Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
8:02 PM 24th June 2014

Leeds University Union's Green Exchange Project Helps Students Make A Difference In The Community

Real Junk Food Project Project Directors, Adam Smith and Edd Colbert - photo Anthony Caton
Real Junk Food Project Project Directors, Adam Smith and Edd Colbert - photo Anthony Caton
In March 2014 Leeds University Union launched the Green Exchange project.

The project came about as a result of a £250,000 award from the NUS Green Fund to run sustainability initiatives across the city, over the next two years.

With the introduction of the Green Exchange a £60,000 pot of money was made available for students within Leeds to apply for part of, to develop and lead on their own sustainable and proactive initiatives.

The purpose of the Green Exchange is to normalise sustainable behaviours in a variety of exciting and innovative ways. Leeds University Union has lead on the multifaceted project which includes the expansion of existing initiatives such as the Bardon Grange project.

The Real Junk Food Project, a pay as you feel cafe received a Green Exchange grant.

Real Junk Food Project Director, Edd Colbert said: "The grant that we received from the Green exchange has enabled us to buy kitchen equipment to cook more food and to cook better food, which ultimately helps us to stop food from going to waste."

Valentina and Luke from the Green Action Allotment project said "Our Green Exchange grant has helped us to work with volunteers to construct the polly tunnel which has now been planted up. We have also been able to purchase a well equipped first aid kit to ensure that our volunteers can be taken care of in the event of an emergency."

The Bardon Grange project is a part of a community food growing project that gives students, staff, and other members of the local community the opportunity to grow organic food in a communal growing space.

The Green exchange project also encompasses an open roof top-top garden; pop up spaces around campuses, and the running of the Green Exchange office.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice Chancellor at the University Of Leeds said "This initiative has created a bridge for the University and the city; it has opened up the campus and will allow people to adopt green behaviours in their daily living and it has already lead to all sorts of student inspired initiatives."

Bradley Escorcio, Union Affairs Officer, commented "Through working in partnership with other universities and colleges we aim to improve participation in sustainability projects across the campus and the city. Being awarded the NUS Green Fund means even more of our students will be able to live sustainable lifestyles here in Leeds."

Students from surrounding Universities and colleges such as Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds City College are eligible to apply for grants from the Green Exchange.