The Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences holds Fairtrade events twice a semester. These include blind tastings with Fairtrade coffee and information stands on the topic of sustainability.
Days of Sustainability
Days of Sustainability 2019
Swapping instead of throwing away - clothing swap meet at HNU
Already one year earlier, on May 16, 2018, the first clothing swap meet took place at Neu-Ulm University. Due to the numerous participants and the positive feedback, move started the second round just under a year later from April 23 to 25.
The concept is simple: once again, items of clothing could be handed in for two days. The move students then sorted the items according to size and type of clothing. On April 25, there was a large table in the foyer of the university where the clothing items were laid out. Pants, jackets, T-shirts, skirts and much more - numerous items of clothing were handed in and were now waiting for a new owner. Once again, many interested people showed up, enthusiastically exchanging their clothes and enjoying the new pieces in their closets. Clothes that did not find a new owner at the end were donated by move to the Diakonie in Blaubeuren.
With this campaign, move wants to set an example against the throwaway society and the "fast fashion" industry. In the age of fast fashion, clothing is often bought cheaply, worn for a short time or not at all and then disposed of again. 5.2 billion items of clothing hung in German closets in 2015. 40 percent of them are rarely or never worn. Another 60 items of clothing are added on average every year. (Source: Greenpeace e.V.) A clothing swap therefore offers the opportunity to ensure sustainable variety in the wardrobe.
Days of Sustainability 2018
Clothes swap instead of shopping spree - Days of Sustainability at HNU 2018
Report on the 1st clothing swap meet at HNU on May 16, 2018.
Fair food is increasingly finding its way into German households. But hardly anyone thinks about fair clothing. Yet the numbers speak for themselves: 168 million children under the age of 17 have to work, and 73 million of them are under the age of 11 (source: United Nations International Labor Organization). A large proportion of them work in the clothing industry so that consumers in Western Europe can buy T-shirts for €2.50 or shoes for less than €10.
The students of movehaben asked themselves what can be done against the consumption mania, because everyone has clothes in the closet that are no longer worn. Why not simply exchange them with others instead of throwing them away and buying new ones?
The idea of the first clothing swap meet at HNU was born and represented a good opportunity for the move team to draw attention to the abuses in the clothing industry and to encourage a rethink in the direction of sustainable consumption. In addition to child labor, enormous amounts of water and chemicals are often used in the production of cheap mass-produced goods. This not only affects the population, but also the environment, into which the pollutants are often discharged unfiltered.
With its offer, the HNU Clothes Exchange creates an opportunity to save your own wallet and do good at the same time, because new clothes cost money and too many clothes in the closet take up space. The clothing exchange is a great way to save money without cutting back on consumption and still provide variety in your wardrobe.
After two days of collecting clothes, they were sorted according to size on the day of the event and offered to all interested students to take home and swap. The interest was great from the beginning and many pieces of clothing quickly found new owners. Only a few pieces did not find a new lover and were donated by move for the Diakonie in Blaubeuren.
At this point, the move team would like to thank you again for the great response, the many clothing donations and the consistently positive feedback!
Days of Sustainability 2017
Report on the programme
The student team move of the HNU carried out the sustainability days on campus at Wiley from May 15 to 18, 2017. Over the four days, the participating students brought the topics of electromobility, sustainability in everyday life, plastic-free living, and the topic of energy consumption to life for students, staff, and professors through various activities in the foyer. The goal of move was not only to illuminate the topic of sustainability from different angles and to emphasize its importance, but above all to create a tangible experience that would be remembered even after the action days.
The programme at a glance
Monday, May 15, 2017 | 1 - 6 p.m. | ELECTROMOBILITY: An diesem Tag dreht sich alles um das Thema Elektromobilität. Anhand eines selbstgebauten Elektroautos erhaltet ihr anschauliche Einblicke in die neue Art des Fahrens.
Dienstag, May 16, 2017 | 11.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m. | SUSTAINABILITY IN EVERYDAY LIFE: Each of us can start with small steps and do our part. move shows practical tips to help you live more sustainably.
Mittwoch, May 17, 2017 | 11.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m. | ENERGY CHALLENGE: The energy challenge shows how much effort it takes to generate a little bit of energy. With the help of a spinning wheel, you can test how much energy you can generate with your own muscle power.
