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Green group champions the University’s first green action week

Highlights of the activities organised at the Dunn School for Green Action week – a push for a greener and sustainable future.

With the Dunn School building flying the Green Group Flag at full mast,  Green Action week 2023 commenced on 20th February. This year marks the University of Oxford’s first ever Green Action week, and the Dunn School’s Green group was at the forefront of making this a memorable event. The Green group, together with the Graduate Student Association (GSA), Postdoc Association (PDA), Finance and Service team at the Dunn School, joined by members of the Ineos Institute and the University of Oxford Sustainability team, organised a series of activities that brought the whole Dunn School community together around green initiatives to fight climate change and reduce waste.

The Green group, in association with the University of Oxford Sustainability team,  invited Pushpanath Krishnamurthy (Push), a climate activist who has clocked over 35 million steps and interacted with thousands of people along the way. Through his walking movement he has been able to provide a platform to vulnerable sectors of society, those who are most affected by climate change. He has also managed to engage with governments and businesses alike to build Fairtrade agreements to help communities manage their ecosystems better. All money raised during the week was donated to Push’s charity, GoPushGo!

Green Action week also aligned with some recurring Dunn School events such as the Bike Doctor,  the Freezer challenge (the winners this month were the Tang Lab) and the well-loved Dunn drinks – organised by the Raff and Robertson labs, with locally sourced vegetarian and vegan food, along with drinks and snacks in reduced packaging. Additional noteworthy events included the delicious Charity Bake sale, organised by the Finance team at Dunn School. In addition, Green Action week replicated previously successful events such clothes and plant/seed swap, both set up to help us make more sustainable choices by reducing our waste. To increase awareness of the amount of waste generated in our labs, the GSA organised an autoclave box counting challenge competition. The Green group also set-up of a refill station of household essentials such as soaps, cleaning liquid, etc, where people could fill up empty bottles and reduce their single use plastic. The refill station was generously sponsored by suppliers, who also came to highlight their sustainable practices and products. The Dunn School Green group proudly hosted tours to showcase all the Green initiatives that have been adopted at Dunn School, to help motivate the Green movement on a larger scale across the university.

The success of  Green Action week 2023 can be measured by the discussions it has generated across the tables, floors and buildings of the Dunn School, as well as by the depleted supplies at the refill station. Green Action week has hopefully encouraged people to take one more step towards a Greener future, and we look forward to new and exciting initiatives in 2023.

Written by Deeksha Munnur (Sanyal lab) and Shaked Ashkenazi (Freeman lab)