A graphic advertising the University of Galway's Students' Union 2023 'Wasted Week'. The graphic is green. On the right hand-side of the graphic, information including the date of the event 07/11/2022 - 11/11/2022, the name of the event, and logos of the Students' Union and SU Climate Crew is listed. On the left-hand side of the graphic, a large image of an hour-glass is printed.

The University of Galway Students' Union won the Sustainability and Environmental Campaign of the Year at the 2022 SAAI awards, thanks to their successful "Sustainable Mondays" initiative.

Throughout the academic year of 2022/2023 3,000 keep cups and 7,000 reusable tote bags were given to students. The SU carried out monthly beach clean-ups, succeeded in making more vegan options available on campus, organized second-hand clothing sales and much more.

Thanks to the election of the SU's first ever Sustainability Officer Malena Thren, who has played a major role in guiding the university and its students toward a more sustainable path for our campus, and pushed forward some incredible sustainability initiatives over the last year.

Photo of Malena Thren

AY 2022/2023 highlights

  • The Students' Union had a massive beach clean up on January 18th and March 20th.
  • The SU Climate Crew marked World Water Day with a huge clean-up of Terryland Forest Park.
  • The Lab Coat and Goggle Donation Drive campaign, which asked graduating students to donate their old lab coats and goggles to the SU, was held. This helped reduce waste and combat incoming students expenses.
  • National Bike Week ran between Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 21st of May. Throughout this week the SU hosted lots of free events for students including Bike Buffets, movie screenings and a cycle in support of the University of Sanctuary initiative.
  • Glassary is a University of Galway sustainability initiative run by student volunteers every year. Glassary aims to reduce household waste generated across campus accommodation residences, whilst also providing support to local community and voluntary organizations. Donation points are set up at student residences at the end of each semester, where students can then donate their leftover household items. These items are then collected and re-distributed to future students or local charities/organizations. Glassary saw great success for the 2022/23 academic year, where donations were shared with the Galway Simon Community.

AY 2021/2022 highlights

  • Thousands of resuable items were distributed including face masks, coffee cups and tote bags to help combat single-use plastics
  • Monthly group beach cleans on numerous beaches around Galway
  • "Walk & Talks" allowed students to meet others throughout semester 1
  • A lab coat and goggles recycling drive in September saved many items destined for the bin
  • Every Monday in February, vegan sausage rolls were available for 75 cents for SU cardholders in Smokey’s Café and Sult 
  • Vintage clothes fairs and a charity clothes drive encouraged students to avoid fast fashion
  • Numerous events to highlight Mental Health Week in November
  • Supported the launch of NUI Galway Student Pantry
  • Smarter Travel team cycle challenge, Marchathon and Walktober encouraged students to keep active
  • €11,000 raised for Galway rape crisis ad BeLonG
  • Free antigen tests were distributed to combat the spread of COVID-19
  • International day of persons with disabilities was marked with a disability rights clinic, an ISL workshop & a disability experience workshop
  • JAM card was launched with the university
  • Free high-visibility vests were distributed during road safety week in November to encourage safe cycling
  • Free "stress buster" workouts with Wilder Wellbeing before Christmas Exams encouraged students to keep active during study season
  • The SU joined Fridays for Future Galway at their Climate Strike in Eyre Square