Being a research student can be tough at times. For some people it lasts for 1 year, for some it lasts for 6. No-body else is investigating the same topic as you, that’s the reason you’re doing it. Though there is great camaraderie between research students, it can get pretty lonely and support is always necessary.
As one of the research student reps for Edinburgh Napier University, I’m part of a group that are trying to organise events and help facilitate a research culture. I knew that MAD Seat was a great event to be part of and this seemed perfect for both causes.
After some encouragement, we gathered together a team of 6 people from 3 different schools ready to take on the challenge and raise support through sponsors. The sponsors are not for money, and instead ask for pledges from people to reduce their carbon footprint. Examples of these include eating less meat, washing clothes at a lower temperature, buying less plastic, using the car less and many more ideas. This is done through an organisation called Do Nation that also give estimations of how much carbon is being saved for 2 months of this action change.
Thankfully MAD Seat 2019 was mostly dry, and the event ran incredibly well with records getting smashed. The winner of the event managed 61 ascents in 24 hours! Napier PGR Team’s very own Larissa Engelmann won 2nd prize for the 6-hour challenge smashing out 13 ascents, equalling less than 28 minutes for each ascent. The team has gathered 157 pledges so far, equating to an estimated 4, 233 kg of carbon saved. This contributed to the overall event total of over 50 tons of carbon saved. This means that loads of students in the 3 schools got involved in sponsoring with pledges, and awareness of small actions that contribute to a very large cause, spread throughout the University.
As the University grow its research department, I’m hopeful that they will continue a connection with Mad Challenges. MAD Seat is an awesome event to bring a team of people together, support each other through the endurance and engage a wider audience. Research students are particularly interested in progressive ways of living for environmental benefit and I’ve found their engagement levels in the pledges to be really high. Look out for the Napier PGR Team next year!
Using Do Nation
It was pretty easy to get people engaged with pledging since there was no money involved. And once i told people they could make more than one pledge, they really started thinking about a few pledges they could do at the same time which added up to more change. The carbon saving estimations are also great as people can be really surprised by how much they’re saving!