Societies and Trinity Ents have moved from plastic membership cards to digital alternatives for this year’s Freshers’ Fair in a move to reduce unnecessary waste.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Central Societies Committee (CSC), has launched its Societies Go Green campaign, stating: “The CSC is turning over a new leaf, working towards being more environmentally conscious in its actions.” The initiative is to begin by addressing the sustainability issues of Freshers’ Week.
In an effort to reduce the 43,500 plastic membership cards that are produced each year, 6,500 of which are never handed out, the CSC has introduced digital membership cards. Additionally, the CSC has introduced online ticketing for all societies, reducing the waste from the 850 ticketed society events per year.
On their website, the CSC has produced a list of suggestions to improve sustainability for all societies. It suggests that societies publish event information online, either by social media or email, and reduce the number of flyers and printed publications used each year. If a society must print a publication, the CSC suggests using more environmentally friendly printers and printing processes.
Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) is also working to reduce their environmental impact this Freshers Week with the launch of a digitized Ents card.
Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU Ents Officer, Judith Robinson, explained that “students have to download the Bounce app, scan a QR code (which will be at our Ents stand) and it will then be added to their wallets”.
“The physical cards resulted in a huge amount of plastic waste, so the digitized Ents card is a big step in minimizing waste on campus,” she continued.
Robinson added that Ents will also focus on reducing the environmental impact of Trinity Ball and the Pavillion Bar.
Muireann Kane, TCDSU Communications and Marketing Officer, told Trinity News that the union is “taking any small steps [it] can, beginning with the Ents card and reducing [its] paper trail as much as possible throughout the year”.
“In place of poster advertisements this year, we are encouraging inclusion into the weekly email,” Kane said.
Last year, sustainability efforts included the implementation of digital membership cards by EnviroSoc, as well as the facilitation of waste reduction workshops at Trinity Hall for incoming first year students to teach students correct waste and recycling practices.