Green Room Project group 2023


University of Hull students challenged to live sustainably in Green Room Project

Five days, five students, one house, one mission: live sustainably.

From an eco-warrior escape room to making vegan pizza for the first time, from driving around in a new MG EV to learning about food waste – a University of Hull project challenged a group of students to live their most sustainable life.

Amongst all the challenges of living more sustainably – such as limited phone time, recycling, turning off the lights and reducing time in the shower – one of the greatest challenges was adapting to a vegan diet.

Housemate Advertising and Marketing postgraduate student Tosin Adejuwon said: “Eating vegan meals was quite challenging. However, as the days wore on I enjoyed it.”

Fellow housemate Business Management and Marketing student Yousef Sakr also said the vegan diet was especially difficult. Whereas for the student project team, who organised the activities for the project, challenges were about developing the skills to keep a complex five-day project on schedule.

Marketing student Iwona Bojan, who was engagement lead for the project and provided social media support, said: “I think we all learnt that even the most prepared and detailed plan can be useless once launching a live project. You need to be prepared for constant change and improvisation. But we had an amazing team and all challenges we faced together.”

The Green Room Project – a five-day social experiment now in its second year – is just one example of how the University community is demonstrating its vision to work towards a more sustainable world for the benefit of future generations.

Five students lived together in a house in the University Quarter, next to campus, for five days and took part in a range of activities to engage them in a more sustainable life-style.

Marketing student Molly Brook, who was project director for the Green Room Project, said: “I am really glad that I took part in the Green Room Project. I learnt so much about myself and developed many skills, particularly during the week. I am really proud of what we all accomplished.”

During the project, delivered in partnership with University Quarter accommodation provider Kexgill Group and sponsored by Aldermore Bank, the students learned how to eat, shop and dress sustainably as well as taking part in community activities to benefit the environment.

The project featured students with a variety of attitudes towards sustainable living – from those who were reluctant to change their lifestyles, to those who have already acted to reduce their personal carbon footprint.

Business Management and Marketing student Sapphire Jackson-Yoxall, head of social media for the project, said: “We decided to keep viewers continuously up to date this year by uploading content on the day it happened.

“It was a big task and got very tiring at times but we all pushed to give it our all and the support I received from the team was exemplary.

“Overall, the project helped me develop my time-management, my ability to work to a tight deadline and to work as a team. It also taught me to prepare for anything and improved my confidence and ability to network and communicate.

“The Green Room Project has made me want to live more sustainably particularly by switching a meal during the week to something vegan and minimising my food waste levels. I didn’t realise just how much food goes to waste until I saw it for myself!”

Postgraduate student Tosin said: “I feel really proud to have been part of such an exciting and impactful project. Sustainability now means more to me and I have been able to learn a few things that I am gradually infusing into my day-to-day activities.”

Other housemates to join the project were: Riannon Speechley, Harry Spillings and Chilando Tamba. Additional support for the project was provided by Hull University Business School students: Will Mellor (project manager), Qi Lin, Celeste Missud (project manager), Molly Brook (project director), Komal Ahmad (content creator lead for the project), Iwona Bojan (engagement lead), Sapphire Jackson-Yoxall (head of social media) and Will Forbes. Film student Lewis Monk Hart filmed and edited content for the project.

Through the project, I gained a deeper appreciation for how even small actions can have a significant impact, and I have since made several eco-friendly changes to my own lifestyle.

Komal Ahmed

Postgraduate Advertising and Marketing student

Dr Fannie Yeung, Lecturer in Marketing and Director of Student Experience at Hull University Business School, said: “As well as sustainability skills, the students developed life and CV-boosting skills such as time management, team work/cooperation, communication, creativity and decision-making.

“I have been so impressed by the students’ enthusiasm to live more sustainably, to challenge each other and also to work as an effective team.

“By partnering with the Kexgill Group and our project sponsor, Aldermore, we have been able to offer this innovative project for Business School students for a second year. In addition to taking part as housemates in the project, students are also given the opportunity to provide support and gain employability skills as project, marketing and launch managers, social media and content creators, as well as camera and editing roles.”

John Carter, Commercial Director for Commercial Real Estate, Aldermore Bank, said: “We’ve backed Kexgill for some time now, impressed with their drive to enhance the lives of the many students they house across the regions they operate in, always with a keen eye on sustainable growth.

“This mirrors Aldermore’s drive and beliefs in a more sustainable future, which is why we’re heavily invested in the student accommodation sector, but it’s not just funding – we’re also an active player in helping young people, from school age through university and into employment, aiming to promote social mobility and create a level playing field for all.

“It’s therefore an honour to be able to support the University of Hull and Kexgill with this great initiative and something we intend to build on beyond this project with both in the future.”

Richard Stott, Group Managing Director for Kexgill Group, said: “When I visited the Green Room Project this year, meeting the team was so inspiring. It really gave me confidence in the future direction of travel for real sustainability. There is much more legacy research happening post event in particular by EyeSeaGreen measuring the energy used throughout the project through the use of its Eyesense sensors. Each year the project gets bigger and we as a company are extremely proud to be involved.”

The students involved in the Green Room Project were living the values of the University of Hull’s Strategy 2030 – which has been built around two core themes of sustainability and social justice. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Dave Petley, visited the students to congratulate the housemates on their sustainable mission and find out more about the week’s activities.

All the students were able to build on the ways they were already trying to live sustainably and to gain greater insights into the changes that they can make. The sustainable practices that some of the students had already adopted included: thrift store shopping, using reusable cups, supporting eco-friendly brands, not buying fast fashion clothing, vegan diet, choosing walking and public transport, renovating old furniture, always using bags for life, showering instead of taking a bath, and eating fresh, local produce.