Donnerstag, May 18, 2017 | 1 - 1.45 p.m. | PLASTIC FREE LIVING: Blogger Charlotte Schüler from Munich shows how you can rid your life of plastic bit by bit. During her visit, she will reveal her tips and tricks for a plastic-free life. Her lecture will take place in lecture hall B.
Homemade electromobility - from combustion engine to e-Jeep
The sustainability week started with the exhibition of an electric Jeep, which was converted from a conventional Jeep with combustion engine to an environmentally friendly electric car by Prof. Manfred Plechaty and a group of students within the framework of courses in the past semesters. Prof. Plechaty accompanied the exhibition and explained the conversion as well as the technical details of the off-road vehicle to those interested. HNU also offers a sustainable alternative when it comes to getting around: The carpooling service "flinc" has an exclusive group for HNU students and employees. Getting there is easy. On the HNU intranet, students and employees can register with their HNU e-mail address and then offer or search for rides. Not only can long car trips be made more sociable and new people can be met, but costs and emissions can also be reduced.
Fair products for fair togetherness - On the way to Fairtrade University
The second day was dedicated to "Sustainability in everyday life". Employees and students were able to test their knowledge of waste separation in a "waste separation game". Various waste products were placed on a table and had to be sorted into four different trash cans labeled ALTPAPIER, BIOTONNE, RESTMÜLL und GELBER SACK. It quickly became apparent that very few participants were able to correctly assign all products and many had to resort to assistance. In addition to overviews - which waste products belong in which trash can - various FairTrade seals and logos and their meaning were presented in an exhibition entitled "Fair products for a fair community" as part of the upcoming certification as a Fairtrade University. The accompanying permanent exhibition complemented the topic with easy-to-implement energy-saving tips for everyday communal living madness in the kitchen, bathroom or communal living room.
Plastic and its relevance for the environment
Under the theme "Plastic-free living", two activities were organised on the third day of the sustainability week. During the lunch break, short films on the topic of marine pollution were shown in the HNU canteen to draw attention to the consequences of discarded packaging materials and visually depict the impact on nature. In addition, a guest lecture by blogger Charlotte Schüler on the topic of "Plastic-free living" took place in one of the lecture halls. In her talk, she told about her path to plastic-free living, gave interesting insights into her plastic-free everyday life and simple tips on how to implement it.
Powering a toaster with a spinning bike
The last day of the sustainability week combined sport with sustainability. Based on the idea of the #Toasterchallenge (a toaster is to be permanently powered by a bicycle), students were able to try out using their own muscle power to convert as much energy as possible on a spinning bike provided by Hammer Sport AG. To do this, the participants first pedalled at full power while the spinning bike converted the energy directly into watts. The value was then compared with the actual energy expenditure of household appliances. Surprisingly, most of them were only able to light up a light bulb (50W) or a lamp (200W), because a coffee machine (900W), a toaster (700W) and other objects require much more energy. move was thus able to let the students experience for themselves how much power it takes to generate energy, which can help the participants develop a more conscious use of energy in everyday life.
Through the various activities, move was able to show how everyone can make a contribution to a more sustainable world even with small steps. The team would also like to thank all participants once again and hopes that, in addition to having fun, some interested people were also inspired to think.
Sustainability is also part of courses at HNU.
Sustainability quiz at the anniversary celebration of Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the city of Neu-Ulm and the 25th anniversary of the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences, companies in the region and the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences opened their doors and gates to the "Extraschicht" on Friday, 17 May 2019. From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., interested citizens had the opportunity to find out on site about laboratories, study programmes, facilities and activities at HNU. This was accompanied by a colourful supporting programme. For the younger ones, a university rally was organised, in which solution components could be collected at various stations, which resulted in a solution set. Among other things, there was a quiz on the topic of sustainability, which also focused on the topic of Fairtrade and sustainable living.
Sustainability quiz at the anniversary celebration of Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences
Quizzes and infographics on the topic of sustainability
Participants were able to compete in quizzes to find out what percentage of the sales price goes to a coffee picker who produces conventional coffee, for example, and what the situation is with Fairtrade coffee. In addition to the quiz questions, those interested were also able to find out from infographics, for example, how long food can be consumed after the official best-before date if stored correctly, or how much water is needed for the production of meat, cocoa or coffee.
