Sustainability is an important issue for most Calgarians. The University of Calgary’s Sustainability Street Team is going green for another year of projects and campaigns to promote sustainable practices.
Working under the guidance of U of C’s Office of Sustainability, the team of student volunteers will educate peers about sustainable living and participate in various eco-friendly events on campus. A large part of their events and promotions will focus on reducing the ecological footprint of the U of C.
Plans include information sessions on sustainable waste disposal and an annual Buy Nothing Day. The SST is also planning the Power OFF Challenge, a competition held between buildings on campus to reduce energy consumption. No official dates have been set for these initiatives.
SST assistant coordinator Amy Glassman said that the challenge of building a sustainable community starts on campus.
“We’re generating a lot of waste and we need to find ways to run our campus and do it in a sustainable way,” said Glassman.
SST coordinator Elise Hetu said the team’s vision goes beyond environmental concerns.
“Sustainability is when you take into account the environment, but also society and economy,” said Hetu. “Those three aspects function really well together and make for sustainable development.”
The Office of Sustainability’s past initiatives include retrofitting water fountains with reusable bottle-filling fixtures and new recycling, composting and garbage bins placed around campus.
Third-year U of C zoology student Chris Dewey finds the bins helpful, but with some minor annoyances.
“The only complaint I have is that I usually just chuck my stuff in the garbage because I don’t know which bin to use,” said Dewey.
Helping students with these issues will be a part of the team’s activity this year.
Glassman believes SST’s message of sustainable practice is important.
“If we are not sustainable, things are going to collapse on themselves,” said Glassman.
For Hetu, engaging with students is another important goal for the team.