Team win London mayor’s low carbon £20,000 prize for USB stick that helps people adopt a more sustainable lifestyle when moving home
A group of students from Kingston University have devised a ‘green key’ to encourage people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle when moving home. Their idea has won the £20,000 low carbon prize from London mayor Boris Johnson.
The team have designed a disguised USB stick full of information about their new area, covering anything, such as water and energy provision, recycling and efficient appliances, that could help achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
Andre Vigil, from the team, said: “There’s an energy and excitement that comes with setting up a new home.
“We want to tap into that optimistic moment when someone moves house. They can buy energy-efficient appliances and get into energy-efficient routines before the bad habits set in.”
Another student Jonathan Pye-Finch said the team had been keen to avoid bombarding people with paper.
He said: “You get enough paperwork to deal with when you buy a house as it is.
“We came up with the idea of a green key because keys are used to symbolise moving to a new home. The green key would be a disguised USB stick full of information about their new area, covering anything that promotes a more sustainable lifestyle.”
The low carbon prize, judged by a panel that included architect Sir Terry Farrell and Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith, saw over 100 student teams from London universities take up the challenge of developing ideas to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
Goldsmith said: “We were drawn to the green key because it has real practical potential, and could be developed quickly and with immediate effect.”
The Kingston students will now use the prize to develop the idea, which could be rolled out across the capital within the next few years.