And the Lord said: ‘Let there be light… and switches…’ And he saw that it was good.

Charlotte Jutz-Reichardt, Beth McKernan (UWC AC 2006-2008)

Last week was the first of this year’s focus weeks, and it was only fitting that the most glamorous, fun filled, star studded issue set the term off with a bang – the environment. It was a busy week, starting with a workshop given by ex-student Sara Turnbull on how we as a college can reduce our carbon footprint. Some genuinely useful and innovative ideas were raised- as well as a few rather… peculiar ones, such as wrapping Dyfed in bales of hay for thermal insulation. We felt that the college meeting was a good opportunity to highlight the importance of our personal and collective attitudes towards environmental issues, concentrating particularly on Atlantic College’s excessive water and electricity consumption. A desire to contribute actively to global issues should be at the forefront of a UWC student’s mind. The product of Wednesday’s recycled sculpture activity is standing, in all her glory, next to the statue of Nelson Mandela. If you can tear your eyes away from her beautiful face, please take a moment to read the sign next to her and bear it in mind next time you leave a room. On Thursday we showed Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in the Old Staff Common Room. Everyone present enjoyed the film; many commented on how it really highlighted the shocking implications of climate change for the whole world. Friday’s lecture was given by Dr. Geraint Tarling, an esteemed ex-student oceanographer from the British Antarctic Survey, about the melting of the polar caps and its repercussions on our lives and planet. It was really interesting to hear the facts from someone who has actually seen and investigated this for themselves; lots of people asked him insightful questions about his research. The litter pick-up at Llantwit Beach didn’t happen on Saturday due to tides and bad weather but it will be rescheduled for sometime soon, so watch out for notices and come along. Environmental Action have been working closely with Neil this week in a attempt to defy AC tradition and actually get something done. We’ve kick-started the process of making changes in the dining hall, bathrooms, the heating system and YOUR dorms, and we’re also working on an Environmental Surprise for the college – we can guarantee it’s going to be better than Christmas. House initiatives are going to be starting soon to get everyone involved in making our campus and ourselves more environmentally friendly. Last week we all had the opportunity to further our knowledge of climate change and pollution both globally and locally. However, words and discussions aside, what is needed is action. Whether it’s just turning off a light, coming along and helping us out on a Monday evening or wrapping Dyfed in bales of hay, your imput is wanted and needed. We arrive at AC full of high-minded idealism, but it often gets lost in translation through everyday practicalities – codes, Uni applications and beds of rice. Let’s keep our sense of community and personal responsibility alive.

– United World College Student Magazine –

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