La Trobe gets the answers on environmental sustainability

The winners of the Greening La Trobe EnviroSMART awards have been decided. A ceremony to congratulate the winners and to present prizes will be held on Wednesday, 24 September, 12 noon, at the University's Western Lecture Theatre 2. The ceremony will be video conferenced with the Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton campuses.

More than 100 entries were received from students and staff, with ten submissions receiving awards.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, found the response from students and staff very encouraging.

"Sustainability is not just about big business doing things better, it is also about what everybody can do in their daily life, including at work, to make for a more sustainable future, and the number and high standard of submissions reflects the University's collective wealth of creativity and strong desire to improve the environment," he said.

Prizes were donated by local businesses to reward contestants, but the biggest motivator for competition entrants was the University's intention to implement the winning ideas, where possible, as a demonstration of its own evolving green strategy.

Competition submissions were judged by a panel representing the University and external environmental agencies. Viable ideas that show innovation and creativity and demonstrate a positive impact on sustainability were chosen as the winners.

The three top winning ideas were:

Infrastructure: Marg Pittaway (Eco-Oasis)

Marg has submitted a concept for a creatively landscaped native garden to promote ‘sustainable relationships.' She suggests building an alfresco environment for students to have somewhere to ‘hangout' before and after classes. In drought affected Mildura this represents an attractive and sustainable alternative to the current dead lawn for visitors and students PRIZE: $100 LTU Credit Union account

Curriculum: Tony De Souza (Sustainable curriculum)

Tony's idea suggests that the University should integrate sustainability concepts and practices right across the curriculum and research activities. Some ideas within Tony's submission were teaching organic farming principles , and focussing on alternative energy sources, materials and methods in engineering courses. PRIZE: $100 LTU Credit Union account

Sustainable Practice: Martin Steinbauer (Carbon offsetting)

Martin suggests evaluating the carbon sequestered by the eucalyptus on La Trobe campuses and reserves, with a view to assessing the carbon footprint of the University. Martin says we should obtain a carbon neutral certification and establish a La Trobe carbon offset program which will fund campus –specific grounds enhancement initiatives. PRIZE: $100 LTU Credit Union account

Individual Campus Awards

Bundoora Campus
Community Garden for the use of staff and students to grow their own produce. Idea from the Equality Sustainability Peace collective student group.
$100 LTU University Bookshop voucher
Shepparton Campus
University Bicycles for staff travel between the two Shepparton Campuses thus saving car and bus use. A submission from a group of four staff members.
$100 voucher from Image La Trobe
Albury-Wodonga Campus
"Lug-a-mug" idea which encourages people to take their own mug to campus coffee shops, saving on disposable coffee cups. Idea by Tyler Thomas.
Telstra Mobile Phone
Bendigo Campus
Permaculture garden for student and community education. Idea by Teagan Brown, Teagan Brown, Jackson Ireland, Ash Bassington, Danielle Cuskelly
$100 LTU Bookshop Voucher
Midura Campus
Eco Oasis as above. Idea by Marg Pittway.
$15 dry cleaning voucher Brown Gouge Dry cleaning, Bundoora Campus
Beechworth Campus
Energy monitors on a roster to ensure that lights, computers and appliances are switched off. Idea by Lisa Cartledge.
$50 voucher from the LTU Jewellery Store
City Campus
Desktop plants in all offices to absorb CO2 and to create a greener, more natural work environment. Idea by Biswajit Banik.
$50 David Jones voucher

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