Students and the Environment During the third Gozo Week in March 2014, GUG conducted a questionnaire to further the work which was done during the European week for waste reduction (EWWR). This report will describe the responses of 68 participants, 95% of which were Gozitan students, most of whom reside in Msida during the week. GUG wishes to thank everyone who participated and the Msida Local Council for sponsoring this activity. Most of the respondents described the environment as being everything that surrounds us, built and natural alike. When questioned about what can be done individually for the environment, partakers mentioned turning off electrical equipment when not in use and switching off plugs. From the 3 R’s, most participants considered reducing as the most important action, since it eliminates the problem of waste at its source. An example is not to buy or cook more food than needed. Recycling, although also important, is done after reusing is no longer possible. These measures save the environment, and your bank account! There was a general feeling that awareness about the environment, especially changes caused by human action, is lacking within the general population. So, how can this be changed? Education should be a must, not just in schools, but for the general population. What about doing TV promos for photographic competitions involving Maltese flora? Respondents felt that environmental land is being irresponsibly sacrificed to boost the construction economy, with too much construction still being done in a country with arguably one of the largest built environment percentages. The solution? According to respondents, there are too many abandoned houses around the islands, why not make the process easier for prospective residents to rehabilitate these houses? When asked about what to be done to maintain a cleaner air, most mentioned improving public transport, making it easier for people to choose these instead of their private cars, and also more incentives and promos for the use of clean, renewable energy. About water conservation, reducing water consumption, and building of household wells to preserve rainwater were the most mentioned suggestions. Local councils can bolster their role in the environment by organizing clean ups and plant a tree campaigns and working with flat block owners to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar panels. GUG encourages all stakeholders to be proactive and not only reactive, to safeguard and improve our natural and man-made environment.
ADDRESS: Grupp Universitarji Għawdxin, GUG, University of Malta - Gozo Campus, Mġarr Road, Xewkija, Gozo, Malta. WEB: www.gug.org.mt/ EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 00356 79256904