By Becky MacWhirter, Loyalist College Sustainability Coordinator
Over six million Canadians are expected to take part in Earth Day activities this year and Loyalist College students and staff are among them.
Earth Day, on April 22, was founded in 1970 to galvanize action on environmental concerns. Its campaigns have mobilized global support for action on issues ranging from recycling and climate change to earth-friendly activities in communities around the world. Each year, we are reminded that our everyday actions have consequences and the legacy we leave behind for future generations is up to us. Earth Day helps keep that conversation alive.
At Loyalist, the sustainability conversation is growing louder. This past semester, as part of a project for Technology and Humanity, students in the General Arts and Science program took to the Dining Hall to inform their peers about global warming, recycling, animal welfare and the impact of bottled water. They taught their peers, as well as faculty and staff, about the damage caused by plastic beverage containers and the money that can be saved by converting to reusable bottles. Covered topics ranged from how a changing climate impacts water, land and food, to how more education and awareness is needed to improve recycling habits and change consumer buying habits.
Students in the Environmental Technician/Technology program recently conducted a waste audit to see how well students and staff are separating waste from recycling. Their findings will help Loyalist further improve its waste management efforts. In addition, Business and Accounting students have been knocking on doors to gather information on purchasing, student life, curriculum, transportation and facilities in order to benchmark the College’s performance along economic, social and environmental lines.
In honour of Earth Day, Loyalist students and staff will be participating in the Quinte Trash Bash Business Challenge by rolling up our sleeves on April 22 to pick up litter around campus. We encourage everyone to take action, no matter how small. Here are a few ideas to get you started this spring:
- Take a stand against litter and participate in the Quinte Trash Bash on Saturday, April 26
- Plant a tree! The City of Belleville is hosting a Tree Seedling Giveaway on Saturday, May 3
- Ditch the car and run your errands on foot or by bike
- Take shelter from the rain and watch an eco-documentary like “The Cove,” “Food Inc.” or “No Impact Man”
- Host a swap to exchange gently used goods with neighbours
- Clear out your closet by taking unwanted electronics to the nearest drop-off location (visit recycleyourelectronics.ca)
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
- Shut off the lights when you leave an empty room
- Bring your lunch in glass or plastic containers that can be washed and reused
- Pick up litter when you see it – if you don’t do it, who will?
For more information about what Loyalist is doing to become a sustainability leader, please visit our website, which includes student blogs about current environmental issues: loyalistcollege.com/about-loyalist/sustainability.
Do you have an idea for helping Loyalist and the Quinte Region to become more sustainable? Join the conversation! Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.