Introducing the Environmental Scene in York

Here are some things to keep your eyes and ears peeled for in York!

Placards at York Divestation Strikes
(Image: Chay Quinn)

So you’re new to the university, new to the city, and just as concerned as usual about the climate crisis? 

Here are some things to keep your eyes and ears peeled for in York! 

The university has several societies for the climate-conscious student to join – all of whom would be more than happy to have you join their ranks. An easy place to start is Scoop, for small, climate-friendly changes. This student-run food co-op is a great place to try zero-waste shopping. Located in Wentworth college nucleus and open on Wednesdays and Fridays, Scoop is a convenient (and cheap!) way to be kinder to the planet. Anyone can use the shop, or alternatively join the society to become a scoop shopkeeper volunteer. 

Another society to look out for is the Vegetarian and Vegan society. While not for everyone, changing your diet is a great way to make small changes to support the greater cause, and the society is great for anyone looking for like-minded pals. York also has a People and Planet society, a Green Party society and many others to keep your eye out for at freshers fair and on social media. 

While not a university society, Extinction Rebellion York is the local branch of the international group; they meet, over Zoom for now, at 7:30pm on Tuesdays. 

Always glad to see new members, you can contact them at [email protected] or find them online. 

If you have any burning ideas for making campus more climate-friendly, you can run them past YUSU’s Environment and Ethics officer; currently this position is held by Charlotte Ingrey who you can find at [email protected] org. 

Last year, a successful student-led campaign and protests led to the university announcing divestation from companies associated with the fossil fuel industry. Change is possible! 

Lastly, the Environment Department’s guest lectures. These happen weekly and are always interesting, but there are occasionally some more high-profile guests; Ann Pettifor, one of the creators of the Green New Deal, gave a guest lecture earlier this year about the GND and the economics behind it. It was informative, engaging and thought provoking. While lectures might seem a long way off, hopefully these are something to keep an eye out for in the future as they are definitely worth your time. 

However you want to get involved in making a fairer, greener society happen, there is undoubtedly something for you to find in York.