​Universities as leaders of climate action

Anika Kovalická, a Nottingham Trent University (NTU) student studying Global Studies and International Relations talks climate change and education. 
 
Universities and Behaviour Change
Attending the School Strike for Climate protests raised a question – “why, suddenly are all these kids are out there in the streets, shouting?” I was asked this question multiple times by older generations in my family and the only response I could give them was, “we are fighting for our future, what else can we do?”

Governments are suddenly starting to listen to science; media are representing climate change as the crisis that it is; people are starting to educate themselves about the behavior changes required - and it’s about time.
 
Education and Climate
Our individual willingness and efforts won’t do much if they are not supported by the places where we spend the most time – our schools and universities.  I’m passionate about environment, sustainability and raising behavior change awareness about climate crisis. That’s one of the reasons why I’m proud to be a student of Nottingham Trent University, one of the most sustainable universities in the world.

I applaud the whole idea of Green Rewards at NTU. It’s a great way to motivate more people to try living more ecologically and contribute to the normalisation of a sustainable life.
 
Lasting Behavior Change
I think that lasting behavior change is exactly what we need. Not only should our homes be green and sustainable environments, but our schools and workplaces too. We need to normalise the idea of recycling and refusing single use plastics, so that by the time us young people go into the ‘real world’, we are used to living that way. Universities are great places to start this process.

There’s long way to go; many years until everybody understands that they need to act now. Climate crisis is the most important issue that needs to be dealt with. Places like Nottingham and NTU make me feel more hopeful about the future.
 
Green Rewards at NTU
This is the first year that Green Rewards has been available to both NTU staff and students. Since its launch, their programme has inspired 63,000 positive actions for sustainability and wellbeing. NTU is hoping to build on its position as one of the ‘greenest’ universities in the UK after coming 3rd in the highly regarded People & Planet University Green League. Anika is taking part in Green Rewards to boost sustainability and wellbeing for all students and staff.


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