Inaugural Enviro-Week set to start

The university’s inaugural Enviro-Week, encouraging sustainable living and the protection of the environment, starts  next week — and people are encouraged to walk on the wild side at a special quiz at the Bog Irish Bar.

Organised by the Otago University Animals, Aquatic, Plants, Ecological Society (AAPES), the Students for Environmental Action group (SEA), the Campus Greens and the Vegan and Animal Rights Society, the week will include a mass clean-up of Castle St on Friday, a Wildlife Quiz at the Bog, a vegan bake sale and many more activities aimed at teaching people to be more eco-friendly. A clothes swap, and a trip to do some planting at the Sinclair Wetland, are also scheduled for the week. As well as the quiz, which will challenge  contestants’ knowledge of wildlife,  people are  being encouraged to dress up, and there will be a prize for the best dressed.

SEA representative Matthew Schep said while the week was aimed at students, members of the public were also welcome to attend. One of the biggest events will be a panel event on September 5, discussing how the university can be more sustainable. It will include speakers from the Dunedin City Council, the university and climate change movement Generation Zero.

Mr Schep said the week had taken a ‘‘couple of months’’ to organise but all the speakers who agreed to come were sharing their expertise free of charge. He thought living waste-free was gradually becoming more  mainstream, and students were ‘‘starting to realise that we can do a lot better’’. He worked at a supermarket which had recently stopped providing plastic bags, and it had been an ‘‘interesting but really cool journey’’ seeing how people got on board with the idea, Mr Schep said.

• A schedule of events is available online at the Enviro-Week Facebook event page. 

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