It is important to target behaviour and awarenessof waste and resource use at an early stage of a scientist’s career. The challenge is to providestudents with an in-depth understanding of sustainability and environmental issues
, givingthem a platform to integrate sustainability intotheir own lives and future careers. As well asteaching sustainability via theory, there is theopportunity for institutions to ‘walk the talk’ by demonstrating sustainability in practice
. Itis about institutions operating to the highestpossible environmental standards. Tutorialsprovide a unique opportunity for you to discussissues arising from certain topics and encouragesustainable behaviour.
Getting the ball rolling
It is likely there are already structures in placefor reducing the environmental impact of your
institution. Assess if you are fullling all the
objectives laid out in the environmental policy
of your institution in the preparation and deliveryof your tutorials. To identify areas that needattention and to keep a record of improvements,consider carrying out an environmental audit
Inspiring sustainability education
It is worth spending some time thinking about
how a tutorial subject ts into the global,
environmental, social and economic contexts of sustainability. A number of sustainability teachingresources are available online covering a varietyof topics, for example: carbon management
, sustainable use resources
and general sustainability
Most of these are not specically designed for
undergraduate bioscience teaching but can beadapted and could provide you with a startingpoint to introduce sustainability concepts.One activity could involvelooking at the lifecycle analysis
of a certain object, material oractivity. What raw materials areused? How are they extractedor harvested? How far has ittravelled? In what way wasit processed? What is theeconomic and social impact?What are the environmentalimpacts of disposal? Could anyof these steps be improved? This activity could beadapted to, for example, dissect the sustainabilityof bioscience techniques or comparingmethodologies.
Make some changes
- students should beencouraged to study in a sustainable way
,for example by:using less paper and taking notes on reused orrecycled paper or notepads;borrowing library books rather than buyingnew;giving or selling on purchased books to the
next set of students after nishing the course;
andtravelling to tutorials by foot, bike or on publictransport.
- print handouts double sided
and on recycled or FSC certied paper
,online teaching support and e-learning mayreduce the need to have paper copies
. Studentsmay print out copies of handouts themselves,so ensure any copying facilities provided bythe institution and your department also useenvironmentally friendly paper and print doublesided.
- hold tutorials in an appropriatelysized room for the number of studentsattending, as heating and lighting a smaller
room is more efcient than a larger room. Hold
tutorials at a location that requires minimumtravel, you could consider perhaps travelling to alocation nearer to your students or holding onlinetutorials to reduce travel.
- tutorials should not generatetoo much waste but replacing waste binswith recycling bins in tutorial rooms couldencourage people to recycle more. Provide clearlylabelled sorting containers for paper, plastics,cans, glass and organic matter
Is it really rubbish?
- if tutorial roomsare undergoing a facelift, make sure thatdesks, chairs, electrical goods etc. are re-used or donated to charity or local school insteadof thrown in the skip.••••
Tutorials tend to have a relatively small environmental impact, however there are alwaysopportunities to improve sustainability. The information in this sheet is not exhaustive butaims to give you some ideas and pointers towards making your tutorials more sustainable.The importance of sustainability education and awareness raising should not be underestimated.Resources for incorporating sustainability into the subject of your tutorials are included in this sheet.Some of the tips on this sheet may be for changes in areas beyond your control, however they couldform the basis of proposals to put to an estates department or an institutional or departmentalenvironmental committee.