Business management student Céleste Missud, who helped project manage the challenge, said: “I am going to try to be more sustainable and eat less meat, recycle, take shorter showers, and will buy more of my clothes from charity shops.”

Postgraduate Advertising and Marketing student Komal Ahmed, who provided social media support, said: “Through the project, I gained a deeper appreciation for how even small actions can have a significant impact, and I have since made several eco-friendly changes to my own lifestyle.”

Project manager Will Mellor, a Business Management and Marketing student, said: “I’ve been trying to eat less meat since the project, as I was introduced to a lot of great vegan food. I’m also trying to be more aware of what I leave plugged in overnight, and have been less obsessed with keeping my phone fully charged all the time.”

Special thanks to our main sponsors and all the businesses who supported the students and the Green Room Project. Here’s what they have to say about the experience:


Green Room Project group 2023

Ciaran Fumagalli, Creative Marketing Executive, Minstergate Ltd, said: “Minstergate were delighted to be a part of the University of Hull Green Room Project and provide our brand-new MG 4 EV model for the students to drive around in for the week to maximise their efforts towards sustainability. As the newest vehicle in the MG range, the MG 4 was built from the ground up as an EV meaning it was perfect for this project. The students were able to see how driving an electric vehicle can drastically improve the carbon footprint we all emit. This paired with all the other nifty ways the students partook in activities made the project such a success. The vehicle was the range-topping Trophy model in the Volcano Orange and stood out to everyone even if they were not part of the project.

“Minstergate is a family business covering several sites across Yorkshire and we always put our customers first and foremost. To see our company values playing out in a project by the University of Hull students was amazing. The students have such camaraderie and a can-do approach to every task made us so proud to be involved in such an amazing project. Getting honest reviews on our products in front of a camera can be quite hard. However, the feedback on the MG 4 EV from the students was fantastic for us and full of smiles, it is safe to say Minstergate can’t wait to work with the University of Hull and the sponsors of the Green Room Project again in the near future.”

Martin Corcoran, owner and CEO of Summit, said: “Social media was key to raising the profile of the project, and Summit was delighted to support and share our marketing knowledge with the Business School students. They asked some really inciteful questions and, following our advice, produced some brilliant content. Congratulations!”

Local businesses supported the Green Room Project

Project Manager Will Mellor pays tribute to all the businesses who have supported the project:

  • Aldermore Bank: main sponsor and funder of the project, including support for charity pitch activity.
  • University Quarter: for providing the student house at the heart of the project, and all the support given by the UQ team and office.
  • MG and Minstergate: for providing MG4, additional transport and massively helping with filming.
  • Summit Media: for mentoring the student social media and marketing team to raise awareness of the project.
  • EyeSeaGreen: for helping us to measure the energy used throughout the project through the use of its Eyesense sensors.
  • Bonus Electrical Solar: for their support in running the Bonus Eco Warrior escape room, and helping the students learn more about sustainable living.
  • Arco: for providing much appreciated safety jackets for the bike ride.
  • R-evolution: for planning, co-ordinating and safely running the housemate’s bike ride to Beverley.
  • iParcelBox: for providing the use of their iParcelBox, and providing interesting questions about sustainability via delivery.
  • Domino’s Pizza: for showing the housemates how to make vegan pizza that’s as great as any other, and letting the housemates experiment with new pizza designs.
  • PlantBasedBloke: for showing the housemates how to make delicious vegan meals on a student budget.
  • Groundwork: for showing the housemates how to ‘upcycle’ and turn unused objects into new and exciting items.
  • TRAID: for discussing the importance of second hand clothing in a fast fashion world, and helping housemates discover the hidden treasures in local second hand stores.
  • The Refill Jar: for helping housemates cut down on plastic, using refillables to buy and store new foods and supplies.

Will also paid tribute to the strength of the team and the interest shown by the local community and across campus:

“I feel that the team was exceptionally strong. We all got along fantastically, and there wasn’t any drama to hold us back. We were all hard working and dedicated, and I think the message of the project mattered a lot to all of us.

“The project has helped my learn a lot about organisation which is especially helpful as a student, but one of the key things I’ve taken from the project is how to work with people more effectively.

“I was surprised by the amount of support for the project, it was fantastic to see the amount of people who were really interested in the project and it’s goals. It’s nice to know so many people are interested in a sustainable future.”

Allam Medical Building and Brynmor Jones Library with Larkin Solar Panels

Carbon neutral campus by 2027

The University of Hull has pledged to become a carbon neutral campus by 2027. With sustainability at the heart of its vision and strategy, students across all faculties have the opportunity to help shape and drive the University’s transformation.

The University of Hull has gained a world-renowned reputation as a leader in low-carbon energy and sustainability.

Its Energy & Environment Institute has grown from a team of two to over 100 researchers in less than five years, all exploring the impacts and causes of climate change globally.

University experts had a significant presence at COP26 and COP27, and its team at Aura works with SMEs in the Humber region to develop new technologies and find solutions to decarbonise the economy.

Kexgill Group is a pan-European student accommodation provider originating in Hull. Kexgill is sponsoring and supporting the project alongside Hull University Business School.

Students, family and friends were able to follow all the actions in the house and the housemates’ journey on social media platforms TikTok and Instagram.

The University of Hull is committed to social justice and building an inclusive society. Driven by its vision to create a fairer, brighter, carbon neutral future, the University is working to provide solutions to global challenges associated with climate change as well as widening social inclusion – shaping a society that is built on equity, integrity and respect, tackling inequalities and ensuring that every member of its community feels, valued, respected and supported.

View more of the project on InstagramTikTok and Linkedin.

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