It’s time for a green restart and locally-led adaptation at Falmouth University and beyond

It’s time for a green restart and locally-led adaptation at Falmouth University and beyond
Image: Jake Causley

With World Environment Day coming up in June, we caught up with Falmouth University Sustainability Coordinator Jake Causley.

As he states, this annual event urges us to appreciate our surroundings of the natural world and recognise our place within it.

Rightly so! We are facing both a climate and ecological crisis that’s hacking through our world’s ecosystems and destroying our planet’s future. The time to act is now.

So in light of this climate-centric event, we wanted to find out from Jake what Falmouth University’s stance is on sustainability and see if there are any green campus initiatives in the pipeline.

Universities play a pivotal role in educating the next generation of eco changemakers. By inspiring change through learning and teaching and instilling an eco-friendly campus vibe, they can steer staff and students towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Hence why Jake and his team aim to promote and deliver a green restart at Falmouth University.

‘’When people come to our campus, we want sustainability practices to be common practice and common knowledge.

‘’For instance, we will strive for a united behavioural change and promote a circular campus community by inspiring students to use their reusables rather than opting for single-use plastics.’’

Universities also have an upper hand when instilling new behavioural changes in young people - studies prove that when you start a new stage in your life, you’re more likely to ingest new information and adjust your habits.

According to Professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, emerging adulthood (ages 18-25) is considered the ‘volitional years’ of life.

Arnett professes that this stage of life projects a purpose-striving attitude and allows individuals to develop the character qualities necessary for becoming self-sufficient.

And as the United Nations advises in its Little Book of Green Nudges, ‘’Humans are creatures of habit and it can be difficult to change our behaviour once we’ve gotten into a routine, but you can capitalise on or generate moments of disruption to help people start new habits.’’

Therefore, if universities educate their learners about sustainability while they’re in their volitional years, there’s an increased chance that they graduate as habitually green students, ready to teach others how to be sustainable.

Image Source: Jake Causley
The Sustainability Coordinator also adds that business and community engagement (Knowledge Exchange) is something that the university takes seriously. 

Falmouth also takes ownership over its community engagement. The university is always looking into ways to share their sustainability expertise with local youth groups, community groups, schools, businesses, and more...

‘’We’re still researching ways to support local reforestation community projects because we want to help communities engage more with nature and generate community-based action around Cornwall,’’ said Jake.

‘’By collaborating with local communities and channelling small projects to tackle big problems, we can make a lasting impact.’’

However, since the pandemic hit UK communities and businesses hard, that sense of community needs to be rebuilt.

That’s why Jake advises us to think local and support those that have been impacted by COVID-19:

‘’Why opt for international agencies to outsource work when we already have incredible resources on our doorstep?

‘’For example, if we want to start a reforestation project, there’s an amazing horticulturist down the road and a host of tree-loving landowners who we could collaborate with. We need to look locally first.’’

Staff and students can also play a massive part in supporting local communities and businesses at Falmouth University and beyond.

Whether it's an academic setting up a new external eco-partner for a few sustainability events, or a university staff member who knows someone already running a sustainable project others can contribute to- everyone can join forces to create a more locally-led campus community.

So if you’re around Cornwall and you want to find out how you can work together with Falmouth University to carve a more sustainable path,  feel free to contact Jake by email at: Jake.Causley@falmouth.ac.uk.

Or if you want to know how KEVRI can empower your university’s community and business engagement, contact us today.

After all, knowledge is power when shared and we all achieve much greater things together!

KEVRI Staff

KEVRI Staff

KEVRI is a collaborative software platform and consultancy that helps you surface innovation at your organisation and support impact pipelines. Email us at info@kevri.co to find out more!
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