UCD Environment launch first campaign of year

To coincide with World Food Day on the 16th of October, UCD Students’ Union (SU) Environmental Office will launch its ‘Feeding the 500’ campaign with the slogan “Feeding Bellies not Bins.” The campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the volume of food that is needlessly discarded.

World Food Day was started to mark the foundation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945. The theme for 2013 is Sustainable Food Systems for Security and Nutrition.

To challenge this wastage, 500 vegetable curries will be served on campus to highlight how supposedly “misfit” vegetables are actually a healthy and viable option to students. It pointed out how students can avail of cheap, nutritious food for very low prices, which can be of assistance to those under financial difficulty.

Some of the University’s music societies will be playing live at the event, including Jazz Soc. UCDSU Enviornmental Coordinator Maria Jacob has promised a large event with a panel held on the day in the Red Room in the Student Centre from 5pm until 7pm where several guest speakers will be talking about environmental issues.

There are hopes for a live stream of the event on BelfieldFM, as well as a documentary to be compiled by the Campus Television Network (CTN).

The event marks the beginning of UCDSU Environment campaigns for the year. The group wants to try to eradicate the current image of environmental justice as a boring and tedious ideal. They are trying to create a positive image towards both environmentalists and environmental responsibility.

The overall goal is to set up an environmental society, as currently no independent society exists to tackle these issues. Speaking about the event, Jacob said, “Last year’s environmental coordinator has done some good work on developing the documents and the office this year wants to build on that and strives to complete that process.

“The events planned by the [environmental] office this year will be such that they promote a positive opinion of environmental responsibility and stimulate interest among the student body and in the existence of a society.”

The society would serve to represent those who want to be involved in environmental protection, but who do not necessarily have an interest in politics.

Jacob notes that UCD is not part of Green Campus, an initiative run by An Taisce to make green values part of college life, and this has contributed to a lack of environmental activism in UCD.

Previous co-ordinators have also attempted to expand recycling on campus to little or no avail and campaigns have been quite invisible with low turnout at events and too much behind the scenes work.