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Sustainable Stories

Reducing waste

Building a sustainable future through waste reduction.

Earth's finite resources and the urgent need for change

We treat our planet as if it has infinite resources, when it has finite resources.

Each year we reach a date on the calendar where more of the Earth's resources have been used than it can replenish, this is called Earth Overshoot Day. Our ecological footprint is the land we need to produce everything we consume and the waste we generate. Since the 1970's humanity's ecological footprint and Earth's biocapacity have diverged to the extent that the planet's resources now only last us until early August.

Food waste is a huge issue. If waste food were a country, it would be the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, according to UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

We have to dramatically reduce our consumption and waste.

What York St John is doing

Food waste from our York campus and student accommodation is transformed by anaerobic digestion into green energy for local homes. 

How to get involved

Repair cafes are brilliant for focusing on fixing items we have, rather than throwing them away. There is a repair cafe held monthly in The Groves, the residential area just behind the University. 

Find out more

There are some amazing organisations active in York reducing waste and surplus food, and building more resilient local food systems. Some great examples of these are:

Composting is a great way we can all reduce our food waste. 

Find out more