Lizzie Hunter is your 2019-20 elected, cross-campus, Sustainability Officer, and in line with the Global Climate Strike today (20th September), we sat down with her to discuss how she feels about sustainability on campus and what her plans are for the upcoming year!
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability has always been a big part of my life from a young age. To me it means leading a lifestyle that isn’t too impactful on the environment such as reducing meat consumption and being responsible with waste etc. However, I think it’s important to recognise that individual action isn’t everything and we should be pointing fingers at larger corporations to make sure they’re doing their bit too to be sustainable.
Why did you run for the position of Sustainability Officer?
I’ve loved being a member of Green Mary over the last couple of years and enjoyed meeting people at QM and hearing their concerns about sustainability at our university. I’m hoping this year as Sustainability Officer I’ll be able to address some of them and work with other students to encourage QM to be as sustainable as possible.
What do you hope to achieve this year?
My main goal is to encourage as many people at QM as possible to care about the environment.
Josie (last year’s Sustainability Officer) and I have also launched a campaign to declare a climate emergency at Queen Mary, so if we can make that happen I’ll be really proud. Here’s the link if you want to sign our petition http://chng.it/kGvdCWmZyh .
Why do you think we, as students, should become more involved in sustainability and the fight against climate change?
There are endless reports that suggest that if we don’t start acting now then the damage to our earth will be irreversible. Although this is a daunting prospect there seems like no better time than now to use your voice and help to enable change no matter how small. Whether it’s using social media or jumping on the District line to Westminster we can use our voices to shout about the importance of doing something!
How do you think are the small changes students can make a difference in terms of their living to help fight climate change?
There are so many things that students can do to help fight climate change! Not eating too much meat and buying more second-hand clothing is not only better for the environment but I’ve found can also save money too. There are some great charity shops in London such as Lama’s Pyjamas on Roman Road which is a great place to find some cool clothes for a decent price! I’m also planning to organise another clothes swap this year so look out for that!
I think as students we should also be thinking about taking part in protests and marches if you feel comfortable doing so.
Who is your sustainability icon?
I look up to anyone who has used their voice to encourage others and am constantly inspired by people’s activism and passion.
One of my favourite icons is the journalist (and QM alumna!) Lucy Siegle. She has written some great articles on ethical living and appeared in my favourite documentary about the impact of the fashion industry ‘The True Cost’. I am really inspired by her.