The Student Lounge at St Albans Campus took an altogether coastal feel last week as staff and students created a ‘Plastic Beach’ to raise environmental issues for Sustainable St Albans Week.
The beach-style installation saw the student areas in the College filled with sand, deckchairs*, a Punch & Judy style stage, inflatables and tropical accessories around some environmentally focused displays and activities for students to get stuck into.
Students could ‘Slam Junk’ plastic bottles into a hoop from a distance, take in an environmental film in a deckchair, and even enjoy an ice-cream to really get in that seaside vibe.
Whilst bringing the beach feel to the campus, the installation also delivered important messages about sustainability featuring pieces from students in Art Fashion and Design and Landmark in the form of 3D Papier-mâché Marine life, sustained-themed photography pieces from A Level Photography students and information sheets created by Animal Care students about the impact of pollution in the ocean.
Sustainable St Albans Week hosts over 100 activities by community groups, businesses and organisations across St Albans, Harpenden and the surrounding villages, creating a host of events to raise awareness about sustainability issues to the local community.
During the week, 584 plastic bottles were ‘Slam Junk’ed’ into the hoop on site having been collected by staff and students. Those contributing the most bottles to the cause during the week each won a pair of eco-friendly Adidas ‘Ultra Boost’ trainers for their efforts in doing their bit to make a difference.
The College Enrichment team ‘Outside the Box’ who co-ordinated the project to bring the different elements together for the week-long event. Staff attended a Speed Networking Event to share our ideas with other groups about our activities ion campus and the College has also been in touch with Greenpeace about what will now happen to the plastic collected by our ‘Slam Junkers’.
The initial idea came from the College work experience Team ‘The Edge’ who came up with the idea as a live brief for the Art, Fashion and Design department. Soon contributions and great ideas from staff and students across the wider College meant ‘Plastic Beach’ grew into a campus projects everyone could be a part of.
The Edge’s Employer Engagement Co-Ordinator Stephen Bewick said: “It’s been wonderful to see everyone contribute in their own ways and to see our Plastic Beach concept really take shape. The students have made some of the elements in their spare time, so it’s been great to see them enjoy the novelty elements like the sand and deckchairs and yet really take in the important messages of this campaign.”
*A special thanks to www.riolounge.co.uk for lending us these wonderful deckchairs to really bring our Beach to life!