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One Planet Week

One Planet Week runs every year during Week 6 of Spring Term to celebrate sustainability research and work completed at the University.

One Planet Week aims to provide a platform from which to promote awareness, and share knowledge and actions on sustainability to staff, students and the wider community.  The title reminds us that we live on a planet with finite resources and that currently we're living beyond those limited means  - every year the average European consumes 3 planet’s worth of resources (for the USA the figures is 5 planet’s worth)!

This year almost all activities have been moved online because of COVID restrictions. However, this provides the added benefit that they'll all be recorded and available for catch-up on the Sustainability Youtube channel a week or so after they take place.

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One Planet Week 2021: Culture and Community

Our theme for 2021 is Culture and Community and almost all events are online and open to the public. 

Effective sustainability includes
nurturing local identity and heritage, empowering communities and promoting a culture of sustainable living.
Our week will include a look at how sustainability is being tackled in our community locally, more widely through our Alumni network and at a global scale.

Join in with our events

Culture and Community is a big theme, here’s a breakdown of the range of topics we’re covering and the related events you can join in on; from food, to the climate crisis, practical actions and building sustainable communities.

Food is a big part of culture and at the heart of many communities, and changing our thought processes around what we choose to eat is a massive part of building a sustainable relationship with food.

Take part in a discussion on ethics of lab grown meat

Share a virtual community meal with us; learn a new veggie dish with this Live demonstration with our Head Executive Chef, Dave Martin. We’ll send you the recipe, so show us your version of the dish by uploading a photo to at any time during One Planet Week (15th -21st February) for a chance to win £100 voucher

Learn more about the psychology behind meat consumption and other environmental issues

Should consumers know the environmental impact of their food before they buy it? Find out more about this research project from one of our own Dept of Biology students


It’s impossible to talk about sustainability without recognising why we need change. These talks each look at the climate crisis from a different perspective.

Join York Anti-Racist Collective and speaker Simmone Ahiaku to learn about the intersection between Anti-Racism and climate activism

Find out more about the complicated implications for climate justice and migration

Learn about the report that 200 years ago foresaw human action altering the climate


Some of the problems associated with sustainability are too big to change on your own, but together we can work within the community to make a difference

Find out more about how to get involved with your local community with a Q+A from Volunteering and some students who’ve already done it

With spring just around the corner, join our panel of sustainability experts who will answer your questions on the benefits of getting into the outdoors this Spring - there are no stupid questions here!

Repair and reuse! Get your instruments back in working order yourself with this workshop on guitars and basses

Coming to you live from FreetheFlow_ on Instagram, this collaboration between Free the Flow and SewSoc will teach you about Project Gambia and how to sew your own menstrual products


Sustainable communities can be built at a local scale, but must also be part of a global effort. In this topic, we try to look at sustainable from the perspective of all communities

Find out what’s happening in your local community to recycle our precious plastics

A holistic solution to the climate emergency with local climate activist Patrick Thelwell

Take advantage of York’s Alumni network to find out about working in the area of sustainability

Learn from the expertise of Peter Lunt, Airbus, as to how remote working has improved energy efficiency

You’ve heard about the plastic straw debate, but there’s much more to learn about disability and sustainability from D&A speaker Piers Wilkinson


Previous themes and events

Find out more about our previous One Planet Week events in the dropdowns below.

OPW20 was on the theme of Zero Carbon and included a range of educational and practical events to show how low carbon living could be achieved.  We teamed up with GIKI to help people find low carbon foods when they shop and ran a community volunteering event to plant 1000 trees for One Planet both on campus and on local school and community recreation grounds. Some of the presentations from the week can be found on the OPW20 playlist of our Sustainability Youtube channel.


OPW2019 had some great events from the Ocean Plastics Exhibition to Ethical Clothes Swaps, Quizzes, Tombola, Eco-cafe crawls and making your own Beeswax Wrap workshop.

We also had our "More Sustainable Options" labels in the Nisa in Market Square, which highlighted local and seasonal products, vegan options, fairtrade accreditations, recycled materials, and/or use of sustainable palm oil.

Our calendar below shows all the activities which ran throughout the week.

The calendar is visible to all members of the University - you need to be logged into your University Google Account to see it. Click the +Google Calendar button (bottom right) to subscribe to the calendar.


In 2018 staff and students demonstrated their commitment to the theme (and principle) of Zero Waste! 

Starting with a Karaoke Night in the Courtyard, #OPW18 included a range of workshops from upcycling to fixing musical instruments; a college recycling audit competition; a Zero Waste Challenge; a virtual Wonder Wander in the 3Sixty Room; and building a bug hotel building - to name but a few.

What next?

Being more sustainable isn’t just for One Planet Week!

Check out our web pages to find out more things that you can do to make sure you're living more sustainable and within our one planet's resources.

What you can do

Contact us

Sustainability at York
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