According to People & Planet’s Green League, the sector’s carbon emissions have risen by 4 per cent over the past five years. It is responsible for producing more than 10 per cent of the greenhouse gases produced by the public sector.
The goal of Go Green Week is to cut these harmful emissions by 5 per cent over the year, collect pledges to adopt greener practices in the future, raise awareness and fundraise.
Universities including Westminster, York and Birmingham are taking part in the week’s events, starting today with – of course – a Meat Free Monday, followed by a pro-bike Travel-Light Tuesday, a Waste-Not Wednesday and a Switch-Off Thursday.
Friday will be a national day of student action designed to remind David Cameron that he vowed his would be “the greenest government ever” – a promise that many environmental organisations say the prime minister has signally failed to keep.
The University of Westminster is offering 10 per cent off meat-free meals at certain outlets, a free cinema ticket in exchange for 10 empty aluminium cans (no chore for a student) and is encouraging everyone to think about the energy they waste on.
York is screening films such as With My Own Two Wheels, about how the bicycle can revolutionise the world, and – on the university’s Tar Sands Thursday – the award-winning Fuel.
Birmingham Uni, meanwhile, is offering meat-free meals, lessons on composting and screenings of The Age of Stupid and the excellent Food Inc.
But you don’t have to be in higher education to make your voice heard. Click here to email the universities minister David Willetts to share your thoughts on what the government should be doing to improve things.