Guide to Finding your Eco Tribe

2 December 2020

Finding your eco tribe isn't hard when you've taken Helen's advice. Here are her top tips on how to find those who have similar sustainable interests to you.

woman sitting in leafy cafe

As an exchange student from September till December 2019, I really wanted to connect with people at UCL who are also interested in sustainability. But how to you find people to connect with in a new city or at a new university?

Find out about activities online

Before arriving in London, I went through all the UCL societies on the Student’s Union website and I found that there is a wide range of societies which organise sustainability-related events. I also started following the Facebook pages of the societies I was interested in, to keep up to date with their events and activities. You can also join online communities of youth and university students involved in environmentalism.

Attend the Virtual Welcome Fair

During the first week of university there will be a virtual Welcome Fair with lots of exciting activities to get to know UCL’s clubs and societies and to make friends. For me the fair turned out to be a great opportunity to see what is out there in the field of sustainability, eco-activism, and volunteering. During the first week of university, many societies organise introduction events. I went to an event by the Climate Action Society, where I met UCL’s Sustainability Officer who told me more about different activities.

Join a club or volunteer

I became a Sustainability Ambassador and joined the Environmental Collective UCL. Through joining these groups, I got in touch with so many students with very inspiring stories and ideas, and with whom we organised events during the global climate strikes. But also, societies like Amnesty International UCL organise events which discuss subjects like climate change in relation to human rights.

So, my tip would be to step out of your comfort zone during your first weeks at UCL, and find out what is out there and what you are interested in. In the end, many people are new and are also trying to find people to connect with. The events at the beginning of the academic year, whether they’re digital or face-to-face, can open many new doors which will lead to you finding your eco tribe.

Helen de Graaff, UCL Sustainability blog contributor