Students from Worcester USA travel across the pond for sustainability project

Worcester News: Worcester Polytechnic Institute students Chas Frick, Alex Shoop, Nick Lemere and Stefan Smith with University of Worcester director of environmental sustainability Katy Boom (middle) Worcester Polytechnic Institute students Chas Frick, Alex Shoop, Nick Lemere and Stefan Smith with University of Worcester director of environmental sustainability Katy Boom (middle)

A GROUP of students from a Worcester more than 3,000 miles away have travelled across the pond to help residents save money on their electricity bills.

The four students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts are visiting the city to take part in the Energize Worcester project coordinated by the University of Worcester.

The scheme is a wide-ranging project working to bring down electricity bills for students in the city living in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) through increasing efficiency and encouraging sustainable ways of living.

The group have been meeting with residents in the Arboretum area of the city, which group member Nick Lemere said had proved a challenge.

"We were planning on focusing on the HMOs and working with landlords but due to a serious lack of response we decided to expand it to all residents in the Arboretum," he said.

Alex Shoop said they had come across a language barrier with many of the Arboretum's foreign residents.

"Earlier on we did a leaflet notifying people we would be going around knocking on doors and that really helped us out," he said.

Chas Frick said they had faced a range of reactions when speaking to residents.

"We've had a whole range of things from people not even opening the door to some inviting us in for a cup of tea," he said.

Nick said: "We've had people say 'I don't know what what you're selling but I don't want it'," he said.

But Stefan Smith said people were starting to open up to them.

"We know people to say hello to in the street now and people recognise us too," he said.

The University of Worcester's director of environmental sustainability Katy Boom, who is working closely with the group, said she had been greatly impressed by their work.

"This is probably one of the hardest areas to look at as part of the project," she said.

"It's a fantastic resource for us to have such keen students doing this project."

The four will present their findings later this month before returning home on Thursday, June 26.

For more information on Energize Worcester visit www.energize-worcester.co.uk.

Comments (4)

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12:55pm Fri 6 Jun 14

The answer is 42 says...

Unbelievable! How on earth do they think that their efforts will cancel out the vast amount of aviation fuel burned by travelling that 3000 miles. University of Worcester's director of environmental sustainability Katy Boom must be proud of all this wasted time and effort not to mention the environmental damage done!!
Unbelievable! How on earth do they think that their efforts will cancel out the vast amount of aviation fuel burned by travelling that 3000 miles. University of Worcester's director of environmental sustainability Katy Boom must be proud of all this wasted time and effort not to mention the environmental damage done!! The answer is 42
  • Score: -7

2:33pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Ted Elgar says...

Nothing more sustainable than air travel eh?
Have these people heard of Skype?
Nothing more sustainable than air travel eh? Have these people heard of Skype? Ted Elgar
  • Score: -6

4:36pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Ted Elgar says...

Yeah, yeah.. thumbs down to the comments, but you all know that 4 Americans flying over from the wrong Worcester to knock on doors isn't going to help combat climate change.
Yeah, yeah.. thumbs down to the comments, but you all know that 4 Americans flying over from the wrong Worcester to knock on doors isn't going to help combat climate change. Ted Elgar
  • Score: -3

5:12pm Sat 7 Jun 14

fangedscorpion says...

1. When referring to air travel it becomes necessary to consider the overall effects of everyone's travel plans not simply those 4 students. There are others on the flight as well whose carbon actions matter too.
2. It is true that air travel is not sustainable. No one disputes this fact. However it seems the project deals with sustainability within the Arboretum and seeks to have the community members participate in this initiative. Thus, the students will travel back and the local community continues the progress. That is a more sustainable model.
3. Knocking on doors will not combat climate change. Working with the community to change their behaviours will however.
1. When referring to air travel it becomes necessary to consider the overall effects of everyone's travel plans not simply those 4 students. There are others on the flight as well whose carbon actions matter too. 2. It is true that air travel is not sustainable. No one disputes this fact. However it seems the project deals with sustainability within the Arboretum and seeks to have the community members participate in this initiative. Thus, the students will travel back and the local community continues the progress. That is a more sustainable model. 3. Knocking on doors will not combat climate change. Working with the community to change their behaviours will however. fangedscorpion
  • Score: 3

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