Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sustainability Week!

Sustainability week is an annual event which takes place at Acadia University, focusing on the issues and solutions of sustainability, specifically on campus. This years event took place October 29th-November 3rd, 2012, including events ran by the Environment and Sustainability Studies students touching on water, waste, biodiversity, energy, and food. In order to promote action and extend the awareness, other events included Free Coffee at Perkins, Chapel Services, Ride Free Week, courtesy of Kings Transit, Waste Free Wednesday, and many more.

Water - Tap Water Challenge 

Focusing on the flawed perception of bottled vs. tap water, an awareness event was chosen in order to demonstrate both the benefits and quality of tap water. Our main goal was to advocate the harm done by plastic water bottles on the environment, targeting the student population primarily. Furthermore, we hoped to encourage the use of tap water on campus, as it is both clean and free!  We had the participants sample both tap and bottled water, having them decide which they preferred and also to attempt at differentiating the two. Additionally, we had the students answer various questions around water use, scarcity, and water bottle facts, rewarding those who answered correctly with a reusable water bottle provided by Chartwells.

Waste – Clothing Swap

We have chosen a clothing swop for our event since Jodie has shared knowledge that a clothing swop was done successfully once before on a small scale, so a larger campus scale ought to bring success. It was also a concern to janitors of Acadia when international students would move and leave a large amount of waste behind that would be discarded of.
Goals/objectives of the event:
1. Eliminate the amount of waste left from students moving off campus especially clothing.
2. Help Acadia students understand the importance of proper waste management through information provided on our Facebook page and other marketing areas.
3. To help students on campus/off campus to get clothing that is recycled and to provide the opportunity for them to get rid of their non-used clothing/items.
4. If clothing is left over they have a sense that it is going back to the community to a local organization such as Red Cross.      

Biodiversity – Bonfire 

Our group put on an indoor bonfire at the Irving Center to explain and teach other students, community members and faculty about biodiversity and how it affects the world around us. We included snacks, and designed creative stories and played various games around the idea of biodiversity and its importance.

Energy – Towering Energy Tours
This event focused on energy consumption and way to conserve energy in residence, specifically focussing on Tower. A tour of one of the floors revealed that the building’s heating system, light fixtures and faucets/showers have not been updated. A kind of show and tell, we took people on a tour, showing them all the things they could do individually to help conserve energy: turning off lights when not in the room, keeping windows closed and locked in the winter, and taking shorter showers, to name a few.
Providing figures of amounts of oil, steam, water, etc. to run the building gave tour members a perspective of how much energy we use. The tour concluded with a trivia session with energy-saving prizes provided to us by our partner organization, Efficiency Nova Scotia.
1. To bring awareness to students about energy usage.
2. To show students realistic ways to drastically reduce their energy consumption.
3. To show some negative sides to high energy consumption.
4. Shed light on energy inefficiency in general.

Food – Great Wolfville Food Challenge 

The food group for sustainability week chose to do a Food Scavenger Hunt that took place at various points around Wolfville. The goal of the event was raise awareness on local, sustainable food, advocating both the to student and community population. Participants were given a reusable bag (provided by Pete’s), and uncovered clues in order to make their way from station to station. At the various stations, there were activities, challenges, and games designed challenging the participants to earn the free food offered. The produce and items obtained for the Scavenger Hunt were donations from the local businesses across Wolfville including Pete’s, TAN, Acadiana Soy, Pie r Squared, and many other generous donors. 

Interested in staying in touch for next years event? Check out the Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment website for full event details and updates!

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