February 9, 2015, by sustainablenottingham

I want my influence to be positive

First year student Peter Mullard, Environment and Social Justice rep for Derby Hall, shares his passion for all things environmental.

Arrivals day at Derby HallA childhood spent making dens in the woods, exploring caves with my friends and cycling with my dad has made me rather attached to the green and luscious outdoors. Nature has been my playground for as long as I can remember, it provides an overwhelming example of harmony, beauty and creativity. Whether it is eco villages in Scotland, waterfalls in Laos or rainforest in Uganda.

It is this love which has driven me to study environmental science here at The University of Nottingham. It is so important to be learning about something you have a passion for; it makes lectures engaging and rather than putting off course work, I enjoy it!

As we have seen in the 2012 floods in the UK , Hurricane Katrina in America and record breaking heat waves around the world: nature is powerful. Recent scientific evidence shows that these effects are a result of humans burning fossil fuels and logging the large parts of the Amazon rainforest.

Data from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) predicts ever more drastic changes and damage to the environment if we are to carry on at our current rate of consumption.

In order for me to be able to share similar childhood memories when I’m a father; action needs to be taken now.

Although as an individual I do not have any global influence or any parliamentary swing. But what I can do though is focus on my own actions:

  •  I can buy only what I need, from sustainable sources close to home.
  •  I can turn off my electrical appliances when not using them.
  •  I can make extra effort to recycle!

Change comes from the individual, and grows out into the surrounding friends, family and society. We can all instigate change every day, with our actions and words. I want my influence to be positive.

Running for the Environmental and Social Justice Representative for my hall was another way I could work with our environment. The University of Nottingham is fantastic for sustainability and has yet again been awarded green flag status for its ground and gardens. It has a comprehensive recycling scheme, with loads of recycling points across campus. With my position I’m trying to put paper recycling bins in students’ rooms, to further increase the amount of recycled paper, hopefully meaning less trees are cut down!

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