Environmental issues in the spotlight

Nazarbayev University marked the importance of caring about the environment during “NU Green Week” which was held at on campus from April 1 to 7.  The event was organized by the student community NU Green Society with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Kazakhstan and the office of Green Campus. The main purpose of NU Green Week is to promote a culture of environmental literacy and draw attention to environmental issues.


On the first day of the event, eco-debates were held with the participation of Nomad club, a live performance from NU Drama Club and the release of booklets with eco-tips from NU Green Society. There was also a screening of the documentary “More than honey” about the life of bees and their mysterious massive die off in recent years around the world, about the related dangers that today’s communities face, and about the invaluable contribution bees  make to human food production  due to their pollination of crops.


At a seminar on waste sorting participants learned how to sort garbage correctly. Then they took part in an interactive exchange of waste paper and plastic for Green coins and valuable prizes. During the seminar, young environmental enthusiasts from the kindergarten № 68 “Bulak” wanted to show the adults how to take care of nature, which they did through a demonstration arts and crafts they made from  used plastic bottles, paper, and utensils.

Experts shared their knowledge, ideas and experience on sustainable development at Eco-talks, which had the following themes: “Is there a future for bio-batteries?”, “What can the forest teach us in the field of Economics?”, “Do you really care about waste management?”, and “Qoqys – smart waste management system”.


On the third day of the event, NU Green week participants were able to donate and buy items at a Garage sale, organized jointly with the Children’s Development Foundation.  The money raised at the sale was donated to charity. Also, those who wished to learn more about renewable energy were able to tour the university’s energopoligon.  During the tour, visitors learned about the work of solar photovoltaic systems, wind turbines and thermal solar systems. Popular YouTube blogger and “Viner” Eldana Satybaldieva spoke about the importance of waste sorting and shared her experience of transition to living a green lifestyle. The day ended with an entertaining Treasure Hunt, during which students had fun and learned a lot of useful information about energy saving and “green” lifestyle.


Experts on urban farming Irina PI and Maulen Akhmetov told about their experience of urban farming inside buildings. Special guests from bloomerang.kz demonstrated the process of creating beautiful florariums and gave advice on how to care for them.  There was also a screening of the film “Sea Tomorrow” with the participation of the Director of the film Katerina Suvorova.  This film is dedicated to the disappearance of the Aral sea, and highlights one of the most tragic disasters caused by humans. At the end of the film, the participants were able to ask the film’s Director their questions.


Students and staff of NU were able to taste culinary dishes at the Fair of vegetarian food, which was intended to spark interest in vegetarian food and get consumers to think about the link between their food choices and the environment.


On Saturday, about 100 students of Nazarbayev University spent about 8 hours cleaning garbage from the Borovoe resort. The students formed several groups to collect and separate waste into different streams: plastic, glass, metal and general waste.  The portion waste that was recyclable was set aside to be brought to the capital by environmental activists, so that the glass, plastic bottles, and cans may find a second life.


The week ended with a master class on waste sorting at the shopping center “Asia Park” and participation in the plogging – a new sport that combines jogging and picking up litter –  organized by the ECO-club Sparta Astana.

In addition, the photo exhibition “Qazaq Geography” ran the entire week at Nazarbayev University, dedicated to the unique nature of Kazakhstan. Most of the photos were taken during expeditions of the Kazakh Geographical society.