Becoming Carbon Literate

Manchester Metropolitan is becoming Carbon Literate with thanks to our student trainers – supported by the School of Science and the Environment, Environment Team and MetMUnch.

Climate change is widely regarded as one of the greatest challenges the world is currently facing. As a result, employers are increasingly realising the importance of employing graduates with an understanding of environmental and social issues in order to cope with future challenges.

The Carbon Literacy Project, which originated in Manchester, offers everyone who works, lives or studies in the city and wider area, a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy learning. More than just small, personal changes, Carbon Literacy highlights the need for substantial change and encourages people to have a cascading effect on a much wider audience.

Over the last year, Manchester Metropolitan University student trainers have been delivering Carbon Literacy to their peers through a Carbon Literacy 4 Students (CL4S) programme, an exciting project that has provided paid employment opportunities for our students, alongside producing over 179 (excluding nutrition students) officially certified ‘Carbon Literate’ students.

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Interested in offering Carbon Literacy to an entire cohort of students undertaking the Level 4 ‘Nutrition in the 21st Century’ unit on BSc Nutritional Sciences, Haleh Moravej worked with university partners to deliver Carbon Literacy training within the course unit. In March 2017, our Carbon Literacy student trainers delivered training to 53 Nutritional Sciences students during four seminars.

All the students become fully Carbon Literate, gaining an understanding of the basic science behind climate change, what they can do to act on climate change, and strategies and skills for communicating action on climate change. Many of the recent cohort of Carbon Literacy undergraduate students have expressed an interest in becoming student trainers for the project, and will have the opportunity to pass on knowledge to other students through paid employment, and gain invaluable employability skills in the process.

There has been some great feedback from the students involved, with Nikita Star Watkinson, a Nutritional Scientist Student saying: “Ignorance may be bliss, but truth is essential. Once exposed to that truth, it becomes almost impossible to ignore. I have, along with my course mates, been granted knowledge and insight to the truth of how our climate is changing. It is both shocking, challenging and already impacting how I live on a daily basis.

“Though I claimed to care about the environment before, I really was ignorant and not thinking twice about how I lived. This new lease of knowledge may sound like a burden, as it certainly isn’t easy to implement, but when something stirs in your heart for all the right reasons, it compels you to take action. To live with purpose and passion is the best way to live.

“The Carbon Literacy course has stirred passion within me and has added purpose to how I live. I believe if more people were educated on this subject, the more positive changes and community support we will see. What a privilege that my university, MMU, allowed my course to embark on this training. Now think what an incredible testimony it would be for the whole of MMU to complete this Carbon Literacy course.

“The knock-on effect the students could have both in their future workplace and community is exciting and empowering. May Manchester grow in becoming more sustainable, looking after our city and country, thinking about our future and the generations to come. The benefits are endless, but the timing is urgent.”

If you would like Manchester Met’s student trainers to deliver Carbon Literacy training to your students, please get in touch with Jane Mork: j.mork@mmu.ac.uk

 

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