Consume less, jerk

By Chris Beauchamp

Tree huggers, hippies and the socially aware can spread the good word and pat each other on the back as Environmental Awareness Week comes to the University of Calgary.

Organized as a joint project by the Students’ Union and the campus EcoClub, Enviropolluza 2005 will involve a number of events Sept. 26-29.

“This will be the biggest one we’ve ever put on,” said SU External Commissioner and Enviropolluza organizer Michael Soron. “We’re very happy with the collaboration of us and the EcoClub. We shared a common vision with this project.”

Planned events include alternative transportation demos, information booths with free organic food tastings and a speaker series. Calgary Zoo outreach conservationist Brian Keating will speak Monday in the Escalus room; Local Activist Brian Pincott will speak Tuesday; and Mountain View Liberal MLA David Swann will speak Wednesday.

Booths from various Calgary organizations like the Sierra Club and the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Rehabilitation will also be set up in MacEwan Student Centre. The alternative transportation demos will showcase hybrid cars and other alternatives outside of the MSC loading dock.

Organizer and SU Events Commissioner Eric Jablonski said Enviropolluza will teach students there are alternatives to a high-consumption lifestyle.

“I think it’s important to demonstrate to people–especially on campus where people are very young–that we need to understand sustainability,” said Jablonski.

Festivities will wrap up Thursday afternoon with a movie screening of The End of Suburbia in That Empty Space. Soron said the film deals with the concept of peak oil.

“There is a lot of academic talk about how we might be entering a period of peak oil now,” said Soron, noting the prices of commodities like food and clothing will sharply increase when cheap oil is no longer available. “The film talks about moving into a peak oil economy and how that’s going to affect our lives.”


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