GOING GREEN: AN ORBITAL EFFORT

Rachel Hains explains some of the changes coming to Orbital as a result of the SU's decision to declare a climate emergency and how you can help.

This summer, the SU officially declared a climate emergency after a ‘bright idea’ from students called for them to take action to make the SU greener and more sustainable. As the SU’s official magazine, Orbital is following suit and launching our own initiative to become a more sustainable and eco-friendly Media Outlet. Any of you who follow us on Facebook or Instagram will no doubtedly have seen our earlier posts over the summer outlining this as part of our 2019-2020 mission statement – and we want you to help.

Our first change is probably our biggest. This summer, after carefully examining our budget and our print-figures from last year, Alex Jones (my ever-faithful Deputy Editor) and I made the decision to cut down the number of copies we will be printing this year. We will not be limiting the number of editions as it is a core part of what makes Orbital so unique, allowing students a brilliant platform to showcase their work, publish articles and learn about the world of journalism and publishing. However, cutting down on printed copy numbers will save us money which we can put to good use, as well as meaning less paper is being consumed. As always, we want to remind everyone that every article we print eventually ends up online, meaning you can enjoy articles without needing a physical copy. Furthermore, we are actively encouraging our readers to remember to recycle our magazines if and when they are done with them – Or use them to make a paper sculpture, whatever floats your boat really. Just put them to good use so that they can be used again to create something just as wonderful.

Speaking of money, we at Orbital are going to be focusing our charitable efforts this year to be in aid of Rainforest Alliance as well as for ourselves. If you wish to donate, please let one of our board know or pop along to our fundraisers this year – all of which we will tell you more about nearer the time. You can also let us know if you have a brilliant way we can really make a difference here! We are the voice of Royal Holloway students so we really want to engage yours and hear what you have to say.

Another way we are being greener is by waving a massive hello to our new Board member this year, Ian Hayes, who has been appointed into a newly created position as ‘Head of distribution’. Ian’s job is to help coordinate efforts relating to distributing copies of our magazine throughout campus and in the surrounding areas. This is to reduce the amount of paper we waste, with boxes in the past sometimes being left in the media suite un-opened. We want every copy we print to be read and enjoyed, rather than wasting away in a cardboard box and creating a sometimes lethal avalanche of magazines on us… So keep an eye out for us on magazine stands around campus.

Thirdly, we want to encourage you to help us and get involved. This can be as simple as messaging our board with any ideas you have about how we can improve our efforts and make us a more sustainable and green media outlet. It can also be reaching out with articles or events you want us to cover, or you want to cover yourself.

If you have been inspired by all this and want some tips from us for the year, here is our “best thing you can do” this academic year to help the environment:

Use Ecosia – Like Google, Ecosia is a search engine you can access online. However, this search engine donates all its profits from advertisers and traffic to donating trees. Basically, this means that as a result of your online searches you can contribute to the environment whilst you study! That ought to make you feel better about spending an all-nighter in the library researching your essays or dissertation. Ecosia also has an app you can download, so you can even use it on your phone when you want to find something out. I cannot stress enough how amazing this is – and it is absolutely FREE! So no-one has an excuse not to use it. If you only make one small change this year, then please let it be this and join us in trying to help keep our planet alive.