Students and staff are crucial stakeholders in our effort to build a green campus. In 2014/15, we continued to engage them proactively with various campaigns and promotion programs to drive green changes throughout our campus.
For the third year running, we organized the PolyU Campus Sustainability Weeks in March 2015 to promote sustainable culture on campus. We aimed to share knowledge on sustainable development with students, staff and visitors through a lively Green Carnival, seminars, workshops and guided tours. This year’s theme “Green Campus; Green City” buttressed the bridge from PolyU’s academic and research excellence to the wider development in the city. The Green Carnival featured a new Green Forum with speakers from different disciplines who shared experiences and new ideas on ways to develop a sustainable city.
[Photo]: Local green practitioners share ideas at Green Forum
Organic farming and dining has captured the public attention in the last few years. A student team from PolyU, the Era, initiated a Hydroponic Salad Vegetable Planting Scheme to promote urban sustainability and low-carbon living. Funded by the PolyU Micro Fund, the Era invited students and staff to build an experimental hydroponic farm on campus. They also had a chance to learn about urban farming using solar-hydroponic technology with mineral-rich nutrient solutions. This self-initiated educational project garnered multiple awards, including the Grand Award at PolyU Micro Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Innovation Stream), the Excellence Award of Innovation at the Global Student Challenge: PolyU Pre-Challenge 2014, and was one of the winning projects of the University Grants Committee Funding for Student-Initiated Projects.
[Photo]: Urban hydroponic farm at PolyU
We encourage students on campus to join or even start environmental activities that promote environmental messages and encourage behavioral change. Hall residents have organized waste separation and reduction activities since 2014. The Green Hall in the Student Halls of Residence (Homantin) organized the Reusable Item Distribution Exercise to promote sharing and reusing resources among students. An Inter-Hall Recycling Competition was also organized to raise students’ attention to waste reduction.
[Photo]: Students exchanging items at the Reusable Item Distribution Exercise
O’ Camps (or student orientation camps, i.e. freshmen activities) are signature events at the start of the academic year in Hong Kong universities. While favorite among students, O’ Camps are often criticized for over-consumption. To green up this important local tradition, we issued a Green O’ Camp Information Kit to students’ associations. PolyU also organized the Green O’ Camp Recycling Campaign in cooperation with Christian Action to collect unwanted or surplus goods from other O’ Camps, setting an excellent example of green practices for future students-led events.
[Photo]: The Green O’ Camp Information Kit of PolyU