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Fairtrade Hot Chocolate!

I love a good old hot chocolate, especially when I’m stressed or it’s really cold outside.

So as it is coming to deadline time and exams I think it would be great to share this amazing recipe by Savannah-Jade also in celebration of Fairtrade Fortnight. Which started this week and ends 8th March.

If you are wondering what Fairtrade is or want to know what the SGO is doing, please have a look at our previous post here:

How to make your very own Fairtrade Hot Chocolate:

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Please send in any of your recipes for Hot Chocolates and Tweet us at @StudentGOffice with photos of your Hot Chocolates.


Jess & The SGO


SGO Logo Website


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Fantastic Fairtrade: A Fortnight of Fun and Food

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about supporting the development of thriving farming communities across the world. The aim is to make sure these farmers have more control over their futures, including control over better wages and better working conditions. Fairtrade gives you the opportunity to give these people a better quality of life.
By buying products with the Fairtrade symbol on them, you’re showing your support for these farmers. The ingredients in these products have been sought from communities and plantations that meet Fairtrade standards.


Who benefits from Fairtrade?

Fair trade primarily benefit small farming communities, globally marginalised groups, through trading products. Fairtrade contributes these small communities stable income, enabling them to achieve a brighter future. Not only does Fairtrade benefit communities, but it also benefits plantations. The producers decide where the Fairtrade money goes, being invested in projects that benefit the wider community, from education and healthcare to transport and the environment.



What makes Fairtrade so special is that 50% of the stakeholders are the producers, representatives of the farms and working organisations. This means that the producers have a say in decision-making that directly affects them. They help decide strategies, resource use and prices.


Fairtrade Standards

Standards are designed to ensure producers receive reasonable prices for their produce, to facilitate partnerships between producers and other stakeholders, allows greater producer control, and sets criteria conditions of production and trade. Standards include protecting workers and worker rights, keeping workers safe and healthy, preventing discrimination and child labour, reasonable wages and decent working conditions.


Fairtrade Voices…

About the people Fairtrade really helps
Ecuadorian flower plantations
Over the past 10 years, flowers have become a major product in Fairtrade – over 530 million flower stems were sold in 2012, 50% increase from the year before. So how exactly has Fairtrade supported flower plantations?
Fairtrade has empowered Fairtrade workers to make their own choices about their own lives, encouraging them to become self-employed or dedicate time to families and community. Fairtrade has given them the money to make investments in their own goals. Only when workers can freely express themselves and negotiate working conditions can they plan for their own future. Fairtrade has also offered employees the chance to acquire knowledge about workers’ rights, technical skills, health and social issues. Workers have had the opportunity to participate in worker organisations, creating bonds between workers and giving them the opportunities to take part in discussions and build the confidence to manage projects.


Where to buy Fairtrade:
• http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/allan_html_pages_new/organic_superfoods.htm


Fairtrade Towns
Communities all over the world are working to promote Fairtrade in their area. In the UK, 599 towns are certified Fairtrade. Is your hometown a Fairtrade town? Click here to find out! http://www.fairtradetowns.org/about/
Here are the closest Fairtrade towns to Canterbury:
• Thanet
• Dover
• Ashford
• Faversham
• Medway
• Maidstone
• Tunbridge wells
• Basildon
• Seven oaks


The five goals of Fairtrade towns are:
1. Local council passes a resolution supporting Fair Trade, and agrees to serve Fair Trade products (for example, in meetings, offices and canteens).
2. A range of Fair Trade products are available locally (targets vary from country to country)
3. Schools, workplaces, places of worship and community organisations support Fair Trade and use Fair Trade products whenever possible
4. Media coverage and events raise awareness and understanding of Fair Trade across the community.
5. A Fair Trade steering group representing different sectors is formed to co-ordinate action around the goals and develop them over the years.
Click here to find out more: www.fairtradetowns.org.uk/resources/


