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Student Environmental Initiative: “Even small things can make a big difference!”

Doing something good for Mother Earth – that is the goal of the student environmental initiative Hof e.V. (SUI), which was founded seven years ago at Hof University of Applied Sciences and has since been working to increase environmental awareness among the population. Through various activities, workshops and lectures, the total of 50 members want to contribute a small part to making the university but also the city of Hof a bit more environmentally friendly, because sustainability plays a central role in the SUI.

Once a semester, SUI organizes the “Trashfriday”, a trash collection event in the city of Hof. The goal is to make the Saale city a little cleaner and do something good for the environment. Image: SUI;

“Everyone is aware that we are in a global climate crisis. However, each of us can do our part to live more environmentally aware and sustainable, because even small things can make a big difference,” explains Anna-Lena Seit, 1st board member of the student environmental initiative Hof e.V.. This consciousness wants to arrange the student environmental initiative not only the studying, but also all Hoferinnen and Hofern.

Garbage collection on Friday, May 20th

Probably the best known and also regularly held event of the SUI is the trash collection campaign, also called Trashfriday. Once a semester, students split up and try to make the city of Hof a little cleaner in small groups.

SUI’s main goal with this action is to show how much trash ends up in our environment and how much nature suffers as a result.

Lisa Pongratz, active member of the Student Environmental Initiative Hof e.V.

But not only students of the university Hof are cordially invited to “tackle” on Friday, May 20, also friends, family members and all interested people, to whom environmental protection is close to the heart.

This amount of cigarette butts was collected at the university alone and shows once again that everyone can contribute to environmental protection; Image: SUI;

The event will start at 2 pm. Meeting point is the Nettoparkplatz in the Fabrikzeile (Saalepark). The collection will then take place for about two hours at various locations in the Saale city. Support is provided by the Umweltzweckverband Hof, which will provide garbage grabs, buckets and garbage bags. If possible, each participant should bring his or her own gloves, otherwise SUI will provide them. After the work is done, all hard-working helpers are invited to coffee and cake at the Digital Gründerzentrum Einstein1.

Interested parties can still register until 10.05. by sending an email to sui@hof-university.de.

Students help people

But not only the environment, also the well-being of fellow human beings is close to SUI’s heart. “The action group “Students Help People” was founded at the beginning of the Corona pandemic. Here, students from Hof University of Applied Sciences offer their help with shopping or other activities,” Anna-Lena Seit tells us. And further:

The offer is still very well received. The cooperation between the citizens and the helpful students is so good that we want to maintain the offer of help in the long term and gladly expand it even further.”

Anna-Lena Seit, 1st Executive Board Studentische Umweltinitiative Hof e.V.

The idea for this project came from SUI member Jann Dedinski. Since he is currently no longer able to coordinate the initiative, SUI is looking for a successor. Interested parties are welcome to contact corona.hilfe@hof-university.de.


SUI also wants to counteract food waste and has therefore launched the Fairteiler, a kind of food swap meet.

“The Fairteiler” is a publicly accessible refrigerator in the B-building of the Hof University of Applied Sciences. Students can bring their food that they no longer need and that is still suitable for passing on to our Fairteiler. Everyone is allowed to take out the food provided there without having to meet any requirements,” explains Lisa Pongratz.

The Fairteiler in the B-building of the Hof University of Applied Sciences; photo: SUI;

There are a few rules, however: foods with expired use-by dates and foods that pose a potential health risk (e.g., ground meat, fresh food with raw egg, fish) are not allowed in the fair divider. Food that must be refrigerated must also be placed in the refrigerator and not in front of it.

So, just stop by the Fairteiler before you throw away food or buy new!

Environment week from 16.05-20.05.

In the week from 16.05. to 20.05. the student environmental initiative Hof e.V. also organizes an environmental week around the topic of sustainability. Interested people can inform themselves at the information booths about existing and still planned actions of the SUI – like the bee feeder, which will be installed at the zoo in Hof.

This bee feeder will be installed at the Hof Zoo; photo: SUI;

“Here, anyone can buy a seed ball from an old gumball machine and throw it into the environment,” explains Anna-Lena Seit. And further:

Where the seed ball lands, regional flowers will then grow, serving as an important food source for our wild bees and other insects.”

Anna-Lena Seit, 1st Executive Board Studentische Umweltinitiative Hof e.V.

Fittingly, SUI is also building an insect hotel in the coming weeks, which will be hung in the bee meadow behind the Digital Gründerzentrum Einstein1.

Workshops and panel discussions

But it’s not just students at the university who will get the chance to engage directly with SUI. In workshops and panel discussions, all citizens of the Saale city are invited to learn more about sustainability. In cooperation with local associations and institutions, for example, do-it-yourself workshops are offered on a regular basis. In the past, for example, a lecture provided information about the global waste problem and the challenges of microplastics in cosmetics. Afterwards, participants were able to make their own hand creams from natural products.

The workshops are suitable for everyone – big and small, young and old. Our primary goal is to impart knowledge to people in a relaxed atmosphere, with the emphasis on fun.”

Lisa Pongratz, active member Studentische Umweltinitiative Hof e.V.

Team of members from different nations

The team of the student environmental initiative Hof e.V. consists of members from different nations.

We want to make it a little easier for international students to get started here in Hof – in other words, to make new contacts and to be active away from their studies. Of course, we are also happy about new input from other cultures and about the common exchange.”

Anna-Lena Seit, 1st Executive Board Student Environmental Initiative Hof e.V.

If you would like to become a member of SUI, do something for the environment and promote sustainable thinking and action at the university, you can either write an email to sui@Hof-university.de or come to the weekly meetings of SUI. These are held every Tuesday, at 1:15 p.m. in the college, room A101.

The SUI team is happy about every new member; picture: SUI;

Franziska Brömel

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