Especially the older quiz participants and their parents were often surprised or shocked by the enormous amounts of water needed for the production of certain foods, how big the rubbish island in the Pacific really is, how long discarded plastic takes to decompose in nature and how little money a coffee picker receives for extracting conventional coffee. At the same time, however, there was often the realisation that with just a few steps and small changes in behaviour, each individual can very quickly make a contribution to making the world a bit fairer and more sustainable.
Fairtrade coffee again convinces with good taste
Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences and Neu-Ulm District organise blind tasting and crown Fairtrade coffee as winner
For the third time, move organised a coffee blind tasting. This time, the team went to the Christmas party of the Neu-Ulm district. Florian Drollinger, climate protection manager of the district, initiated the joint action. Among other things, he works together with the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences as part of the "Gemeinsam Mobil (opens in a new window)" project and is therefore familiar with the actions of the student initiative. Through the regular exchange between the HNU and Mr Drollinger, the idea arose to carry out Fairtrade actions together and to support each other.
The mountain of rubbish is rising and Germany is sitting on top of it!
Hardly any other nation in the EU produces as much packaging waste as Germany! The figures recently published by the Federal Environment Agency clearly show this. Industry and consumers are equally responsible for this. The Federal Environment Agency sees the following reasons, among others, as the cause: smaller portions, mail order, and take-away food and drink. Since this topic concerns us all, HNU move talked to André Wieland, the owner of the Klare Kante unpacked shop in Weißenhorn.
Interview with André Wieland
How did it come about that you opened an unpacked shop in Weißenhorn?
I have always avoided rubbish in my private life. On a holiday in Croatia, it was appalling how much rubbish had washed up on the Croatian coast from Italy. The whole beach was full and had been for the whole week. Therefore, I wanted to intensify my efforts to privately avoid rubbish, for example by shopping at an unpacking shop. When I couldn't find one of these shops nearby, the idea was born. First, I wanted to find out via crowd funding whether there was any interest at all. The crowd funding didn't work, partly because people didn't understand the principle behind it, but I also received a lot of positive feedback and many people wanted to support me regardless of the crowd funding. So the project progressed further and further. I had suppliers, a shop and much more, and at some point I reached a point of no return.
Your shop has been open for about half a year now. How is it being received?
For such a small nest, 14,000 people with a radius, the response is really good. I have many regular customers, also because shopping with me involves a bit of planning. There are even a lot of customers from further away who then do a bulk purchase.
How does the food get to you in the shop?
When I buy the food, everything possible arrives packed in kraft paper. I select my suppliers according to this criterion. Unfortunately, this is not possible for all products. For example, salt has to be packed in a big 25 kg plastic bag, which is then enough for 600 people. That is a good compromise. I always make sure to buy in large quantities. Our local suppliers, like our coffee roaster, also deliver the food in large reusable cans, which they then take back with them. Our pasta maker delivers his pasta in the grain bags he gets his grain in.
How hygienic is that then?
The products never have any contact with the outside. With me, the products are filled directly into the large tins (30 l) and sealed airtight.
Where do your products come from?
We buy a lot regionally, but also from organic wholesalers. Of course, there are also many hygiene regulations that have to be observed. Almost all products are organic. Salt is an exception here as well, because there are no organic fields in the world that produce salt. In addition, the coffee roasting plant is not organic for cost reasons, as it is too small for that.
How does the customer know how long the products have a shelf life?
I am happy to find out the best-before date from my list for customers on request.
How much of a product do I have to buy as a minimum?
You can buy all products from 2 grams. This is a great advantage, especially for single households or for trying out new products. Often you have to buy a large quantity at once. Even if you only need something once, the large package often sits around until you think it is no longer good and so the food is thrown away almost untouched. Especially with spices that quickly lose their aroma, such as bay leaves, the precise filling is a great advantage. On the other hand, there are also many large families who fill up their 5-litre pasta jars.
How does the shopping work?