Fairtrade Fortnight
Fairtrade Fortnight dedicates a full 14 days to Fairtrade, celebrating the impact of Fairtrade, and empowering our local community to get involved. It’s the biggest and best-known ethical label in the UK – over 78% of the UK public recognises the fair trade mark.
However, there is always room for more change and empowerment, so we ask you, CCCU students, future heroes of farmers and workers around the world, to spare a few moments to get involved, whether by attending our Fairtrade Bake-Off event in Touchdown Cafe or by tweeting the hashtag #fairtradefortnight. Only you can help us fight for the workers’ rights and improve the quality of life for farmers and plantation workers.
FAIRTRADE: THE KENTISH WAY- What’s going on in canterbury
Join the fun. Click here to find out more: http://www.canterburytimes.co.uk/8203-Fairtrade-Fornight-Canterbury-District/story-26052104-detail/story.html
Friday, 27th February, 5.45-8pm- Divine Chocolate Tasting Evening in Whistable
Come along to Victoria’s Boutique to sample the delicious range of Divine chocolate, while sipping on a free glass of Fairtrade wine in. Chocolatier, Erik Houlihan-Jong, will be giving a presentation about a Fairtrade certified cocoa farmers co-operative in Ghana, alongside an exclusive chocolate making demonstration not to be missed.
Saturday, February 28: Fairtrade Fair in Canterbury- 10am-3pm
Come along to St Peter’s Methodist Church Hall in St Peter’s Street. Alongside displays of artwork from local schools celebrating Fairtrade, there will be a Tradcraft stall selling Fair Trade products, and Fairtrade refreshment and home-made soup will be served from 12 to 2 PM.


Fairtrade Fortnight at CCCU
SGO vs Sustainability Fairtrade Bake off

We will be holding a Fairtrade Bake off event on Tuesday 3rd March 2015 at 1pm-4pm. The cakes made by both the Student Green Office and the sustainability team will be made from Fairtrade ingredients. The winner will be chosen by YOU and announced at the end of the event.

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Fairtrade fortnight in touchdown café
We can exclusively announce Touchdown Café will be celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight from 23rd February- 8th March. Come along to Touchdown to sample Fairtrade food. Did you know the University has been a Fairtrade outlet since 2007, selling products such as coffee, sugar, tea, chocolate and snacks? Products are also available in the vending machines located around the campuses. You learn something new every day!
On Tuesday, 3rd March, Touchdown Café will also be showing an exclusive short film called Fairtrade Matters produced by the Fairtrade Foundation, exploring the lives of tea farmers in Malawi. The screening will take place between 1 and 4 pm, showing continuously throughout the afternoon.
Like the Touchdown Café Facebook page to hear more about Fairtrade at Touchdown. https://www.facebook.com/notes/canterbury-christ-church-university-catering/fairtrade/319104558180281
Running your own Fairtrade event you’d like us to promote? Email Greenoffice@canterbury.ac.uk to tell us about your event, and we’ll promote it for you on Facebook, Twitter and our Website


Fairtrade Recipe Ideas:


Megan & The SGO

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The good old fashion book vs the kindle!

Let’s make one thing clear straight away. I love reading, big time. There is very little literature out there that I actively dislike, (George Elliot’s Middlemarch being the number one (and two if I’m honest) on my hate list,) I love classics, historical fiction, (although as a history student I am prone to spend 95% of my reading time arguing with the book) Sci fi, fantasy, murder mysteries, thrillers, romance (don’t judge, who doesn’t love a good romance?!) you name it, I’ll have read at least one book of that particular genre, I may not have loved it, but I have read it. And that is one of the main reasons I’m writing this particular post.


As an obsessive reader, (there really is no better word for my reading habits) I own a variety of methods through which I can indulge in my addiction, which is a fancy word for saying I have a Kindle, and a tablet with my kindle on, and the app on my phone, so even if I don’t have a book on me or in my bag, I have reading material with me in one form or another, at all times.

