Our green initiatives will benefit local communities across Cork

Have you heard of the ScholarLee Community Green Initiative? ScholarLee provides students accommodation in four locations across Cork. NIALL MELIA, Sales and Marketing Manager, tells us more
Our green initiatives will benefit local communities across Cork

Shane Keogh, Donal Hayes and David Kirwan of SCHOLARLEE Student Accommodation taking part in  an annual clean up at Magazine Road, hosted by the local residents association, earlier this year. Picture: Larry Cummins.

PROUDLY of Cork and owner-operated, ScholarLee is a provider of student accommodation with four locations across Cork city – Bishop Street, Washington Street, and the most recent developments at Magazine Road and Mardyke Walk.

After many weeks and months of hard work we were thrilled to share our ScholarLee Community Green initiative recently. 

This initiative encompasses all environmental efforts made in ScholarLee to be kinder to our planet and local environment while also doing all we can to make a positive contribution to our communities.

From recycling batteries and growing our own food to share with residents, to community clean up days and eco-conscious building design, the Community Green initiative is our way of acting incrementally, positively and ever-forward to develop sustainable living practices.

The ScholarLee Community Green initiative consists of four aspects – Community; Energy & Transport; Waste & Recycling; and Gardens. Each area plays a unique and significant role in day-to-day life at ScholarLee for both staff and residents.

Community plays a pivotal role in ScholarLee. We are fortunate to be part of a variety of thriving, historic communities across Cork, each with its own character (and characters!). We recognise the importance of community and do what we can do give back both to our residents and neighbours.

We are actively involved in and have great relationships with residents associations and both staff and guests regularly partake in community clean-up days.

Niall Melia, Sales and Marketing Manager in ScholarLee Accommodation in Cork, based at our Bishop Street office
Niall Melia, Sales and Marketing Manager in ScholarLee Accommodation in Cork, based at our Bishop Street office

We have commissioned artworks and murals with Mad About Cork to brighten and give extra life to the area at Magazine Road and Mardyke Walk.

ScholarLee sponsors UCC Rugby Club and Sunday’s Well Tennis Club as neighbours on the Mardyke.

Residents frequently enjoy giveaways and competitions run by ScholarLee with local business as well as coffee mornings so everyone can meet and get to know their neighbours.

Building sustainable, flourishing communities is crucial to our operation and we take seriously our responsibilities to our residents and community neighbours.

Energy conservation and efficiency is something we take very seriously, particularly with the recent reports of supply shortages. All guests and staff are encouraged to be mindful of energy usage at all times. Guests are provided an information sheet with helpful reminders to conserve energy – closing doors and windows to contain heat, switching off lights when leaving rooms, unplugging electrical items when not in use. Meter readings are checked regularly and guests are informed of how they can improve.

The most recent developments at Magazine Road and Mardyke Walk are A- rated for energy and both complexes include energy conserving features such as solar panels, sensor lights in common areas, smart heating systems and A-rated appliances.

We don’t forget the transport side either! Residents are encouraged to use public transport or bike-share schemes where possible and all locations are well served for bus routes, bike storage and rental.

Waste and recycling measures are provided for and actively monitored across ScholarLee. Each complex has communal bin collection areas with all bins separated between general waste, recycling, compost, and glass as well as within each unit. Battery recycling is also available in reception areas.

In an effort to encourage guests and staff to reduce plastic waste, we recently received our very own ScholarLee water bottles – reusable, bpa free and available in our reception!

In the last few weeks we built a homemade composter in our Bishop Street garden out of old pallets.

As a student accommodation provider there is no shortage of guest deliveries to reception, as a result, there is often an accumulation of cardboard waste. The leftover cardboard can now be placed in the composter along with grass cuttings and dead leaves, giving carbon and nitrogen layers. We use the resulting compost to assist further growth in the garden while reducing the volume of cardboard waste accumulated every week.

The garden at ScholarLee Bishop Street is our pride and enjoy. Hours of work have been put into making it a beautiful, colourful space for guests, staff and passers-by to enjoy! Set back from the street-face of Bishop Street, the garden offers an oasis of calm with a variety of plants, flowers, trees and pumpkin and potato patches. We have recently signed up to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan by the National Biodiversity Data Centre ensuring our garden is an attractive and sustainable place for wildlife.

Each year when potatoes and pumpkins are ready for picking, guests are invited to come along and take some for themselves!

Every October each household comes to pick their own pumpkin from the patches at Bishop Street and Magazine Road for our Halloween pumpkin carving competition. Each group submits their creations with prizes for the best submissions.

Sustainability is not a goal to be reached but a way of thinking, a way of being, a way of doing and a principle by which all our decisions must be guided by.

It’s not going to be without challenge; some of it will be fun, some of it may be tedious, some of it will mean changing habits but you and we know it’s important. We hope you’ll join, contribute to and support our endeavours.

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