BY JAMES WELLS
The week of March 20 to 24 was Conestoga Student Inc.’s first environmental week ever. With many presentations, events and guest speakers, CSI attempted to make the students a more aware and well informed environmental community.
On the evening of March 22, Brittany Grieg and Anmolpreet Singh, CSI board of director’s environmental committee members, hosted an open forum in The Venue for students, staff and faculty. Singh gave an overview of CSI’s environmental plan and Greig highlighted the successful environmental initiatives the college itself has achieved.
Singh introduced their environmental agenda, which includes three important categories: a CSI environmental policy, five-year strategic goals and the environmental week itself.
CSI’s environmental policy involves promoting environmental awareness, making sure CSI employees are aware of environmental practices, seeking opportunities to reduce CSI’s environmental impact, creating a five-year strategic plan, an annual plan, and forming an annual environmental committee.
Singh continued to explain CSI’s five-year and annual plans. The five-year plan includes goals to reduce paper usage by 25 per cent in the office only, develop an annual environmental week, completely stop printing flyers by 2021, develop a student community garden and change the lighting at the CSI office to LED lighting. The annual plan includes the reduction of promotional flyers until 2021, begin to use compost bins in the office and seek to create environmentally friendly planners.
“We plan to use more electronic devices like social media, emails and the TVs around the school to get messages out,” said Singh.
Next up for the evening was Grieg’s presentation, where she elaborated on the vision and current environmental achievements Conestoga College has had so far. The college has its eyes set on a future with low carbon operation and plans on becoming one of the sustainability leaders in the community. From the infrastructure and landscape of the Cambridge campus, to the biodiversity of the Doon campus, Conestoga College is slowly but surely making its way into a cleaner tomorrow.
“Conestoga College continues to seek out additional recycling and reuse programs. Conestoga College is committed to reducing waste disposal and increase waste diversion,” said Greig.
To conclude the evening’s event, guest speakers from Sustainability Waterloo Region and three students, Alexa Sylvestre, Becca Plickert and Olena Bednarchuk, from Conestoga’s sustainability program, spoke about other important environmental topics within and outside of the school.
Students got the chance to ask questions and provide interesting environmental ideas to Grieg and Singh at the conclusion of the event.