When I got my kindle on my 18th birthday, many years ago, I thought that would put a stop to my book buying addiction, a very expensive side effect of my need to read constantly, and from then on I’d buy all my books as E-copies, much cheaper, and much more sustainable way of reading and owning every book ever published (A feat which is at the top of my bucket list) after all, physical books take up A LOT of space. Don’t believe me? Let me present Exhibit A:


This would be my bedroom book collection, I specify it as ‘bedroom books’ as I also have 3 boxes under my bed, a third book case containing Uni books, a variety of books stashed in various corners of the house, and a whole bunch of book boxes sorted in the loft. That a whole load of space being taken up by books. My Kindle currently contains 245 books, and do you want to know how much space it’s taking up?

That much. Well kind of, that’s a piece of paper wrapped around my kindle to make it easier to see in the picture. But the point is, in comparison to the sheer volume of books, the amount of space, and storage required by a kindle is tiny.

Now translate that into the amount of paper required to make all the books on the bookcase, and the amount of time and resources it took to create each of those books. That’s a whole lot of tree and time and energy, just to make a single book.        In the grand scheme of things it’s not just a single book though. I’m a Harry Potter fan (Just in case the Diagon Ally sign hadn’t given that away already) The Harry potter series is the most published book in the world at the moment. 450 million copies of Harry Potter are currently in circulation. 450 million!!!! But to make those 450 million (!) books it took approximately 10 million tree’s. I have not calculated this number in an entirely scientific manner so I may be out a bit, but I’m not far off. 10 million trees. For one book series. Ouch.   Each year 4 billion trees are cut down just to satisfy the world paper needs. 4,000,000,000 trees. For paper.
Now I don’t know what you think, but to me that’s not a very sustainable way to read, especially when you consider that figure is recent, meaning despite all the recycling we do, we still need 4 billion trees to produce all the paper required. Sad times to be a tree my friends, sad times.

Especially when you factor in the life expectancy of a paper book, exhibit B:






My much loved and over read copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire. (I will change book examples next time I promise.) Now before you all get out the pitchforks and torches and chase after me through the village for torturing a book. I did not do this intentionally. I was given this book not long after it was published, way back in 2000, and I’ve read it over, and over, and over, and over again. To be honest I could probably read it to you with my eyes closed, but as a consequence it’s a little bit dead, and has a page missing (but don’t worry, I know it virtually word for word so can recite that bit when you reach it!) therefore it never comes off the shelf. Bit pointless for a book really, books are made to be read, not to be dust collectors, so I’m going to have to buy a new copy to replace it, when I can finally work up the courage to take that step and dispose of it (responsibly. Always recycle kids.)

But wait, I hear you yell, that’s not very sustainable, by replacing that book I’m only encouraging publishers to publish more copies. More trees, I’m a bad, tree hating person, I know, I know. But a book cannot be read if it’s broken. Meet my second favourite series of books:

10887838_10203776473317569_460898631_nDavid Eddings, world’s best fantasy writer, if you haven’t read anything by him, do it! You’re missing out. Any way back to the point, as you can see this book is much loved also, not to the extent of Harry Potter, but still a bit battered, so no doubt in 5, maybe 6 years I’m going to have to buy another copy to replace this one when it’s pages start going AWOL. Not very sustainable.

The problem with books is they’re not built to last, they’re made out of paper, not the sturdiest of materials. It bends, it rips, it tears, and it absorbs spilt drinks then sticks all the pages together or all the ink runs making it impossible to read. Also they’re not massively child/dog friendly. My puppy, the really cute coffee addict over there pup


LOVES to eat my books, a habit I don’t find at all cute

Or adorable, in fact it’s irritating, upsetting, expensive and most importantly, not at all sustainable.

Kindles on the other hand are made of much sterner stuff. So far mines been thrown across a room (accidentally) sat on (accidentally) slept on

Had a box dropped on, been dunked in a coffee and temporarily stored in a fridge, (don’t ask, that’s a whole new story) and there’s not a single scratch on it. Well, there’s a teeny tiny one but it’s barely noticeable. I’ve had my kindle for three whole years and not had to replace it once, I’ve just bought book, after book, and it’s showing no sign of wear as of yet.

Much more sustainable, and tree friendly. But. What about the other sustainable issues with kindles?


