• May 15, 2019
AUT use compostable coffee cups and sell keep cups in all of their cafes. Photo: Mollie Edwards
AUT is producing 692 tonnes of waste every year, which equals 31kg per student and staff member.
The university's student-led sustainability group, Future Proofers, is aiming to reduce the university's annual waste amount and encourage students to participate in sustainability events and workshops.
Future Proofers founder and president Britt Little created the group after studying sustainability in business school and interning at social enterprise Inspiring Stories, where she met like-minded people wanting to make a change.
"I met thousands of young people who had a real sense of power.”
She said this got her thinking about how she could bring that back to AUT.
"The main purpose is to give students a platform to start their own initiative to engage other people on things they are passionate about and to feel supported to do that."
Ms Little said for students to be able to reduce waste, they need to be aware of their connection to nature and what the impacts of waste are.
"I think those two things, for me, are more important than say, just bringing keep cups on campus.
"Of course you should do those things. But if you haven't done the first two things you're probably not going to care and not going to create long term behaviour change."
The club announced the launch of the Young Sustainability Leaders programme in March, which provides students with inspiration and skills to link their chosen passions and majors with sustainability or social impact.
Ms Little said that students could get involved with Future Proofers in various ways.
"We have students who are really keen to lead, and we help facilitate that with things like the Young Sustainability Leaders programme or just being on the Future Proofers exec team.
"We also have students that just want to come along to a one-off event like the beach cleanups, wellbeing week and stuff like that."