Now in its third year, the week aims to focus conversations on waste
Annalisse Crosswell, Associate News Editor
With the current political and social discourse surrounding the importance of sustainability, this year’s Sustainability Week theme – waste – is truly in line with what is going on outside of Capilano University. From Mar. 25-29, Sustainability Week will feature a number of different events that Haley Kuzek, student sustainability organizer for CapU Works, believes will provide something for everybody.
Though CapU Works is one of the smaller group on campus, comprised of just four student organizers and led by one staff member, they have now hosted Sustainability Week for three consecutive years. “It’s student-driven sustainability,” Kuzek said. “We’re all students here on campus.” What originally started as a day-long event, the initiative has turned into a full week of on-campus activities that includes two facilitated discussion-style events, two events that feature speakers, a clothing swap and a movie night at the University’s residence located at 2420 Dollarton.
“We just want to make it easier for people to think about and not jarr them with, like, scary images, but to say ‘hey it’s not that hard to make little changes on our own and to have fun with it,’” said Kuzek. While Sustainability Week has a large component that aims to engage students with the reality of sustainable living and it’s importance, the events also have a role in facilitating changes within the CapU community.
Information from discussion groups will lead the changes that future CapU Works student organizers will implement, as many changes around the University inevitably extend over the course of more than one academic year. This was the case for the Greentainer program on the North Shore campus. Plans to further develop the Greentainer program will also be announced during Sustainability Week.
The report will be announced at the Trash Talk event, which has been a collaborative effort between the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) and CapU Works. Emily Gaudette, a CapU senate representative and member of the CapU Works team, has planned Trash Talk with and Anna-Elaine Rempel, the CSU’s president and vice-president sustainability and equity.
“It’s not easy [to be zero waste] and that’s why we kind of want to talk about waste…the practicality of it, for a lot of people, is really difficult,” said Kuzek. She has endeavoured to say ‘no’ to plastics more herself this year, and understands that it can be difficult. While often posed as a need for individual effort, the systems that are in place make this more difficult according to Kuzek, a sentiment that is echoed in much of the public discourse on the topic. The discussions around campus next week will be aimed at changing this for students and giving them the tools to make changes.