The inaugural Eco-My-Flat competition gets underway this week with 34 University of Canterbury student flats vying to be recognised as the most eco-friendly.
The Eco-My-Flat competition will run throughout March and each week focus on a different theme - energy, waste, transport and shopping. Members of the participating flats will submit blog entries detailing their progress in each category. Each week's results will be merged with the findings of two audits to determine the winning flat.
Twenty of the 34 flats have been selected to receive extra help, including weekly workshops and an Eco-My-Flat pack containing eco-friendly soap and laundry powder, socks and beanies, vegetable and herb seeds, recycled card wallets and other useful tools.
The weekly Sustainable Living workshops will be facilitated by local environmental educator Paul de Spa to help the students learn from and encourage one another. At the end of the four week period prizes will be awarded for each of the four competition categories, as well as the most creative and innovative solutions, the most improved flat and the most 'eco' flat.
The Eco-My-Flat competition is part of a wider programme promoting sustainability at the University of Canterbury. UC Sustainability Advocate Dr Kate Hewson says initiatives like Eco-My-Flat are a great way of engaging with students on sustainability in a creative way.
"I hope that the students involved in the competition will see how this big issue called sustainability relates to them personally and how they can pretty easily start to do something about it."
UCSA President Michael Goldstein is enthusiastic about the competition. "I think Eco-My-Flat is a great idea and I see potential for this competition to go nationwide. This is a way for the student community to learn about sustainability, whilst having fun and winning prizes at the same time," he says.
Further information about Eco-My-Flat and other sustainability related projects at the University of Canterbury can be found at www.sustain.canterbury.ac.nz. Blog entries from the competing flats will be posted at www.carboncreditcollector.com.
Primary sponsors: University of Canterbury, University of Canterbury Students Association, Christchurch City Council Contributing sponsors: Community Energy Action, Forest and Bird, Kings Seeds, The Supershed, Piko, Green Man Brewery, Environment Canterbury, Greenpeace, Energymad, Canterbury Property Investors Association, Phoenix Organics, Rialto Cinemas, BikeLine, Ooid, Scorpio Books, EcoStore, Trade Aid, Ya-ya Teahouse, New Internationalist