Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Dwelling for the Green at Heart: Greenhouse- It’s All about Sustainability

An article on the past activities of Greenhouse which was published by KSU as part of the Environmental Fair publications, written by Malcolm Borg, Executive Member.


With the University lacking a student environmental organisation, Greenhouse set forth to fill in this vacuum and commenced its work in October 2008. Throughout these years the organisation has worked with numerous entities- other student organisations, NGOs, private and public entities and the government.

On campus

The executive has been following and meeting the University’s administration on various subjects amongst which are alternative energy generation on campus, sustainable landscaping, water and waste. With regards to water Greenhouse last year collected a number of plastic bottles which were filled up with water and placed in each flushing unit on campus to reduce the amount of water used in each flush. Perhaps the major contribution Greenhouse has given on campus has been that related to waste. Discussions with a private company yielded a number of skips near the campus for use by the nearby stationeries while other discussions with a parastatal entity yielded a battery bin which is placed in the Student’s House. Greenhouse has held many a meeting with the University administration on the possibility of a tri-bin system to be installed at the University precincts albeit to no avail. Greenhouse will be pursuing the issue further. A composting site has been in the pipeline for a number of months and the last obstacles are being dealt with so that this project starts running in the near future.

Greenhouse members at a clean up way back in 2009, when the organisation was just getting started

Discussions with the administration have also focused on the canteen’s products while through discussions with KSU, the CCTV cameras at the Student’s House were changed to the more environmentally-friendly Infrared cameras.

Greenhouse also formulated the ‘Green Pact’ by which organisation signatories were bound to green their conduct in their day-to-day administration. KSU was a signatory to this pact.

Our first organisations' days

Events on campus included ‘Know Your Food’ with a special emphasis on threats of GMOs, waste reduction educational week as part of the European Week for Waste Reduction, ‘Survival is not Negotiable’- a campaign to coincide with climate change talks in Copenhagen’s COP 15 negotiations, human rights and inter-religious debates as part of human rights week and ‘Status: Refugee’ – an information event which focused on the situation of migrants in their native countries. All this apart from participating in KSU’s Freshers’ Week, Environmental Fair and Organisations Days in which information panels and debates on a variety of subjects were held by Greenhouse.

Off campus

Outside campus, Greenhouse- registered under the NGO Commission and a contributing member of two MEUSAC sectoral committees- is part of the Animal Rights Coalition. As part of this coalition, Greenhouse co-organized the Animal Circus Protest March to coincide with the animal circus on the Islands. Apart from this, Greenhouse is also vocal on the lack of shelters for cab horses in Valletta. The organisation co-organized and participated in ‘Legality Now!’- a protest march to urge MEPA to uphold the law in its decisions so that the environment is safeguarded.

In the annual Worldfest as organized by KKG, Greenhouse installed an exhibition stand on virtual water and gave information to visitors on this little-known subject. Together with other organisations, Greenhouse co-organized food-related events such as the airing of ‘Kissed by the Grape’ and ‘Surviving the Nature Crunch’- an event closing a permaculture-related project.

Greenhouse organized various social events such as rock climbing, bird watching, SCUBA diving, clean-ups, animal sanctuary volunteering, vegan gatherings and more.

During Human Rights Week 2009

This is only some of the past Greenhouse’s work.

Watch out for more Greenhouse projects coming up such as a campaign about sustainable fishing, more advocacy work and events and a variety of social events to tickle everyone’s fancy.

Greenhouse is actively seeking to recruit volunteers this year. If you would like to offer some of your time in helping Greenhouse or some other organisation do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll help you find what you’re looking for.

Keep it green.

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