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My Experience as a Green Impact Project Assistant (GIPA): Student Guest Blog

March 25, 2024
Charlotte Ambrose

This is a guest blog from Charlotte, a first-year Philosophy student at the University of York who volunteers on our Green Impact programme. If you would like to get involved in Green Impact, or bring Green Impact to your organisation, please contact us!

Photo credit: UoY/Alex Holland.

If you’re passionate about a specific environmental cause or there’s an event you want to run, getting involved in Green Impact is the best way to make this happen. 

Hi, my name’s Charlotte and I’m a first-year Philosophy student at the University of York. I signed up as a Green Impact Project Assistant (GIPA) volunteer at the start of my first semester because I wanted to take group action against the Climate Crisis. Joining Green Impact has allowed me to do this and so much more, by connecting me with a team of equally passionate climate activists.

One of the best things about becoming a GIPA is the amount of freedom you have: you can work towards the projects that you’re passionate about, running with an idea as far as you want. 

Personally, I really enjoy writing snappy, blog-style posts. As my team’s GIPA, I’m responsible for updating the department’s online noticeboard with weekly sustainability tips. It’s great to have full creative control over this project as well as being able to share my passion with an online audience. I love responding to comments on my posts and it feels so rewarding to see the noticeboard progress and grow each time I add to it! 

Of course, there are lots of other things you can do as a GIPA too! Using Canva, I enjoyed creating an online poster, where I give tips for saving water in the workplace. I’ve also written a script and recorded an educational video, outlining these water-saving measures.  

Those are just a few examples of things I’ve done as a GIPA. With that in mind, I know others who have approached the role completely differently. That’s one of the great things about becoming a GIPA: you can take it in any direction that you want. 

You really like event planning? Organise a sustainability event on campus. 

Want to do something to get students talking about sustainability? Bring in local speakers and arrange environmental discussions on campus. 

It really is that straightforward! Whether you’re good at organisation or communication, becoming a GIPA will allow you to develop these skills (and learn new ones). 

My team and I are starting to wrap up our Green Impact project for this year but it’s still reassuring to know that I’m coming away with lots of transferable skills. I’ve attended fortnightly meetings, partaken in environmental research and co-led a virtual presentation on Eco-Tourism. In doing so, I’ve massively improved my public speaking and independent research skills. What’s more, I’ve been able to learn these skills whilst advocating for a cause that is very close to my heart, surrounded by a lovely support network of colleagues. 

Becoming a GIPA has already opened so many doors for me; I think it’s pushed me to try things that I never would have done otherwise. It’s wonderful to be able to bounce ideas off other people and orchestrate change on a university level. 

For students looking to learn new things and make an activedifference to the planet, I can’t recommend Green Impact enough.