Word of the week: sustainability

That time of the year where you get to find out if you’ve been using the right bin or not

Emily Gaudette // Contributor

Whether today marks your fourth week or 400th week at Capilano University, by now we are all equally and acutely aware of the various reputations CapU has earned over the past few decades – the evergreen wonderland that surrounds us, the lackluster food options and perhaps most apparent is the priority placed on improving the sustainability of our campus.

CapU is surely a step ahead of many other institutions when it comes to the implementation of sustainable practices. This is evident at first glance of the campus’ Zero Waste stations and the cafeteria’s compostable take-away containers. However, how many students and staff actually feel empowered and knowledgeable enough to consistently use these receptacles correctly? Though CapU is making strides toward sustainability, we still have a long (ideally, solar-powered) road ahead of us.

This is something the dedicated staff of CapU Works and the Facilities Department are hoping to address during their second annual Sustainability Week on campus. CapU Works is a student-driven sustainability program that engages in behavioral change campaigns and events, and one of their biggest projects is just around the corner.

Sustainability Week will take place on campus beginning Monday, Oct. 2 through Thursday Oct. 5, starting with a Kick-Off Sustainability Lounge in the Birch Cafeteria at 11:30 a.m. There will be free food, music and beverages and a “Speakers Corner” – a video booth led by CapU Works’ student organizer, Erica O’Hearn, for students and staff to voice their innovative ideas regarding sustainability.

The week will consist of fun, engaging events taking place all over campus. Head to the Birch Cafeteria between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. during the week and grab a free coffee with a reusable cup, or enter to win a MEC gift card with proof of transit purchase. In the spirit of Sustainability Week, the CapU Bookstore will even be discounting all reusable cups 20 per cent.

These incentives attempt to engage students to both get involved in the week’s events and to simply promote the habit of thinking more consciously and sustainably. However, if you want to get more involved, stop by the Bosa Building on Oct. 4, where Earthworks will be hosting a screening of Su Rynard’s 2015 documentary lm The Messenger.

The purpose of Sustainability Week is to create a dialogue regarding conscious living at CapU, emphasized by the “Raise Your Voice” event – a facilitated discussion in which students, staff and faculty will each have a chance to discuss sustainability issues and ideas. “We want students and staff to let us know what’s working, what isn’t and what’s really important,” explained Kayla Blok, sustainability assistant and coordinator for CapU Works. “We also want everyone to take personal action on improving sustainability at CapU and, most importantly, have some fun.”

The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU), in conjunction with Sustainability Week efforts, will take the conversation to Seymour’s Pub, where the “Green Drinks” event takes place on Oct. 5. Though organized by the CSU, the event is open to all students, faculty and staff to discuss the future of sustainability, whilst drinking some locally brewed beer and munching on sustainably sourced appetizers.

CapU has earned its reputation as a sustainability-focused university, thanks not only to the dedicated group of students, staff and faculty that organize events like Sustainability Week, but also to those who participate in these events. So, for those who are passionate or curious about the future of sustainability, join the conversation and share your ideas by participating in Sustainability Week!

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