In general, you can do everything yourself. You can fill up what you want and if it's too much, I'm happy to fill it back up again. That way you can develop a feeling for mass. Shopping with me should be fun. First, the container, if you brought one, is weighed and you write the empty weight on the container yourself. However, the customer can also buy containers from me. Then they can fill up whatever they want and finally I weigh the container and calculate the price.
Where do you see the challenge as an operator of a plastic-free supermarket?
I have to work a lot for a retail store. You have to check a lot, go through the bulk dispensers almost every day, because of course, especially with organic products, there can be a pest infestation already in the bag. That's why I check that everything is clean and well sealed. However, none of this is a disadvantage for me. I knew beforehand what I was in for.
And advantages that we haven't mentioned yet?
There are many alternatives to existing things. Instead of aluminium foil, beeswax wipes; instead of liquid shampoo, solid shampoo; instead of conventional washable make-up remover pads; instead of normal toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes; instead of the toothpaste tube, toothpaste tablets; and much more from small companies that really put some thought into it.
You want to know more about the plastic-free supermarket Klare Kante in Weißenhorn?
For more information: www.facebook.com/regional.fair.plastikfrei (opens in a new window)
It's up to you!
He is studying industrial engineering at HNU, is currently writing his bachelor's thesis and founded the start-up Fairbrush at the beginning of 2018. Owner Enrico Barardone is 24 years old and wants to change the world with his bamboo toothbrushes. His idea: for every Fairbrush toothbrush sold, a Fairbrush toothbrush is donated to children in need. In addition, the children are educated about the importance of oral hygiene and environmental protection with the help of training courses. Read this interview to find out how he balances all this with his studies. A conversation about motivation, pride and sustainability.
Interview with Enrico Barardone
You are currently writing your Bachelor's thesis at HNU. What kind of topic are you writing about?
I'm writing my bachelor's thesis about my start-up Fairbrush, which I founded at the beginning of the year. It's about how to transfer a business model to a sustainable business model and thus consider all three dimensions of sustainability. This means that you don't only pay attention to economic issues, but also to social and ecological ones.
What long-term goals are you pursuing with your start-up "Fairbrush"?
The business model is deliberately built on the three pillars of sustainability. In Germany alone, over half a million plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every day. That's a huge amount of avoidable waste every day. That's why Fairbrush toothbrushes are made of bamboo, unlike conventional toothbrushes. In addition to the ecological product itself, we pursue a social approach: for every toothbrush sold, Fairbrush donates a toothbrush to children in the Third World. In addition, we educate the children about the importance of oral hygiene and environmental protection.
What was your motivation for founding Fairbrush?
The main trigger was a strategy lecture during the 6th semester of my studies. This lecture dealt with the topic of sustainability. Our professor presented several sustainable business models. I thought to myself, why aren't there more companies like this, it's actually really ingenious. A company that earns money, but at the same time creates added value for society as a whole. Then I thought about what I could do as a student and then I thought of toothbrushes. These are light, small and not expensive. I talked to different people about my idea, they thought it was great and then I thought about how to do it.
How did it go from there?
After I had the idea, I went to Finland for a semester abroad. Fortunately, all the subjects were very helpful in setting up Fairbrush. For example, I had a subject that was about designing an online shop. I proposed to my group to design an online shop for Fairbrush and they agreed. In another subject I had to prepare pitches, in another I had project management and budget planning. All subjects that I could then apply to my start-up. Yes, that's how it turned out (laughs).
So you gained your know-how about founding a company during your studies?
I had a lecture in business management at HNU, which taught me a lot. I also had a few lectures in Finland. But I don't think you learn business management from a book. I learned the most by just doing things and reacting to what happened.
How did you get your start-up capital?
I took part in a competition in Finland. That was actually pure chance. I had to prepare a pitch for a lecture. Two weeks later I got an email from the university about a competition where you can present your business idea. I then applied to this competition and won the first prize. I invested the prize money in 1000 toothbrushes. I donated 500 of them straight away, and I'm currently selling the other 500.
What has been your absolute highlight so far?
Well, my highlight was definitely the fundraising tour with two friends in Asia. It was just incredible to see how happy the children were to receive a toothbrush. They were happy about the gift and about the fact that we were there to teach them something and took time for them. So it's always a highlight for me when I receive a new order.
