DCU students embrace 30-day sustainability challenge ahead of COP26 summit
From hand-washing clothes for 30 days to eating insects as a sustainable source of protein, DCU students are leading the way ahead of the COP26 summit with a month-long personal sustainability challenge exploring the opportunities for wider societal change to address climate change issues.
This year marks the first year of DCU’s new BA in Climate and Environmental Sustainability and already the class is having an impact as 26 students have made immediate changes during October so they can gain first-hand experience and explore potential behaviour changes that could help Ireland meet its commitments to climate change.
Assistant Professor Darren Clarke, from the School of History and Geography at DCU said:
“Young people have been central to climate change actions and debates in recent years, speaking out on the significant and immediate changes needed across society to meet our climate change commitments. Ahead of COP26, I tasked the students with their own personal sustainability challenge so they can see the transformative potential of their own actions on wider change and see how they might influence large-scale systemic change to address climate change and sustainability issues.”
The class has embraced the challenge with gusto and the variety of activities range from:
- washing clothes by hand for 30 days
- to eating insects (crickets / mealworms) to highlight other sustainable sources of protein for 30 days
- others are going vegetarian or vegan for 30 days
- and some are walking or cycling to college for the month
According to the DCU lecturer, the experiment has been like a living lab for students and it has proven to be a very useful and practical tool for students to understand and engage with individuals, businesses and government to adopt pro-climate behaviours and policies.
This DCU challenge has been particularly timely happening just before the UK is set to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.
This is the first of many challenges for students on the new BA in Climate and Environmental Sustainability course at DCU which is an applied geography programme that is not just about understanding climate change and its consequences, but also about understanding how individuals and the environment itself offers solutions.
For more information on the BA in Climate and Environmental Sustainability see www.dcu.ie/DC294