Sustainability Checklist

Food and Drink Checklist

  • Use eggs that are free range or freedom food certified.
  • Order food that is delivered using minimal or no packaging.
  • Buy Organic Certified Produce.
  • Get a Veg Card from the Students’ Union food outlets: Buy 10 items from the vegan section or a vegan or vegetarian salad, sandwich or wrap and get the 11th free!
  • Buy seafood produce that is Marine Stewardship Council Certified.
  • Buy food that has recyclable packaging.
  • Buy Seasonal Produce.
  • Buy free-range meat.
  • Eliminate all single use plastics.
  • Buy a majority of food that is vegetarian or vegan.
  • Buy locally produced products (grown or made within a 50 mile radius).
  • Reduce overbuying by considering the amount of food needed.
  • Share leftovers with society members/friends/Want Not Waste Shop, or try a food sharing app like OLIO or Too Good to Go.
  • Donate unwanted food and drink to Manchester Central Foodbank. If you have food you no longer need, that is still sealed (e.g. packets, cans, bottles) and within it use-by date it can be donated to Manchester Central Foodbank - a local organisation collecting food that might otherwise be wasted and redistributing it to those in need. There is a collection point near the tills in the Fallowfield’s Sainsbury’s or Gorton’s Tesco Extra.
  • Hire the Open Kitchen MCR as an outside caterer for an event. Open Kitchen MCR (formerly Real Junk Food Mcr) is a not for profit. They source food that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into delicious meals for conferences, meetings and special occasions.
  • Choose the most ethical option by using Ethical Consumer to research if a product is ethically produced and choose the best option (higher ranked) where possible.

Transport Checklist

  • Calculate your trip’s carbon footprint. Don’t travel to Europe by Air. We recommend that everyone travels within Europe using International Rail Networks or Coaches, where possible, as this hugely reduces carbon emissions. For international rail information, please refer to Seat61.
  • Reduce the distance of your journey. If you are going to a venue off-campus for an event, are you sure there isn’t a closer venue offering a similar experience?
  • Reduce the number of people travelling. Invite a speaker/event leader to campus or a central location to reduce the number of people travelling.
  • Encourage visiting speakers and participants to use more sustainable travel options. Examples include walking/cycling directs/public transport or bicycle storage locations.
  • Hold a remote meeting via the internet to save travelling to campus.
  • Try cycling and/or car-pooling with others on your route to reduce emissions. Advise on cycling safely in Manchester can be found on Manchester City Council’s Website.

Energy Reduction Checklist

  • Ensure lights are switched off in rooms after use.
  • Turn off computers, projectors, equipment when not in use where possible.
  • Reduce printing to save energy and resources. Examples include papers for meetings or leaflets.
  • Energy saving options vary according to what activities your society or student group undertake. Think about what energy you use and ways you might reduce or offset it.

Ethical Items for Events

  • Consider the principles of the waste hierarchy: Refuse » Reduce » Reuse » Recycle.
  • Hire out items instead of buying them. The Resource Centre have a variety of items and activities that can be hired out.
  • Choose the most ethical option by using Ethical Consumer to research if a product is ethically produced and choose the best option (higher ranked) where possible.
  • Use alternative online shopping platforms. Ethical Consumer have produced a list of ethical online retailers.
  • Buy Fairtrade wherever possible.
  • Refer to the Food Checklist (above) for any food and drink purchased.
  • Buy paper and notepads that are 100% recycled or FSC/NAPM labelled.
  • Buy and donate items to charity shops.
  • Buy eco-friendly products from the Want Not Waste shop in the Union including refillable washing-up liquid, laundry detergent and fabric conditioner, as well as dishwasher tablets, washing powder, handmade soaps, shampoo bars, beeswax wraps and glass straws.

Marketing Checklist

  • Don’t overprint on leaflets, flyers or posters as this will use a lot of paper, ink, water and energy to produce them. Consider reducing the size of leaflets and posters too wherever possible, as well as recycling them after use.
  • Encourage people to delete old emails. A study by ICF International and McAfee revealed that storing 1GB of email consumes 32.1kWh per year. According to Orange, if every single person in France deleted 50 emails, the energy savings would be equivalent to turning off the Eiffel tower’s lights for 42 years, or to New York City not consuming any electricity for 4 hours.
  • Use online marketing and communications instead of printing.
  • Collaborate with other societies. If you are putting on an event, consider sharing resources or even co-hosting with another society.
  • Reduce the impact of any freebies given away for marketing purposes. Examples may include logo-printed t-shirts. Do you need to use this marketing strategy? Don’t over-order. Try to make the product as ethical as possible e.g. fabric bags instead of plastics or organic t-shirts with eco-friendly printing.

Waste Checklist

  • Use the recycling bins all over campus to correctly dispose of recycling. Please do not put incorrect items in recycling bins or the contents may all end up in landfill.
  • Drop off old batteries in our battery recycling bin at the Help Desk in the Students’ Union.
  • Use water fountains all over campus rather than buying drinks in plastic bottles.
  • Recycle your crisp packets in the crisp specific bins in the Students’ Union.
  • Recycle any food waste in the Students’ Union. There are also food waste bins available in Halls from September 2019.
  • Fill any empty plastic bottles with clean, dry plastic to make an eco-brick. These can be donated at the Want Not Waste shop in the Union any used in various building projects for insulation or bricks which can be filled in with cement or clay.
  • Recycle and teracycle items at the Want Not Waste shop in the Union. These include: crisp packets, bread bags, biscuit packets, contact lens cases, batteries and stationary.
  • Recycle any unused or partially used toiletries at the Want Not Waste shop in the Union which can go to a homeless charity.
Mobile CSS