Sustainability Blog - by UEA staff & students Sustainability Blog - by UEA staff & students


SustainableUEA Welcome Crossword

SustainableUEA welcome crossword (blank)

This Welcome Week we created drinks coasters for all residential rooms on campus, and to give away at Societies Fair.

Did you get the answers right?

1. To produce less waste


Reduce plastic use by taking a canvas bag shopping

REDUCE: That’s right folks, if we really want to keep our planet looking bright eyed and bushy tailed we need to reduce the amount of waste we pile all over it, in our oceans and buried in the ground. But don’t worry it’s not all doom and gloom, there are many easy ways you can easily reduce your waste.

Choose reusable canvas bags instead of picking up plastic bags when you do your weekly shop. Not only will you be dodging the 5p charge, you’ll be doing your bit in keeping plastic waste out of our oceans and land. Wildlife can mistake plastic for food or become strangled so it’s really for the best that you try to use a cloth bag instead.

2. A diet that includes no animal products, with lower emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane and CO2

Tray a vegan diet to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact - and be healthier!...

VEGAN: A vegan diet includes no animal products and therefore comes with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also thought that a vegan diet comes with health benefits such as reduced cholesterol and risk of heart attacks and strokes, so it’s a win win really.

Vegetables are cheaper than meat, and options like lentils, beans and nuts are great ways to add plant-based protein and texture to dishes. Norwich is an amazing place for vegan and vegetarian ingredients and cuisine, and this is the perfect time to explore!

3. A type of low energy light source

Lightbulb options - change to LEDs to save money and energy...

LED: a super energy-efficient light bulb. LED light bulbs consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs (Figure 1 below gives a summary of the stats behind the different types of light). LED bulbs not only save energy, they also save you money as they have the longest lifespan and highest efficiency compared to other light forms.

So when you’re thinking about switching your light bulbs in your student house, definitely consider LEDs. You'll have more money left in your pocket for the finer things in life!

4. A marine species that is experiencing bleaching from increased CO2 levels

Coral bleaching is happening due to rising sea temperatures and acidity...

CORAL: if you got this one right you’re obviously quite clued up on the environmental issues facing us today. You may have read news articles declaring that the Great Barrier Reef is essentially dead, and sadly it is true.

Rising levels of carbon dioxide ( CO2) in the atmosphere cause higher amounts of CO2 to be absorbed by our oceans. This forms carbonic acid. When combined with rising temperatures, this causes corals to be 'bleached' (turn white) and die. The rising temperatures cause the coral to become stressed and spit out the algae that live inside them and provide them with 90% of its energy, so the corals starve.

When coral starves, the whole ecosystem they support starves. Fish can no longer use the corals for shelter, bigger fish no longer have smaller fish to eat, birds no longer have fish to hunt and the list goes on. But we can still act to stop this getting any worse, if we all act together to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the corals may stand a chance.

If you have any ideas or want to get involved in our work, email us at

About the author: Emily Mason

Emily studies Environmental Sciences at UEA. She completed a summer work experience placement with the Sustainability Team, looking at communications and engagement for sustainability. She has been an active member of the Green Impact programme at UEA.