How do you reconcile all this with your studies? You are also the owner and the only employee of Fairbrush.
Well, during the preparation phase in Finland I did a lot, but I didn't have many lectures there either. Today, with my part-time job, it's really tight, which is why I'm not doing much marketing at the moment. But as soon as I have a semester break, I want to work more on Fairbrush again. After my bachelor's thesis, I'll work full time for a company and do Fairbrush on the side. Then we'll see what happens. I might want to introduce different variants of Fairbrush soon, for example different colours.
What do you want for the future?
I would like to be able to say that I have made a difference.
Your message to the HNU students?
If you have a start-up idea, do it. Just do it. You learn so much and you have nothing to lose. And please think more about sustainability. Often you can do without small things, for example flyers that go in the bin anyway. We are the generation that has to change something and sustainability starts with ourselves.
Want to know more about the Fairbrush?
For more info: www.fairbrush.de (opens in a new window)
HNU on the way to becoming a Fairtrade University
Sustainable cosmetics as part of the presentation day of the student initiatives
The student team move of the Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences organised an action around the topic of sustainable and fair cosmetics for the info market of student initiatives on 21 March. In addition to information about certificates, ingredients and animal testing, product samples from Dr. Hauschka were distributed. The sustainably produced masks, hand and body creams met with great interest among the students.
Sustainable and fair cosmetics
Anyone who looks around in German drugstores will have noticed: Cosmetics with fairly produced and sustainable ingredients that are manufactured without animal testing are becoming increasingly important. The motives for switching to so-called "green" cosmetics can be quite different. One motivation may be to avoid packaging waste, another the fair production of ingredients or the avoidance of animal testing.
Every day, people around the world produce large amounts of waste, of which a not inconsiderable proportion is packaging materials. These substances, which are difficult to degrade (plastics, aluminium foil, coated paper, etc.), are often thrown away carelessly and, especially in countries where there is no or inadequate waste disposal, end up directly in the seas and oceans, where they form floating islands of plastic waste. The materials enter the human and animal organism via the food chain. It therefore makes sense to do without packaging material. Those who want to avoid packaging waste can look around in specialised shops, for example Original Unverpackt or Lush. Here, unpackaged care products such as hair washing soap and body butter are offered. A small step with an impact is to switch to large packaging units for frequently used favourite products. This is a simple way to reduce plastic consumption. Those who like to experiment can also make their own shampoo, for example from rye flour.
There are many good reasons to pay attention to fairly produced ingredients. Producers are paid according to performance and receive a more stable income. All producers receive a Fairtrade premium, which can be invested in long-term and charitable projects, such as education. The ban on child and forced labour enables children to attend school and women to lead self-determined lives. In addition, workers benefit from significantly better standards of health protection. Buying Fairtrade products is therefore not a one-off donation, but makes a sustainable contribution to improving living conditions. In addition, the productivity of Fairtrade smallholders is usually higher and there are fewer leftovers and rejected products.
Since "natural cosmetics" is not a protected term, consumers can easily lose their bearings. In order to support students in their search for fair cosmetics, move was able to provide information about which seals and certificates have which meaning and what students should look for when buying cosmetics.
Those who attach particular importance to products that have not been tested on animals or contain animal ingredients should look out for the "VeganBlume" certificate when buying. The certificate guarantees consumers that the products bearing it are free of animal ingredients and have not been tested on animals. The seal, awarded by the Vegan Society England, not only identifies cosmetic products, but also vegan food.
In order to be allowed to use the Fairtrade logo, a certain amount of Fairtrade-certified raw materials must be contained. For "leave-on" products (e.g. creams and make-up), this must be at least 5 percent of the ingredients. For "wash-off" products (e.g. shower gel and shampoo) at least 2 percent. The calculation for both product forms is based on all ingredients including water.
The move team would like to thank denn`s Biomarkt Neu-Ulm, which provided 150 cosmetic samples from Dr. Hauschka.
A look beyond the "Kaffeetassenrand"
As part of its application to become a Fairtrade University of Applied Sciences, HNU is a guest at the Neu-Ulm Christmas market with Fairtrade coffee.
