Be the Change and save water, energy and money

Be the Change is the University’s new campaign to empower staff and students to make more sustainable choices. Be the Change features six challenges relating to food, fashion, travel, electronics, energy & water, and action. Each month highlights a theme and offers events and activities to engage people in related challenges.  

This month, we are asking you to challenge yourself to cut your energy and water consumption, save money and help the planet. Small changes like switching gadgets off at the socket, enjoying 4-minute showers and turning off taps when brushing your teeth can make a big difference.

What are some of the things we can do? 

Take shorter showers. The average time spent in the shower is around 7 minutes. By reducing your time in the shower, you use less energy, helping you to reduce your impact on the environment and saving you money. Take 4-minute showers using a shower timer – get your hands on one at any of the events this month! Each minute less could save you 10 litres of water. 

Use a washing up bowl. By turning off the taps and using a bowl to wash your dishes, you can save up to 9 litres of water a minute! 

Switch off standby. Preserve energy and save up to £65 per year by avoiding standby mode and switching your gadgets off at the socket. 

Use only what you need. Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. Avoid overfilling the kettle and save water, energy and around £13 a year on your electricity bill.  

Wash clothes on as low temperature as possible. Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than higher temperatures will save around 40% of the energy used each year.

Upcoming events

The University is hosting various events and activities relating to each Be the Change challenge and the University’s Sustainability Strategy. This month’s events include: 

  • How Bad Are Bananas? – Wed 9 November, Wed 23 November – ALL DAY, Senate House
    Learn more about the carbon footprint of groceries and everyday items at this pop-up game. We’ll also be giving away vegan, Fairtrade chocolates to every player. No need to sign-up – come along and get involved! 
  • Watt’s Next? – The Journey to Net Zero Energy – Tues 15 November, 4-5pm, Wills Memorial Building: Old Council Chamber
    A talk covering the reduction of carbon across the University of Bristol with Chris Jones (Sustainability Manager – Energy) and Dr John Brenton (Sustainability Manager – Analysis). For more information and to register for free tickets, visit Eventbrite. 
  • Be the Change X Hedgehog Friendly Campus Litter PickWed 30 Nov, 1.30pm, starting at Senate House
    In collaboration with the University of Bristol Estates Team and Hedgehog Friendly Campus, the Sustainability team are hosting our first litter pick of the academic year. Attendees will be provided with litter picking gear and safety equipment. For more information and to register, visit Eventbrite. 
  • Every Drip Every Drop: Preserving Water for Generations to Come – Tues 29 November, 4-5pm, Online
    Bristol Water will discuss the strategy for reducing water wastage across the city and share tips on how you can save water (and money!) at home. For more information and to register visit Eventbrite. 

To find out more and set yourself a challenge visit Be the Change University webpage. You can also join the Be the Change community group on Yammer. 


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