We need campus sustainability

Imagine a university campus that is completely powered by renewable energy. Imagine a campus where you never have trouble finding a recycling bin. Imagine a campus where all food waste gets composted. Imagine a campus where tuition dollars aren’t flushed down the toilet with wasted energy use.

In reality our campus is powered by dirty energy sources. In reality you have walk through three buildings to find a recycling bin. In reality, our garbage rots in ever growing landfills.

If this worries you, do you know where to turn? Neither do we!

The SU’s Campus Recycling Board and the Environmental Management Committee seem to be missing in action.

Students, however, are not so quiet. This year, the Ecoclub collected signatures from 150 people demanding improved recycling facilities. This year, students gave a Wind Powered PC certificate to U of C President Harvey Weingarten for Energy Action Day. This year students are continuing to grow organic veggies at the Campus Community Garden. This year, students are meeting to discuss ideas to improve our campus.

We believe that it is time for the university and the SU to follow the example of universities across the country that are creating cooperative sustainability offices and numerous environmental projects. On January 25, a group of students will be challenging the SU to create a student sustainability office and improve recycling availability. Please join us in Council Chambers in MacEwan Student Centre at 6:30 p.m.

A sustainability office would coordinate projects that bring renewable energy to campus, educate students, work towards composting, and measure the overall sustainability of the U of C campus. Students have made similar requests last year but the past SU swept it under the carpet.

Creating a student sustainability office should not be seen as an extra cost when in fact many environmental projects save money. In fact, the SU should regard cutting the U of C’s energy use as a strategy for fighting future tuition increases.

President Weingarten has stated his support for positive environmental management and students need to hold him accountable. Creating a way for student volunteers to plug into longer term improvements is necessary if our university doesn’t want to be left behind.

For more information on what other campuses are doing check out http://www.syc-cjs.org/gitp or contact ecoclub@ucalgary.ca

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