Hållbart Universitet – students fighting for the environment
The first time I heard about HU (Hållbart Universitet) was at the international environment day, 10/10/10, a couple of weeks ago. There was something about them that caught my interest. When I later attended one of their meetings I realized that this is not an organization where people just sit on their asses and talk, this is an organization that really does things, on a local level, to make the world a better place.
The people at Hållbart Universitet (HU) are realistic; they know that they cannot solve the climate problem by themselves, but they do know that they can make a difference on a local level. They see a problem and they try to solve it, instead of just sitting around and talk about it and say things such as “why can’t the politicians take care of this problem”. The big problem with solving the environmental problems is that everybody is waiting for the leaders to do something. The problem with this kind of thinking is that the leaders in a democratic state don’t do anything until the people tells them to. The change must come from the bottom and rise to the top, and that is the greatest asset with a grassroots movement like HU.
HU has been Lund University’s environmental organization since -95 and has constantly grown larger. It consists of Swedish and foreign students in a happy mixture that creates not only useful insights into other cultures but also ties strong global bonds between students. The job gets done through working groups, which all come together at productive meetings of the more informal kind with lots of discussion, open-mindedness and fika.
One thing HU are trying to change is the large use of coffee cups made out of paper. Instead of buying a new cup for every time we drink coffee why don’t we bring our own? HU are trying to get all the resellers of coffee in Lund to accept a standardized coffee cup that we as consumers will bring when we buy coffee. When I heard of this idea I started using a vacuum flask the next day. This is not only eco friendly, it is also a lot cheaper since I make my own coffee.
Another is the guided tour on sustainable consumption they arrange on a regular basis. The aim of the walk is to inform about how the consumer products we take for granted really comes about and to what cost. Topics such as energy effiency and poor working conditions as well as suggestions on environment friendly restaurants here in Lund, to mention a few, are discussed and illustrated in a hands-on fashion that leaves you very inspired (and a bit ashamed). And if you can’t make the next tour you can even book your own for your friends or class, for free.
Of course, HU wants everybody to work for the environment, not least student organizations. Therefore they have established The Nation Frog, a diploma given by HU that the Nations in Lund can get if they make their organizations more environmentally friendly. Today Kalmar Nation, Helsingkrona Nation and Wermland Nation are the only nations that ate Nation Frog certified, but most of the nations are trying to reach up to the demanding requirements set by HU. I would like to ask you, the readers, to help HU make the Nation Frog famous. I would like every student in Lund to ask themselves the question which is the most eco friendly nation before choosing. By promoting the Nation Frog in this way we, the students at Lund’s University, could make this University into a Swedish role model.
I would like to end by saying this: If you are a person who loves to drive around in a Hummer and tell people that global warming is a myth, then this is not the organization for you. For you I recommend Rush Limbaughs´ fan club, an organization where all rich white males are welcome. But if you are a goodhearted person who care for the environment and would like to make Lund into a more environmentally friendly city, then this is the perfect group for you.
av Fredrik Sundquist