We accept all reusable cups in our cafés and sell KeepCups to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups. We've also introduced a 'latte levy' in collaboration with the University, whereby if you use a disposable cup, you'll pay 30p extra for your hot drink. This is aiming to make using a reusable cup the norm, rather than offering a discount, to change daily behaviours. Thanks to such changes, we managed to reduce the use of disposable cups by around 40% in our cafés! From Nov 2018 to Mar 2019, two-thirds of all hot drinks sold in our outlets have been in a reusable cup or a mug – a massive increase since the previous year, as fewer people are using disposable cups!
In addition to Keep Cups, we also sell reusable thermal mugs in our Potter Shop so you've got many options to choose from for your morning caffeine hit!
Our love for reuse doesn't stop at coffee though! We've also worked with the University to provide Dopper reusable water bottles, available to buy in shops around campuses such as in the DHT Shop, and called for the installation of more water fountains and hot water points around campus. More than thirty drinking water fountains have already been installed and a total of 200 points will be installed or upgraded in 2018-2019. Check out where to find them here.
Teviot's Library Bar menu has been refreshed to include delicious vegan and vegetarian options alongside everyone's favourites, while our Meat free Mondays continue to encourage us all to have a less meat-focused diet and explore plant-based foods.
Humpit opened in Potterrow Dome in 2018/19! Humpit is our award-winning hummus and pita bar, offering a vegan menu right at the heart of the central campus!
More hot water points and Heat & Eat stations installed, including a new one in Teviot Study. Heat & Eat stations can also be found in Potterrow and King's Buildings House. These stations enable students to bring their own food in containers, produce less waste, and use fewer disposable cups if they can make their own hot drinks.
Edinburgh University Students' Association is proud to be a Fairtrade institution – our status is accredited by the Fairtrade Foundation. Fairtrade products are a guarantee of higher wages and working conditions for those involved in the production of goods. As well as this, Fairtrade strives to give positive benefits to those workers and groups that they support. All our tea, coffee, and bananas are Fairtrade, meaning three of the areas most exploited in food and drink procurement are accounted for. Further to this, we stock Epona clothing as a commitment to Fairtrade cotton. We continue to increase our range of products, such as Green and Black’s chocolate. With modern slavery an ongoing issue, it’s crucial that we get our goods, from coffee to clothes, ethically, and the Fairtrade mark is a great way to ensure this. Here’s the original motion passed at Student Council in 2004!
In addition to our Fairtrade accreditation, we run a number of schemes aiming to reduce waste and our environmental impact.
- • In October 2019, we opened the Zero Waste Corner in our DHT Shop, bringing you essential groceries available to buy on campus using your own jars and containers! From oats and pasta to soap and washing powder, you can now buy only what you need, when you need it, saving both money and the planet!
- • Our local food policy means we source our fresh food, such as meat and dairy, from within 35 miles wherever possible.
- • Recycled coffee grounds scheme in Baristo.
- • In 2017/18 we started a Food Waste Scheme in Teviot's New Amphion, aiming to reduce food waste by redistributing excess food to the local community. The scheme saw a dedicated food waste intern coordinating the collection and redistribution of excess food, working closely with Food Sharing Edinburgh (part of SHRUB Coop) and student volunteers. Over the course of the pilot, 64.97 kg of food was saved from disposal – the equivalent of over 24 days of food for a single British person.
- • Humpit in Potterrow accepts your own Tupperware to encourage us to opt for reusable material and reduce the use disposable containers.
- • We also work closely with the University’s Social Responsibility and Sustainability department on various projects and campaigns, including some of the initiatives mentioned in this page!
Sustain.ED is an annual festival of sustainability first introduced In March 2017 by the Students’ Association and the University’s Social Responsibility & Sustainability Department. Since its launch, Sustain.ED's varied programme of events aims to engage students, academics, professional staff, and the local community.
In the 2019/20 academic year, Sustain.ED returned on Tuesday 22 October with a full day of events and activities under the theme 'Plastic is not Fantastic'! From transforming plastic waste into beautiful art to a panel discussion looking into the impact of plastics on a global scale, there was loads to get involved with. Keep an eye out for more events and activities here.