After Team move - consisting of committed students from Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU) - conducted a coffee blind tasting in the foyer of the university in March 2017, the citizens of Neu-Ulm were also to be allowed to decide which tastes better: fair trade coffee or conventional branded coffee? For this purpose, a coffee blind tasting was carried out at the Neu-Ulm Christmas market together with the city of Neu-Ulm.
Coffee blind tasting at the Neu-Ulm Christmas market
move supports the HNU with this campaign on its way to obtaining the "Fairtrade University" certification. Four different types of coffee were offered for tasting. In addition to the coffee tasting, the stand also provided information about the Transfair organisation and the Fairtrade seal, while at the same time the city of Neu-Ulm was officially designated as a Fairtrade Town on the town hall square. The presence at the Christmas market was not only intended to raise awareness of Fairtrade and Fairtrade products among visitors to the Christmas market, but also to show that fair coffee tastes really good.
Four different coffees were offered for tasting: two conventional coffee brands from the supermarket, one coffee variety based on organic cultivation and one fairly produced and distributed coffee variety. The test persons were allowed to try each coffee at the Christmas market stand of the city of Neu-Ulm, but did not know which coffee was a fair trade coffee and which was not.
To evaluate the taste, the test persons were given green and red chips. A green chip was used to express agreement and a red chip to express disagreement. After a three-hour test phase, the moment of truth had come. The results spoke for themselves: fair trade coffee was by far the best, followed by organic coffee. The conventional coffees only took third and fourth place. The tasting shows: Fair coffee not only meets the taste of the students at Neu-Ulm University, but also that of the citizens.
Chocolate tasting for Fairtrade University accreditation
The move initiative, consisting of students from Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU), organised an event on the topic of fair cocoa trade. After the coffee blind tasting in March and the action day "Sustainability in Everyday Life" as part of the Sustainability Days, the chocolate tasting is the third event this year to help HNU achieve accreditation as a Fairtrade University. The aim of the chocolate tasting was to raise awareness of Fairtrade, fair trade and fair payment for producers among the students.
Chocolate tasting at HNU
Different types of fair chocolate and cocoa, sponsored by the fair trade organisation El Puente, were offered to the students for testing. The students' feedback shows that there is an enormous difference in taste alone between Fairtrade chocolates and non-Fairtrade produced chocolates. Fairtrade chocolates not only taste better, but are also no more expensive than commercially available brand-name chocolates. The project of the student initiative move was accompanied by information posters on fair cocoa farming. Rebekka Kesberg, a volunteer at the Ulm World Shop, used a "world game" to inform the students about the distribution of wealth in the world and what consequences this has for cocoa cultivation and cocoa farmers. Cocoa-producing countries are seldom the countries that also record the yields. Rebekka Kesberg explained to the students that this is exactly where fair trade organisations come in: Through fair cocoa production, it is possible to increase the profits of the local cocoa farmers from four per cent with conventional cultivation to 40 per cent. Fairtrade can thus ensure that the profits go to where the work is done.
We would like to thank El Puente as well as Rebekka Kesberg and the Weltladen Ulm for their support.
Neu-Ulm University on the way to becoming a Fairtrade University
Blind tasting at HNU shows: Fair trade coffee tastes better than branded coffee
In mid-March, the HNU student team move conducted a coffee blind tasting at the presentation day of the student initiatives to find out whether HNU students like fair-trade coffee better than brand-name coffee. With this action, move is supporting HNU on its way to obtaining the "Fairtrade University" certification. Accompanying the coffee blind tasting, the students also provided information about what Fairtrade is all about and what fair trade means using the example of fairly traded coffee.
Coffee blind tasting at the presentation day of the student initiatives at HNU
All HNU students and staff were invited to take part in the blind tasting. The evaluation was done after sampling two fair trade and two branded coffees by green chips ("coffee tastes good") and red chips ("coffee does not taste good"), which the testers had to throw into the corresponding boxes after tasting the respective coffee. During the blind tasting, the coffee packages were of course not on the table.
At the end of the evaluation, the students counted the chips handed in and chose the winning coffee of the blind tasting: a fair-trade GEPA coffee won by a wide margin. The test results are not only an exclamation mark for fair trade coffee. The convincing taste of GEPA coffee thus represents a real alternative for HNU events.