Student Blog: Bikes and all things green at Brasenose

bike3The Brasenose student bike scheme is now back up and running! This is all thanks to the hard work of Billy from the workshop, who fixed them all in his own time at no cost beyond the bike parts needed. We’re very lucky to have him and are so grateful!

To those of you that don’t know, this scheme allows students that don’t have their own bikes to sign out bikes from the lodge when they need them; for tutorials, sport matches or talks, for example. Although we’re very lucky to be extremely central in Brasenose, with nothing really more than walking distance away, it is always useful to have a bike as a back up if you need it. Emma Woodhouse, a 2nd year English student, is one of the students that often takes advantage of the scheme and says: “The JCR bikes have been invaluable for me this term! Using them allows everyone an opportunity to get from a to b, even if bringing a bike of your own to Oxford is tricky.” It is such a useful resource for students, and also encourages us to avoid using other forms of transport like taxis when getting places, reducing our carbon footprint.  

This is just one of many efforts being made to develop Brasenose into a more green and environmentally friendly place to be. As Environment and Charities representative of the JCR, I’ve seen big changes in Brasenose in this regard, which has been very exciting and rewarding. People are becoming more aware of environmental issues, recycling is on the rise and meat-free Wednesday is well and truly underway, educating more and more and people on the horrendous environmental impact of the animal industry. We even had an all-vegan Welfare tea a couple of weeks ago, which was a fabulous way to show people the incredible range of easily accessible animal-free foods there are – which help to reduce both our carbon footprint and the cruelty animals are forced to endure!

We are also trying to reduce waste where possible, with the kitchen staff doing their best to let as little food go to waste, and when it does placing it in a food waste bin where it can be composted. This is so important as a landfill has a limited life, but a composting plant can continue to process waste indefinitely. It also creates useful products like compost and fertilizer that increase plant growth, it reduces greenhouse emissions from landfills and it increases the longevity of landfills. The housekeeping staff also try to collect any old, unwanted items to send to charity at the end of each term, which helps to reduce waste as well help those in need. We are so lucky to have staff that are interested in making positive changes where they can.

In general, I feel like Brasenose is definitely going in the right direction in becoming a more environmentally friendly, charitable place to be, and hopefully this only continues. A Brasenose second hand sale is already being organised for next term. Environmentally friendly College products are also being looked into, including cotton bags to reduce plastic bag usage and portable mugs to reduce our consumption of takeaway cups which require a huge amount of plastic and paper often not recycled. More recycling bins will hopefully be introduced around College, as well as a greater awareness of just how important it is to reduce consumption and recycle where possible.

In summary, I would like to say another big thank you to Billy and all those that have been involved in E&C this year, and making Brasenose a better, more sustainable place to be. I have every faith we’ll only continue to improve in the years to come!

By Elin Roberts (Second Year Psychology student)


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