The Sustainability Living Lab (SLL) program, which aims to support green research and innovation projects of university students and staff, was launched at Nazarbayev University (NU) with the support of Chevron in 2019. All SLL projects are aimed at improving the environmental performance of the campus, which in turn allowed the university to become a test site for the program.
“To date, together with Chevron within the walls of NU, such projects have already been implemented as the development of biodiesel fuel from waste oil from the university canteen, the creation of vegetarian meat from a strain of mushrooms, the processing of old plastic into useful things. Several other projects, including food waste composting, are now being completed. Additionally, drinking fountains and a green corner for meditation appeared at the university. The university also plans to install on-campus machines for filling household chemicals and receiving plastic bottles, a bicycle that generates energy, and a butterfly garden. Our students and colleagues will also create an antimicrobial coating, virtually track energy consumption by blocks, and grow biofuel feedstock on campus,” said Gulzhan Yermekova, Head of the Office of Green Campus and Environmental Development.
Overall, the SLL initiative aims to foster the intellectual potential and creativity of the university community. It contributes to the transformation of theoretical knowledge into real projects and enables project participants to acquire new practical skills.
Also, to disseminate experience in implementing green initiatives by the university community, NU, with the support of Chevron, plans to introduce similar programs in other universities in Kazakhstan.
Thus, the SLL program was recently launched at the Karaganda State University (KSU) named after E.A. Buketov. Now KSU employees and students will be able to implement their green initiatives on their campus. Representatives of the NU Office of Green Campus in an online format organized the acceptance of applications and familiarization with the projects of Karaganda students. A comfortable gazebo surrounded by trees and a wild vineyard, for leisure and study of students, an installation for recycling plastic collected at the university into useful gizmos, a convenient table that charges phones, an eco-course on conscious consumption and sorting of garbage, a meeting room for better communication of students – these and other projects are planned to be implemented at KSU soon.
Representatives of the Office of Green Campus are confident that the support of student and youth green initiatives will help the development of “green” thinking for a new generation of Kazakhstanis.