Students encouraged to make positive changes in campus life
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
Among the flock of students entering Douglas’ doors every day, there are likely many who place well-being and healthy living among their top priorities. These students and faculty members alike thrive on opportunities to educate others to become supporters and participate in activities concerning health and the environment. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 2, student groups, Douglas College departments, and local health organizations will collaborate in an eye-catching event to help create a healthier campus full of informed students.
This year, the “Passport to Health” will be the centre of attention, as students are challenged to participate by learning something new, being assessed, or taking part in various activities. Each booth visited earns stickers, with multiples chances to win prizes.
At the Health Fair, a group of Sport Science majors who are eager to promote health initiatives in school and community settings will be hosting a table titled “The Green Bin Project.” The classmates will be stocked with surveys, brochures, and opportunities to get involved with their initiative while running an interactive and educational game with prizes.
The Green Bin Project aims to create awareness for a sustainable and healthy campus through better waste management, foster social and individual responsibility, and ultimately, identify gaps and find solutions for them. Their booth is a small glimpse into their semester-long project that aims to fix the campus’ composting and recycling systems. Currently, the school runs cardboard and bottle recycling programs, but the need for composting is at an all-time high.
“We noticed there is very little organic composting. Knowing this is what initially sparked our idea to address this issue,” explains Lauren Keen, a member of the Green Bin Project.
“After some networking within our college [and the DSU] we have gathered more information. We learned that there are several developments that are currently underway and in progress behind the scenes. For example, the kitchen cafeteria already composts their food waste and Tim Hortons composts their used coffee grounds. However, students do not yet have access to compost at Douglas.”
Keen and her classmates, Duncan, Jasper, and Lindsey, wanting to amend the current composting and recycling systems, took to their feet and talked with college officials about their concerns and suggestions. Apparently, “the college has been working towards a four-stream system for over a year,” noted Keen. Expected to be rolled-out in phases starting in the Fall 2016 semester, the system includes paper, compost, garbage, and mixed recycling.
Looking toward the future, the Sport Science classmates have long-term measures planned to exist after their project ends. In the near future, students will see fewer garbage bins from all classrooms and office spaces in order to reduce the amount recyclable and compostable waste that are being tossed in the garbage cans out of convenience. The ultimate goal is to reduce waste down to 25 per cent, with the remaining 75 per cent diverted into paper recycling, mixed recycling, and composting.