Hiya, I’m Jenny, one of your new Student Green Office Project Officers!
I have just started my first year of my degree in Archaeology and Forensic Investigation, hoping this will lead me into a career in something to do with bones (I know, sounds fascinating). I am also interested in travelling, hiking, camping – basically anything to do with the outdoors and this has led me into a huge interest in sustainable living. Sustainability encompasses many different areas of our lives, whether we stop to consider them or not, but my personal interests lie predominantly in the environment as I want the beauty of the planet to live on for millions of years to come. Also, without this earth we would cease to exist. So that’s pretty important.
So, how did I end up in the SGO? Well, I grew up in the countryside, which ignited my interest in the outdoors. My parents constantly took me travelling, whether that be a small weekend camping trip or going further afield to a different country, further fueling my love for the natural world as I realized how incredible it is, all working together in unison. I enrolled as a Scout and a Guide, both teaching me numerous ways of how the environment sustains life and how important woodlands are as a resource to us, and in secondary school, I was a part of a ‘greener school’ team which successfully changed the school’s cutlery to bamboo and started a new recycling program. However, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about the ongoing climate crisis (or anything else) as at this time I was swimming competitively in a local club 6 days a week.
After 4 years, I took a break from swimming to concentrate on my studies. After the commitment of competitive swimming, it felt like I had all the time in the world! This newfound freedom, combined with the lockdowns of Covid, meant I had an abundance of time to explore things I enjoyed. Through documentaries and social media, I learned much more about the climate crisis and finally grasped how much damage humans have caused this planet and continue to do so. This disregard for our earth severely frustrated me and I wanted to do something about it. I started educating my family in different ways we could help such as going on litter picks and changing our eating habits. I convinced my parents to do Veganuary with me and ever since my Mum has been Vegetarian. I introduced my friends to more ethical fashion brands and how detrimental our consumer mindset can be. Moreover, for 2 years, during this time, I was teaching kids to swim, which made me really passionate about teaching not only teenagers and adults about the climate crisis but also made me think about ways we could teach the next generation too.
I dreamt of starting my own blog on educating the youth on environmental matters but didn’t really know where to start or how to get the message out there. I was also scared of what people would think. Now, as an adult, I realize the only thing to really fear is our impending doom and not how people would look at me funny. So, I took the leap and decided to apply for the role of an SGO Officer!
My goal is to help students implement small habits that can decrease their impact on the environment and teach people that it doesn’t require a lot of time and effort to do some good for the world. Slight changes to the way we live our lives support the fight against climate change, no matter how small. In the words of Tesco – every little helps 😉
By Jenny Hall (she/her), SGO Project Officer