Such as charging. Kindles, being electronic obviously require charging at some point. Obviously. Now I only charge mine about every other week, (when I remember to turn the wi-fi off otherwise its weekly) sounds pretty good right?


Because, like millions of others I don’t unplug the charger once my kindle’s charged, nor do I turn the plug off, the same goes for my tablet, my phone and my laptop, all of which I use to read books on. So that’s 4 chargers plugged in and turned on 24/7 for the last three years.

Oops. Not very sustainable. Well actually it’s nowhere near as bad as you may think. Plug sockets use energy, but not as much as you may think. In one year having all those chargers plugged in and on, you’re only going to be paying about £10 in energy. (Actually I think it’s a bit less, I got the figure off a US site so I had to convert energy and currency and all sorts of mathematical wizardry.) For a poor student like myself, £10 is a lot of money, that is 5 pints of beer a year down the SU that I’m missing out on! Sad times. But my eco-sustainable credibility isn’t going to be flushed down the toilet because of questionable charger usage.


Moving away from saving trees and energy for a moment, I want to talk about money and tax. (don’t stop reading, I promise this isn’t going to be depressing, well maybe a little but not much I promise!) When I buy a book, which by the state of my bookcase you can see I do frequently. (Here’s another picture for you to admire)


Now when I buy these books, I typically go to a book shop, sounds like an odd fact to state, but stick with me. I go to the book shop, I browse, I find the book I was looking for, and normally 3 or 4 or 10 others that I wasn’t planning on buying, I take them to the till and I buy them. By doing this I’m helping sustain local business and putting money back into my community, helping create a sustainable economy.

But when I buy an e-book, I shop on Amazon. Amazon don’t pay their taxes, (naughty naughty amazon) Amazon are not helping create a sustainable economy, they’re just taking all my money. No one else benefits from my money. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop using amazon, I’m not that morally righteous, nor am I willing to sacrifice my Amazon prime. (Free one day delivery for the win!)

But when comparing physical books to downloading e-books, economically physical books are a more sustainable method of reading. Which is good news for people like me who do things like this


The two on the left were presents, but didn’t match books 3, 4,9,10 and 12. So for no good reason other than I wanted the bookshelf to look prettier, I re-bought books 1 and 2. 

So to conclude my rather long (sorry about that) post on the Books v. Kindles, I feel that both Books and kindles have pro’s and con’s when it comes to sustainability, but at the end of the day it’s down to you to choose a method which works best for you, and just make sure you do so responsibly!

Personally, I’m going to carry on buying books, but am going to make an effort to read more on my kindle in order to preserve the books I have, so that way I won’t have to buy replacements every couple of years. Oh, and I’m also going to try to remember to unplug my chargers, as I could definitely do with that extra ten quid!


Charlie & The SGO

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Pancake Time!




I can’t believe it’s that time of year again and I’m making pancakes! For me pancake day is the start of spring and brings back childhood memories of making the batter with my mum in our tiny kitchen, asking to flip the pancake and failing miserably then being able to be create with different flavours, however I usually just stuck with the good old lemon and sugar. Now days its more Nutella or maple syrup.

At the weekend I did a test run of making pancakes for today (or that’s the excuse I told myself). I love the think crepe style pancakes however this time I tried my hand at fluffy American pancakes.

The recipe I used was really easy and I knocked up a batch of pancake batter in no time:

You will need:

135g of plain flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of salt

2 tbsp. of caste sugar

130ml of milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp. of melted butter


1. Sift your flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl lightly whisk together your eggs and milk, then whisk in your melted butter. (to melt the butter I used my microwave for about 30 – 40 seconds, keep an eye on it)

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2. Pour your milk mixture into the floured (dry) mixture and using a fork beat together until you have a smooth batter. leave to stand for a few minutes.


3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once the butter is melted add a ladle of batter. It will seem thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, turn over your pancake. Cook until both sides are a lovely golden brown and the pancake has risen about 1cm thick.

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4. Repeat until all your batter is used up (I got about 4 decent size pancakes out of this mixture).  whilst you cook your other pancakes, keep them in the over on a low heat.

