Monday Oct 7 saw the kick-off of UNB Sustainability Week, where students were presented with the option to take part in community clean-ups, paint pots for plants, and learn more about how they can be more sustainable.
With a growing increase in climate crisis awareness, Sustainability Week was one way for students to learn more about the environment, and the ways they can reduce their environmental impact.
On Monday, UNB Sustainability partnered with Engineers without Borders to hold a discussion about climate change. Students were invited to learn and discuss topics related to the environment.
Fredericton federal candidates Jenica Atwin—now the newly elected MP—from the Green Party and Matt DeCourcey from the Liberal party attended to listen and discuss with students. Both candidates were given the opportunity to express their campaign promises in relation to helping lessen the impact of climate change.
Monday also featured a paint and plant session, where ArtZone and the UNB Biology Society invited students to learn about growing their own plants and unwind through therapeutic painting. Donations for the Greener Village Food Bank were collected.
On Tuesday, a bike tour was held in partner with the City of Fredericton. There was a trivia night held by the Graduate Student Association on Wednesday, to test peoples’ knowledge on sustainability. On Thursday UNB Sustainability partnered with Counselling Services to hold sessions on eco-anxiety. A community clean-up was lead by representatives from Waste Free Warriors Canada and the UNB Wildlife Society.
Students were also invited to learn about essential oils and their household uses, such as cleaners, and other uses, like being stress relievers. Thursday night there was the Lights Out Coffeehouse down at Renaissance College, where Fair Trade coffee was available. To end the week before the Thanksgiving weekend, the Vegan & Vegetarian Society, UNBSU Food and GreenUNB partnered up to teach students how to make their own vegan Thanksgiving meal.
Plastic Free UNB initiated a pledge board on campus that community members were invited to sign promising to lower their plastic consumption.
Mike Hardy, the Climate Change Officer for UNB Sustainability, was grateful for all who signed—approximately 500 people.
Hardy believes that by being more sustainable you can benefit both your community and yourself.
“Choosing to walk or bike to campus instead of driving not only reduces your carbon footprint but also benefits your health and saves you money,” he said. “Similarly, buying food locally limits packaging and transport associated with what you eat but also helps to support the local economy. These seem like very small things but they can have a major impact.”
Other ways students can be more sustainable is by using reusable coffee mugs. Places like the HIL Cafe offer discounts if you use your own mug.
UNB Sustainability partnered with UNBSU Orientation to offer alternative ways students can be plastic free in this year’s orientation kits.
UNB Sustainability also plans to partner with student groups on campus to support their events. For anyone planning an event and looking to incorporate sustainable practices, UNB Sustainability offers a Green Event Certificate program. Which, Hardy says, is a very simple certification process.
Looking to get involved in more sustainable practices? There are a number of clubs and societies on campus related to sustainability that are always looking for new members. To anyone planning events or projects in the community, UNB Sustainability is happy to work with you.