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New 'Conscious Consumer' category added to University Sailing Sustainability Challenge

by Emma Cotton 20 Jun 09:02 BST
New 'Conscious Consumer' category added to University Sailing Sustainability Challenge © RYA

Each year, students from university sailing clubs across the country work to achieve a sustainability award level from The Green Blue's University Sailing Sustainability Challenge.

There are a range of categories which contain a list of actions for each award level that participating clubs can achieve, from setting up boat wash down areas at their sailing venues to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, to sharing sustainable sailing top tips with members and the wider boating community.

New for this year's students is the 'Conscious Consumer' category, which focusses on raising awareness of the origin and lifecycle of products, in particular, boating equipment, clothes and the packaging that the items arrive in.

Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue's Campaign Manager, said the new category reflects the shift in young people's consumer habits and a new awareness of the sustainability of not only our everyday household items, but also our sailing equipment and gear.

"It's really important to us that the Challenge continues to give students the opportunity to demonstrate innovation and sustainability in the areas of boating that they're most passionate about. Young people are becoming much more conscious when it comes to the environmental footprint of the products they're buying and the new focus category, 'Conscious Consumer' recognises that interest and the importance of making more sustainable choices."

British University Sailing Association (BUSA), the representative body for university sailing in the UK, have supported the event since its inception six years ago. The Challenge continues to grow and more universities take part each year with last year's being a record breaker with over thirty clubs signing-up.

Kate Ledgard, BUSA commented: "BUSA is excited to be at the start of another year of The Green Blue's USSC, this year we would love to see a record number of universities not only participating, but also completing awards. Environmental sustainability and looking after our waterways and seas is essential for the enjoyment of our sport, and university sailing clubs are in an ideal position to increase awareness and to help create change."

Ocean?, who produce sustainable apparel and products for eco-conscious businesses and consumers, have also confirmed their support by becoming the Challenge sponsor for a second year in a row.

"We are delighted to once again sponsor the Green Blue's University Sailing Sustainability Challenge. We strongly believe that sustainability must be a priority topic for everyone, and young adults in particular can play a defining role in how we make our future a more sustainable one," Tom Cotter, CEO, Ocean?, commented.

"It is great to see students coming together in exceptionally challenging times, to take action to protect our oceans and create a greener environment for us all, which aligns closely with our core mission at Ocean?."

The competition begins in September, but university sailing clubs are encouraged to register their interest now ahead of the Autumn term.

You can find more information about the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge and how to take part, by visiting the Get Involved section on The Green Blue's website or by email: .

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