Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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4 March 2010 | PR 10/37

Helping students to save energy with a smile

 A new initiative aimed at encouraging students to be more energy efficient and boosting their sense of community is being piloted at Loughborough University.

The SLEUTH (Sustainable Lifestyles – Educating Universities Towards Happiness) project has been developed by PhD student Carolina Escobar-Tello,

The main aim of the project is to show students how they can reduce their energy consumption, as well as encouraging them to build up closer bonds with their peers through team projects, skills sharing and social networking.

SLEUTH is currently being trialed at the University’s Butler Court halls of residence, which is home to undergraduate, postgraduate and international students.  Those taking part in the trial receive points, both as individuals and teams, for cutting their energy use, supporting community projects and attending workshops and social events.  These points enable the students to win prizes as a way of rewarding their efforts.

Carolina, who is based in the Design and Technology Department’s Sustainable Design Research Group, said: “SLEUTH is all about creating sustainable and happy student communities.  Not only do we want to show – and reward – students for being more environmentally friendly, we also want to encourage pro-active citizenship and show them how they can contribute to their community’s happiness and wellbeing.

“Many students socialize with their close friends but know very little about others living down the corridor from them, who may come from a completely different country or cultural background to themselves.  By creating a strong sense of community I believe you can boost people’s levels of happiness.”

The University’s Sustainability Team is supporting the project.  It has run workshops, contributed to the prize fund and provided every student taking part with a book entitled ‘How to be a student and not destroy planet earth’.

Jo Hasbury, the University’s Sustainability Manager, said: “The University is delighted to be a part of this project and to help show students how they can lead greener and happier lives for the benefit of all.”

The trial is due to last eight weeks.  For further information contact Carolina by emailing: M.C.Escobar-Tello@lboro.ac.uk

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T : 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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