Students make green pledge
by Graham Henry, South Wales Echo on Feb 8 2011
A South Wales college has launched an environmental initiative which brings together carbon-minded students from more than 80 countries.
International school UWC Atlantic College – based at St Donat’s in Llantwit Major – launched a pledge system as part of a week of initiatives for Go Green Week, which aims to raise awareness of climate change.
Cash-strapped students will also benefit from the college’s Can Film Festival, giving them the chance to watch a film for free in exchange for bringing along empty drink cans and bottles for recycling
The programme is part of student environment network People and Planet’s annual week for action on environmental issues.
Atlantic College’s Go Green Week features activities to promote sustainable living, including making journals from ironing plastic bags, building an evergreen tree from recycled materials and promoting green travel.
Participants are also hosting a candlelit community meal as part of the festivities, which were launched on Saturday and continue to Valentine’s Day.
Throughout the week, students are encouraged to display their green pledges: long-term commitments to change their own behaviour including walking more often, flying less or for shorter distances, recycling more, saving energy and eating less meat.
Paul Lau, an organiser of the project, said: “The benefit of Go Green Week is that it brings together people from all over the college who wouldn’t normally be involved in environmental issues.
“By putting on events which are fun and accessible, we can reach out to more people and create a sustained movement for environmental sustainability within our college.”
The college, which is based at historic St Donat’s Castle, is home to 350 students from more than 80 countries in the world.
The college held a mock United Nations event last week which debated the world’s approach to tackling greenhouse gas emissions, the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and staged a simulated approach to an oil spill off the coast of Nigeria.
Scott Dwyer, who chaired the environmental committee at the event, said: “The best part of model United Nations for me was simply listening to new and innovative ideas to solve issues that have been featured in the news recently.”