5. Serve! You can be create with your toppings but my particular favourite is maple syrup.


Topping ideas:


Fruit, yoghurt or maple syrup

Maple syrup and bacon (this is amazing)


Hope you have a great pancake day and spring is just around the corner now.



Jess & SGO


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The Graduation pledge of Social & Environmental Responsibility!

Hello CCCU Students!

graduation pledege imageI’m Alexis Galvan, a bilateral exchange student from Humboldt State University, a small university located in Northern California, nestled between some of the world’s tallest redwood trees, and wondrous beaches we refer to as The Lost Coast. It’s always been a goal of mine to travel back to the motherland of England, and explore the roots of America, and I’m delighted to spend this term at Christ Church, in the beautiful and historic city of Canterbury.

Since I’m only here for 3 months, I aspire to leave my mark and influence in the hearts and minds of students abroad. At my home institution, I am the Coordinator of a program called The Graduation Pledge Alliance. The Graduation Pledge Alliance is a symbolic pledge created by a group of students in 1987, it states:


I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”


The idea of the pledge was brought up in a time where monetary acquirement was becoming the main focus of the professional world, with a growing disregard for the diminishment of Earth’s natural resources. These students recognized the danger of this idea seeping into the minds of impressionable college graduates, and sought to create a movement to remind them of values that should be kept in mind.

28 years later, the efforts of these students have not gone unnoticed. I am here today to spread this message of social and environmental responsibility. When you graduate from university, recognize that you now withhold a power in the world. You are, essentially the future; considering that you will be responsible for how the professional world is operating since you will be working in the midst of it all. The Graduation Pledge is not limited to majors ​geared towards environmental or social reform, rather it strives to appeal towards all academic majors. It is a call to action; a pursuit to activate environmental and social consciousness into our hearts and minds and being able to transfer that attitude into the workplace. It can start with something small, such as incorporating recycling in the office, or directing their energy towards improving human rights both in the workplace and towards clientele.

Since being founded, the Graduation Pledge Alliance has been adopted by 200 schools globally, in countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan – with efforts being considered in the Philippines and India. Elite schools such as Stanford University and Harvard University stand whole-heartedly next to pledge. Every year thousands of graduates across the globe take part in this movement, simply by signing a pledge card that states the pledge and placing a green ribbon on their gown as a symbol of their commitment. Since it is a voluntary pledge, the university does not call to check up on you – it’s just an emblematic representation of your allegiance to the cause.




With population on the rise, environmental resources depleting at a constant, and corruption in the world, we as students must take matters into our own hands. We must not feel succumbed by society’s limitations. We must utilize our brain, speech, and actions and fight to create a more harmonious world, respectful of all life forms, biologically and anthropologically speaking.


Anything is this world is possible, we are living in a state of flux. Remember that you can make a difference, no matter what field you go into after leaving university. I hope this message reaches you in an inspiring and heart-warming manner. Thank you.

-Alexis Galvan

Graduation Pledge Coordinator 2013 – 2017


“Responsibility is the ability to respond. Inherently, to respond means to act, to create, to change. But responsibility also implies an awareness of the impacts of one’s actions, and it is this concept that is finally becoming part of the global community’s consciousness. The days of action without thought are obsolete in this increasingly closely knit world.” – 1997, Matt Nicodemus Graduation Pledge founder


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Edible Campus – Super Berry Smoothie Recipe Card


Edible campus at CCCU allows students and staff to reconnect with the food they eat in a sustainable way, such as partaking in food related activities which provides the opportunities to explore food securing and skills sharing with different people. For example the allotment Blitz’s which are held every Wednesday by the Edible campus team and SGO.

Part of the Edible Campus project here at CCCU is that our lovely project office Savannah-Jade creates recipe cards which you can download from our website or pick up from the Student Green office in Fg11.

Below is the recipe card to make your own Super Berry Smoothie which is perfect as a healthy breakfast or a snack for anytime of the day.



Jess & SGO

SGO Logo Website