Advent is here, the sun is setting on this year’s fall semester and it’s time to start reflecting on what SSC has achieved in HS20. What comes to my mind immediately? We finally have a proper Communication Team. It makes me so glad.
Perhaps it’s a bit hard to empathize with why this is a real achievement from an outside perspective, so let me explain. On the broad level, a central aim of the SSC Retreat in March 2020 was creating a stable long-term structure that would ensure smooth knowledge transfer when members leave upon graduation and would also enable new members to easily join and find a meaningful place. Hence, we grouped ourselves into various Teams. On the concrete level, we realized how important communication is - if no one knows you exist, do you exist? :p Hence, we created our own Communication Team.
Several months onward, experience has confirmed just how valuable that aspect of organizational structure really is. And I’d also emphasize the importance of (online) infrastructure, but I’ll save the details for a further semester-end-post.
Because the point I really want to get to, is that our Comm Team has something special cooking for you during the last December weeks: It’s time for the SSC Adventkalendar! From Mindful Mondays, via Tempting Tuesdays and Factful Fridays all the way to Serious Sundays, we have delicious food for soul and thought in store for you every day. Head straight over to Instagram and enjoy. (And don’t worry, our “Sustainable Household Tips” Series will be back to support you in the new year :p)
Divesting from fossil fuels is an essential step to combatting climate change. ETH Zurich urgently needs to stop investing in fossil fuels. Only then will this leading institution truly contribute to a greener future, not only with its research and teaching but also its financial budget.
Read more on how our Development team is working together with other student organizations in order to #DivestETH in this ZS Article and join us for a first lively Zoom discussion on November 18th.
It must be an incredible feeling when you cross that finish-line after running a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon. And actually, the progress I want to share with you is not a finish-line, either. It’s rather a milestone in the journey towards sustainability of the ETH physics department. During FS20, I was part of a working group in D-PHYS that produced a document thoroughly analysing our CO2 footprint and making suggestions for improvement. It was inspiring to hear how strongly some of our professors, technicians etc. do care about sustainability. How much time and energy they are willing to sacrifice for the sake of making a change, even if they’d rather be doing the research they love.
Please read this article I wrote about our work. And return to this page to read about the further progress we make in HS20.
The course has been set. The physics department officially endorsed the 47 page CO2 analysis and guideline document which I presented in a previous post in the departmental conference last Friday (2. October). There were no major objections and the document received a 85% majority support. However, this success will be purely symbolic until we actually put the guidelines into practice. Therefore, we physics students at SSC are rolling up our sleeves together with a handful of professors and the D-PHYS communication staff. Our first project is a communication campaign with the immediate aim of making the content of the document known to students and staff as well as the long-term ambition of kicking off a cultural change at our department. Stay tuned for details!
One more thing: Incidentally, the physics department is being evaluated by an international committee end of October. In preparation, students and staff have filmed video messages with their personal impressions and wishes. Here is what I have to say: “Successful and Sustainable - The New Generation of Researchers”
Let’s change our travel behaviour. This step has one of the biggest potentials to limit the greenhouse gas emissions produced by employees and students of ETH Zürich in the near future.
Avoiding the airplane is, however, generally perceived as restricting international network building and making it harder to keep up personal relationships. Thus, the prospects of reduced or more sustainable mobility are often received with a fear of loss of academic quality.
This article aims to reassure that this does not have to be the case. In the first part, we will give you the necessary numbers and figures to understand the importance of a comprehensive mobility strategy in the development of a sustainable university. Then, we will describe the advantages and challenges of low-emission solutions for necessary international meetings. At the end, we provide a short list of tips to support readers who are willing to take action and build a more sustainable and responsible academic career.
Going against the mainstream is not easy. That’s why we decided to share the stories of people who decided to not fly, were creative and got to their destination in alternative fashion.
Dive straight into Episode 1 of our Flight Reduction - Experiences and Interviews: "A long way to Asia - On a container ship from Malta to Malasia" !
You know someone with a similar experience? Is there a person whose story you’d like to share? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
What a delicious email. The email@example.com newsletter just arrived in my inbox confirming that from 14. September onwards, we will have the option of using reCircle Tupperware in nearly all* canteens and restaurants on our campus. Even three food trucks are joining the movement! If you buy a takeaway meal, you are no longer forced to use a single-use plastic container destined for the rubbish bin. Instead you can choose to enjoy your meal in a smart-looking purple reBox. Please make that choice.
This step is part of the on-going catering Climate Program and was not easy to achieve: I remember the surprising resistance we faced during Climate Program workshops over a year ago. So again, please make that choice. A choice leading away from our current throw-away society towards a more circular economy.
*Let’s convince RiceUp to join as well! Why don’t you sneak in a “Can I use a reBox, please?” next time you have lunch there. 😉
Read more here