I made my first visit to Ningbo, and to China, in early June with a view to understanding the challenges and opportunities to achieve a sustainable campus. Of course, there are different challenges in China – but exciting ones. For a start, the climate in Ningbo is one of extremes. It’s not unusual for temperatures to dip well below freezing in the winter months but to peak some way over 40 degrees celsius in the summer. That in itself makes it more difficult to achieve a comfortable working environment and means we’re designing buildings that cope well in the cold and extreme heat.
You can read more at: Sustainable Nottingham » Towards a Sustainable Ningbo.
Over the past two weeks I have participated in The University of Nottingham’s Sustainability, Society and You MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and it’s been a greatly rewarding experience so far. Not only is the content perfect for stimulating big issues and identify how individuals can make a difference, the whole process of learning in this way is interesting in itself.
Over the past two weeks (and there are 6 weeks in total) we have covered topics as diverse, but inter-connected, as food, waste, energy, water and how, in the home, we can make conscious decisions to reduce our impact on the planet’s finite resources.
I have been participating this week whilst attending as many of The University of Nottingham’s programme as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week where the University was able to showcase the great work it’s doing, some of the exemplar buildings, including the Energy Technologies Building and the Creative Energy Homes. It was great to be part of that programme too – which complemented the MOOC as the week went by.
As a practitioner in this field, it’s great to have this resource available to help others engage, share experiences and learn. Our greatest challenge is to understand that to truly become sustainable we must first understand the implications of not being sustainable and what we can do to get there. If you haven’t signed up for the course, I recommend you do – and when you have – share it with your friends, colleagues and associates. It could form a fantastic resource in corporate learning programmes, school classrooms or undergraduate programmes. It’s been designed to be accessible, engaging and uses a range of different media to keep your engagement levels high.