Mikaela Weyer, School of Environment & Technology, has been awarded the university’s Environmental Award for her project on the environmental impact of UK festivals.
Mikaela Weyer, Environmental Award winner February 2019The Highly Commended prize went to Anna Santamaria, School of Architecture & Design, for her educational project, which aims to teach young people about sustainable living.
Now in its fifth year, the Environmental Award aims to reward and showcase inspiring environmental projects at the university, and promote sustainability in the curriculum. The Award has been developed by the University’s Environment Team, with panel judges from the School of Environment and Technology, the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, the School of Art Design and Media, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, Brighton Business School, the Centre for Learning and Teaching and the Green Growth Platform. It is awarded twice in the academic year, at both the Summer and Winter Graduation Ceremonies.
This year’s winner Mikaela Weyer, MSc Environmental Assessment & Management, will receive a £200 cash prize. Mikaela’s project focused on understanding the environmental impacts of festivals in the UK, a topic of increasing importance given the recent rise in number of UK festivals. Her project aimed to understand; the environmental impacts of festivals, ways of measuring festivals’ environmental performance and provides solutions and suggestions to help reduce the environmental impacts associated these events. This included levels of waste, littering, emissions from transport and operations, noise, carbon emissions, and long-term impacts on biodiversity on the sites hosting the festivals.
Mikaela said “Winning this environmental award means so much to me. I am honoured to be recognised by the University of Brighton for the hard work that was put into this research. Festivals are one of my utmost favourite things in British summer time to go to with family and friends. I love the community, the energy and the joy they bring to so many people. However, like with any event, it can always have a negative impact upon the environment.
Being recognised for my work in my combined passions of both festivals and sustainability is great, and hopefully it will prove to be useful for future festival organisers. My thanks go to So Sussex for enabling my research and all the help my tutor Ryan Woodard offered and for nominating my work for this award.”
The highly commended award was given to Anna Santamaria, MA Sustainable Design. Her project, ‘ExplorEarths’ seeks to engage young people in discussions about sustainable living. Informed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and The Planetary Boundaries Framework, the project adopts a systems thinking approach to help young people understand the consequences of actions and their impacts on the world. ExplorEarths explores themes of air pollution, biodiversity loss and future food, to demonstrate the connected and interdependent nature of living systems.
Anna said “I am extremely happy for my ExplorEarths project to be selected for an Environmental Award at Brighton University, it is a huge honour. The new generations need to learn differently to understand and be able to navigate new challenges in an uncertain future. ExplorEarths is a project designed to open conversations to understand important concepts as interconnectivity, interdependence, complexity, resilience, actions and consequences or relationships, in a fun and creative way for primary school children. This recognition means the world to me and it shows the importance of education. It motivates and encourages me to continue with my work and keep making little contributions towards a more sustainable world. I hope it inspires many creatives, educators and children to create positive impacts on the environment.”