Engaging campus community members in sustainability issues is an ongoing process.
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The annual Green Ribbon Awards recognize outstanding achievements in campus sustainability. Awards are made for the nominee’s direct contribution to the minimization of negative impacts on the environment, the conservation of natural resources or the promotion of biodiversity on campus. Alternatively, their contribution may have increased awareness of the need for environmentally sustainable behaviour; encouraged and assisted members of the university community to adopt more environmentally sustainable behaviour; or helped establish a campus culture allowing this to happen. There are four categories: student, staff, faculty, and external. Here are the winners for 2012:
Student: Brad Allen worked to reduce waste on campus by pushing forward the water-bottle free campaign on campus. Once the new fountains had been installed on campus, Brad began a new project to reduce the volume of compostable material that is being shipped to landfills. In addition to a best-practices report regarding compost and universities that Brad delivered in the summer of 2011, he also initiated a compost program in the Instructional Centre with Second Cup. Now the coffee grounds and some other compostable material is taken weekly from the IC to the campus research garden. Without Brad, many sustainability initiatives would not have been realized on campus.
Staff: Laura Ferlito joined the Office of the Registrar as an Academic Advisor in September of 2011. She quickly became an active and influential member of our team going above and beyond her duties. In March of 2012, on her own initiative, she introduced the Garbage2Garden program, a UTM Greenhouse project, to the Office of the Registrar. Laura has enthusiastically encouraged all 40+ members of our large office to place their fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, tea leaves, and coffee grounds in the bin. She has recruited a bucket brigade to regularly exchange the full bins with empty ones from the greenhouse and has everyone thinking twice before they automatically empty their waste into the usual garbage cans. Members of the Keurig coffee club will even pry open their used K-cups to empty the grounds into the Garbage2Garden bin! As a direct result of her initiative and effort, Laura has successfully implemented a program that has made an impact on how the staff in the Office of the Registrar think about the environment when dealing with their garbage, not just in the office but in their homes.
Faculty: The Department of Geography has pledged to transitions all 50+ classes to a paper-free system using modern digital technologies such as the Blackboard learning management system. An audit of paper consumption in the Department led to a decision to take action and to make a change to procedure. This initiative will result in paper printouts being used only for some tests where other tests and exams may utilize innovative digital options. All courses will have a paper-free syllabus and will eliminate the provision of paper handouts. Thousands of sheets of paper will be reduced through this initiative.
External: A strong partnership has developed between the UTM campus and our primary transit provider, Miway, since the U-Pass program started in 2007. Most recently, Miway has agreed to pilot a summer part-time U-Pass program in addition to the regular term and summer pass program for full-time students. Miway has been flexible and diplomatic during this process and continues to offer reliable and inexpensive transportation options for our students. Over 90 percent of the student population uses the U-Pass program and the U-Pass has significantly reduced the stress on campus parking lots and local greenhouse gas emissions.
If you have any questions regarding campus sustainability issues, contact email@example.com