and steadily adopting changes is best: your dietary choices should fit your routine and make you feel good about yourself in order to work.

Tips for a Sustainable Diet Buy...


Unprocessed ingredients and cook them yourself.

In bulk to minimise packaging.

Organic if possible: pesticides are damaging to your

health and the ecosystem, so it’s best to avoid them. Food in season: it’s fresher, tastier, and much cheaper.

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Fresh food that has travelled the world to reach you.

Fish from the Marine Stewardship Council’s ‘fish to avoid’ list (available at (

Meat that is too cheap to be true.

Eggs from caged hens.

Try... •

Eating less processed foods: avoid frozen foods, ready meals and items with way too many ingredients.

Reducing the amount of meat and dairy produce in your diet: Try eating vegetarian/vegan meals for a few days a week.

Choose local products over imported ones to reduce food-miles and support local farmers.

Growing some food yourself: herbs, carrots, potatoes and some salads can be grown indoors. Join a community garden (see page 23)!


Locally Sourced and Sustainable Food The West-End of Glasgow is awash with local independent businesses that support sustainable and local produce.

Roots and Fruits have shops on Great Western Road near the Kelvinbridge Subway Station and on Argyle Street in Finnieston, and is a great place to start. Finnieston is also full of great shops with cheap vegetables, shopping here will save you money whilst supporting independent retailers. You can also opt for one of the small businesses that currently deliver organic-veg boxes around Glasgow, such as such as The Little Veg Company, Mollinsburn Organic and Grow Wild. Glasgow University food co-op ( gives students access to cheap, organic vegetable bags from a local farm, and whole foods from Glasgow based Green City (more details on page 25). Food Sharing Glasgow distributes surplus food to students allowing you to save waste and save money! (See page 25) There is a farmers market with local producers on Saturdays, from 10am to 2pm, alternating between Mansfield Park in Partick, and Queens Park in the Southside every other week.


Events & Activities Interested in sustainability? Get involved in one of the many environmental groups in Glasgow and take advantage of all the amazing initiatives in this vibrant city. Wildlife Garden The green space behind the Queen Margaret Union that makes up the Wildlife Garden provides a haven for wildlife in the West End, as well as a quiet retreat for people to escape all the hustle and bustle. Woodlands and Willowbank Community Gardens Both of these gardens are run by groups of local people who work together to produce food, green spaces and a sense of community. Check their websites and facebook pages for information on their regular work sessions. Glasgow Exploration Society The University of Glasgow Exploration Society has been helping teams of undergraduate students explore the world on zoological and geographical expeditions for many years. Membership is ÂŁ3.50 per year for students and ÂŁ6 for staff.


GUCA (Climate Action Society) GUCA is a society of students dedicated to educating and making progress in tackling the issues of climate change, global warming and environmental conservation, through a myriad of fun events and direct action. They are the ones responsible for the incredibly successful divestment campaign which convinced the University of Glasgow Court to divest from Fossil Fuels! Oxfam Glasgow University Oxfam is a global movement of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable. It’s an injustice which can, and must, be overcome. Oxfam GU is a student society that aims to raise awareness of the fight against poverty and climate change. Facebook: Oxfam Glasgow University (GU)


The Food Co-op The Food Co-op buy food in bulk and split it between their members, allowing students to get discount bulk-buy prices on sustainable and healthy food: imagine all those nuts and dried fruit for non-extortionate prices! They also do organic vegetable bags, fruit bags and organic eggs. All delivered to their very own space, located on

the ground floor of the QMU. You can keep updated and register on their website: Facebook: Glasgow Uni Food Co-op Food Sharing Glasgow Food Sharing is a global network of people aiming to reduce food waste. Food Sharing Glasgow collects surplus food from local shops and distributes this to students for free! They have also held food waste meals, workshops and film screenings. groups/foodsharingglasgow/

GUEST! The Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team run regular events, workshops, film screenings, swap shops, community meals and consultations with students. Follow our social media (https://www. for updates on upcoming events, our blog for information on what we’ve done in the past (https://glasgowuniest. and share your ideas, concerns and questions with us by emailing!


Additional Groups and Resources GOOD Garden Project A GUEST initative to engage staff, students and the local community in growing their own food. Glasgow University Bee Keeping Society Promotes learning and participation in beekeeping activities. Maintains two hives! Waste Not Want Kinning Park Complex Clothes swaps, upcycling, gardening, community meals and workshops. waste-not-want/ The Real Junk Food Project Climate Action Scotland www.climateactionscotland.wordpress. com Urban Roots Community led environmental projects in the South Side.


Stop Climate Chaos Coalition of organisations working together against climate change. UofG Carbon Management Plan UofGSave It Campaign saveit Ethical Consumer Website that provides the tools and resources you need to make ethical choices simple, informed and effective. Uni-Cycle Free services and support for students from the Bike Station. RSPB Glasgow Action Hillhead GOW Community Plastic Free July

WWF footprint calculator The 10:10 campaign Advice and inspiration for a low-carbon life Centre for Alternative Energy Tips for Energy Conservation Recycle for Scotland Glasgow Freecycle Recycle Now Recyclability guide what can and can’t be recycled. Word Power Books Greener Scotland Online Seasonal Foods Calendar: Love Food Hate Waste DoNation Keep Scotland Beautiful

Lexicon of Sustainability The Lexicon of Sustainability™ is a crowd-sourced project, which relies on people around the world, to gather the ideas we need to build a sustainable future. My Plastic Free Life Author Beth Terry claims that we cannot just recycle our way out the mess we’re in. On her website, she offers tips, advice and useful resources towards living a plastic-free life, or at least reducing your plastic footprint. Glasgow Local Food Network This is an informal network of community organisations and individuals from across Glasgow that are passionate about local food and striving to produce more of what we eat and eat more of what we produce. glasgowlocalfood. Friends of the Earth Glasgow They are involved in recycling and planning issues, in safeguarding and preserving green spaces and biodiversity around the city. They also occasionally work with Glasgow City Council on green issues. Eco-logic Books A small, ethically run company that specialises in environmental books.


ŠGUEST 2015 Estates and Buildings The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401 28

Wolfson Wee Green Guide  

An all round guide to sustainable living in Wolfson Halls. Written by Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team in collaboration...

Wolfson Wee Green Guide  

An all round guide to sustainable living in Wolfson Halls. Written by Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team in collaboration...