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Students Improve their Local Environment with the Student Eco-Home Programme

Christine Cahoon   Wed 02 Apr 2014   updated: Tue 22 Sep 2015

Student households across Belfast have been shining up their green credentials and becoming more environmentally friendly by following simple steps laid out in Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Eco-Home programme. The Student Eco-Home project has been funded by the NGO Challenge Fund administered by NIEL.

The programme sets out easy to follow steps for householders on how to become more eco-friendly in four topic areas: Energy, Water, Transport and Waste. The Belfast students have been focusing on Waste and Recycling. Waste is one of the main areas of expenditure in Northern Ireland with over 1 million tonnes of waste being generated each year; this equates to 1.75 tonnes per person!

Students taking part in the Eco-Home project have been going to workshops and getting information on being more environmentally efficient at home and on how to save money on household bills. They were also keen to give back to the communities they live in during term time by taking to the streets to pick up litter from the residential areas in and around Elms Village and Stranmillis. During the clean-up around Elms Village Queen’s students gathered 11 bin bags of litter, 5 of which were full of recyclable materials, and also 5 buckets of glass; around Stranmillis streets, students gathered 20 bags of litter and glass. The Queen’s students living in Elms Village also rolled up their sleeves to spruce up the Elms’ garden patch to get ready for spring planting.

Carmel Fyfe, Manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “It is great to see so many students in Belfast participating in the Eco-Home programme and doing their part for the local environment by tackling the issues of waste and litter in the student areas. Not only are they saving money by reducing waste but are also helping to keep the rates bill down for everyone by properly sorting and recycling plastic, paper and cans. The Eco-Home programme is available to all households and is good for the environment, the economy and the householder and we would love to hear from other households interested in getting involved also.”

Gwen Smyth from Queen’s Accommodation and Hospitality Services said: “It is great to see students really taking the initiative and getting involved within the Eco-Home Programme. We work hard each year with students to reduce our landfill waste and to recycle more; our clothes and books swaps are proving to be very popular, all of which is making a contribution to a better environment.”