A greener, cleaner Brock
Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 15:07
Back in February, BUSU and its Environmental Committee introduced a “Go Green” initiative that was aimed at encouraging students to get involved in making Brock University more environmentally friendly. This project was designed to promote the ideas of concerned or active students who put serious thought into the ways in which the Brock community can be greener and reduce our carbon footprint in a more cost-efficient manner.
Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) challenged students to share their ideas by offering them the opportunity to upload a brief video online to explain their project, giving other students the chance to vote for the one they deemed best. The students who made the best videos would be asked to prepare a presentation and action plan to the BUSU Environmental Committee for judging. The winner of the Go Green initiative would have their idea funded by BUSU, implemented at Brock University and would become an active BUSU Green Intern.
“Every year we have a green levy that’s passed by the students, and it’s to maintain environmentally friendly behavior, but because it is student money, we realize that those are the voices that matter most. This is what started BUSU’s Go Green Challenge,” said BUSU Marketing Coordinator Emma Bulpin. “The challenge encouraged students to share any ideas that they had to make the school a little greener and then the top four most feasible were chosen.”
Bulpin, along with fellow BUSU Marketing Coordinator Kristen Leenaars, who are both responsible for marketing events to the student body, took to the hallways of Brock with a video camera in hand and set up a station where students could share their thoughts right there on the spot if they wished to. In total, approximately 30 submissions were uploaded, which indicated that student concern existed.
“It was pretty cool. Sometimes not everyone cares about the environment or even knows what to say really, or maybe they’re even a little camera shy, but it’s great to know that people are interested in it. Hopefully it will be an annual event that we do every year and it just continues to grow,” said Bulpin.
On March 21, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Go Green Challenge was held, and the top four contestants elaborated on their ideas through well put-together presentations. Fourth-year student Chris Ventura was chosen as the winner because of his idea to install solar panels on top of the roof of Isaac’s in order to provide green energy to the building would reduce the general energy consumption.
Honorable mention goes out to third-year student and finalist Tikvah Mindorf, who shared her idea to have a sustainability officer at Brock, who would ultimately monitor all of the green issues on campus, including compost, recycling, paper usage, preparation of environmental reports from the university, as well as maintain the community garden that will be created in April. Another finalist included Christopher Yent, who suggested that Brock starts collecting its rainwater and water that has been used on campus and storing it in barrels on top of the roof and then using it to flush and dispose of waste in the toilets so that fresh water is not being used instead.
Other great ideas included installing more water fountains on campus to reduce the amount of water bottles that are recycled, changing the shower heads in the locker rooms to conserve more water, having an annual “Green Day”, where the colour is worn and all items used must only be recyclable, reducing the amount of posters around campus in order to save paper, making conscious choices as a school as to where our products come from and changing the light-bulbs all across campus to have sensors so that we are not wasting electricity.
“While the logistics are currently being worked out, BUSU’s Environmental Committee is excited and eager to implement Ventura’s ideas,” said Bulpin. “We asked students for their help, and we received it. Knowing that we work among such engaged and future-conscious individuals is rewarding in itself. BUSU is very much student-powered; it’s what we’re all about. We asked ourselves how we could make this issue into an event that students would respond to and care about, and this was the result. Brock is composed of forward-thinking students and everyone involved should be proud of themselves.”
The hope is that more students start to take interest in the environment within Brock and the community, become aware and educate themselves. BUSU looks forward to working with Ventura and taking the appropriate steps to make Brock greener.
“The most feasible or not, chosen or not, the fact that these ideas even surfaced shows that people care about the environment and their school, and that is simply great,” said Bulpin.