A survey of students by Newcastle University Students’ Union found that 80% of respondents bought the majority of their shopping from supermarkets, making it a real challenge to track the ethical and environmental impacts of their food.
Green Guerrillas has responded to this by setting up a student-led enterprise – outlets which market and sell student-grown produce back to students and university staff.
The expansion of an existing on-campus allotment alongside the creation of a ¾ acre orchard and two bee apiaries allows Newcastle University Students’ Union to revolutionise its food self-sufficiency.
Students have the opportunity to grow, sell, buy and cook local fresh produce, while becoming recognised for driving positive environmental change in the local community by rejuvenating abandoned or derelict land for positive use.
Students use their understanding of the importance of sustainable food production to host a series of day trips and camps for youth groups and schools in the nearby Rupert’s Wood. These sessions focus on environmental protection, practical conservation tasks, and understanding our impact on the world.
Further to this, a student-led small grants fund for community-based environmental projects will be established, investing grants up to the value of £2000 in schools and constituted youth groups, normalising knowledge of sustainable food production among the youngest residents of the community.
Newcastle University Students’ Union is helping over 3000 students buying local produce, and enriching their understanding of greener behaviours. Through the ease of access to sustainably produced food and drink, the project engages students not normally concerned with green issues, promotes a deeper understanding of sustainable food sourcing, growth, distribution and consumption across the student population.