Sustainability

2011 Winners

Marsha Cooke (Student, Engineering) - Marsha is responsible for arranging group clean-ups for parks and places around campus. Environmental challenges every month through the UES and other clubs she is involved with and just making people aware of issues in general and challenging them on their part towards these challenges. She also does her best to help the reduce her carbon footprint by having her own garden to grow food for herself and others, and composting and offering to take people's compost for them. She has motivated others, myself included, to do our parts towards helping the environment by showing us that it is possible and trying to convince or remind us that we should try living our lives as sustainably as possible. Her actions have resulted in a better environment for people all over campus, the community and the city as a whole. People are more aware of the issues, it gets people talking and interested in things that they might not have known otherwise

Operation Green - Yoan Kagoma, Nathan Stall, Jen Bondy (Students, Schulich) - As the founders of Operation Green, Jen, Yoan and Nathan have spearheaded an initiative to recycle surgical supplies and donate them to developing nations. In any surgical procedure, many items are prepared for instant access if required by the surgeon, but not used during the procedure. Operation Green collects these items and ships them to developing countries. The implications of Operation Green's work is twofold. Firstly, it contributes to easing the enormous environmental burden caused by surgical overages. It also serves to provide surgical equipment to populations that desperately require it. Thanks to their work, the first shipment of recycled supplies was sent off recently. It weighed in at over 500 pounds, and was valued at almost $15,000. Those two values, representing the amount of waste prevented and the value of goods provided to developing countries really underscores the value of their efforts. In class, their fellow students often joke that Operation Green's motto should be 'Saving the World: One Green Towel at a Time'. While this comment is in jest, it serves to emphasize the scope of their undertaking. Operation Green is the first such project in Canada, and is very reasonable to visualize a time when all Canadian hospitals collect and recycle their surgical waste, largely due to Jen, Yoan and Nathan's efforts.

Honourable Mentions (2011)

Sarah Morrison (Staff, King's College) - Sarah is an activist for the environment on the King's University College campus. She initiated a USB drive program to be used by all students in the School of Social Work by uploading documents necessary for course work and program descriptions. Sarah has decreased paper use dramatically at King’s. In addition Sarah is the Chair of the Environment Committee (Green Team) for the Staff Association, promoting staff contributions to environmental issues both on and off campus. She has been actively involved in raising funds for the Green King’s Tree Fund to plant trees on campus and her contribution through the campus "Green-Up" days twice a year encourages both staff and students to play a part in keeping the campus clean. Sarah also worked cooperatively with Aramark services on campus to introduce recyclable and biodegradable containers being used on the campus and promoted Tim Hortons & cafeteria discounts for those who use reusable mugs. Sarah is well known around the campus for her energy and enthusiasm in support of environmental concerns.

Marcia Steyaert (Staff, Communications & Public Affairs) - At Westminster Hall, the best effort is made to keep the environmental impact at a minimum. Along with recycling bins on each floor. While this has made an impact, Marcia Steyaert decided to take the environmental awareness to the next level by introducing a composting system. Marcia kept it practical yet simple for all to participate. What began as a simple bin under the kitchen sink for banana peels and coffee grounds, soon grew to a building-wide initiative and the introduction of a full-size composter located outside the building. Her enthusiasm quickly caught on and composting in Communications has become as everyday as getting your morning cup of coffee. Westminster received the Zero Waste Award, properly disposing of of 9.4 metric tonnes of organics annually. They compost 96 per cent of our organics and while diversion of organics is often the lowlight for a building's report it was actually a bright spot.

Environment and Sustainability Society (Students, Environment & Sustainability) - The Environment and Sustainability Society (ESS) was voluntarily formed of Masters Students in the MES and collaborative program. They formed as a means to collaborate and bring change during their year at UWO. They successfully hosted an open mic night at the Grad Club to raise money for an interdisciplinary forum that was held on February 7th. ESS organized and hosted the 1st annual forum titled Putting Theory into Practice. Six panelists with diverse backgrounds presented their specific approaches to Environmental Sustainability that encompassed both local and global concepts. Each speaker gave a ten-minute presentation on how they personally have Put Sustainability Theory Into Practice. From the broad strokes of worldwide applications, to the localized stewardship of our community and our land, environmental sustainability casts an inclusive net. The Environment and Sustainability Society was honoured to host a forum offering unique, interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainability.