Microgrants for 103 sustainability projects, thanks to prize money from UNESCO award

10 August 2017


Welcoming bugs, bats and birds © University of Chester

The National Union of Students from the United Kingdom (NUS-UK) was one of the winners of the 2016 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In this new post on the ESD Prize Blog, Sophie Hemery tells us how NUS used part of the USD 50,000 award to finance 103 local sustainability projects with microgrants:

"When we learned last year that NUS won the ESD Prize for the Green Impact scheme, we knew immediately that we would use part of the prize money to award microgrants to Green Impact participants, to support their work with sustainability. Here are some of the fantastic things they've been up to thanks to our UNESCO award. 

For example, the University of Strathclyde have invested in their community garden. They've introduced a greater variety of crops, with more crop rotation, gotten more staff involved, focussed on biodiversity, committed to local collaboration, bought a birdfeeder and new tools, and held a workshop to make a sign. Phew, well done on all the hard work! 

At the University of Sussex, Sussexsport has purchased an electric bike to reduce staff car use when travelling between the two sports facilities on campus. Duty Manager Ben Ospalak explains: “The electric bike has allowed us to create a truly green alternative to driving around campus, and the basket allows us to transport heavy items that would be difficult to walk with. We're really happy to have been awarded the grant and hope other departments may see us riding around and be inspired to do the same!”

The University of East Anglia asked: water you doing with your water? They ran a water saving competition, in tandem with World Water Day, and used their microgrant to fund prizes. Entrants could either use meters to measure their consumption during a month, or enter a photo competition about water saving.

The University of Chester wanted to use their microgrant to increase biodiversity on campus. They got students and staff on board, educating about the importance of biodiversity and holding a woodwork workshop to build bug hotels, and bird and bat boxes! We hope the critters are grateful for the efforts."

Click here to read the full blog.