Oxford SU’s veggie pledge initiative is returning, with pledges opening today and remaining open until the 30th November. This year, each individual’s pledge will begin when they make it and run for a month from that date. The aim of the pledge this year is to make the original Veggie Pledge campaign ‘more inclusive for all’. Understanding that many people can’t change their diet, due to mental or physical health conditions, a variety of pledge options are suggested so that everyone can contribute to making Oxford more sustainable.
The classic veggie and vegan pledges include the option of only making the change a certain number of days a week, rather than all the time. Other suggested pledges include only buying cruelty-free products, reducing or eliminating single-use plastic, not driving or using a car, not taking any flights, no fast fashion, and a systemic action pledge involving college environment representatives.
The university-wide scheme will name one college as the ‘sustainable champions’ at the end of the pledge period. The title and prize will be won by the college with the biggest ‘Planet Pledge’ score, which is determined by multiplying the proportion of college students pledging by the population of the college + 200.
As well as the wider range of pledges, Planet Pledge has also introduced a number of new initiatives for 2019. These include ‘Pledge Leaders’, individuals who are experienced in sustainable living and will be the point of contact for all participants in answering any questions or concerns they may have. There is also a partnership with Carbon Codes, a platform that helps users find sustainable restaurants around you and provides discounts on sustainable food items.
The SU is encouraging as many students as possible to pledge whatever they can, saying ‘whatever you can do this term, we all need to work together for change.’