Sustainability is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged and b: of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods”. College of the Rockies understands the importance of sustainability. It is woven in to the curriculum of all of our business courses – and we proudly offer a degree along with post-degree credentials which have sustainability as the focus.
Our Sustainability Committee has experienced a bit of a rebirth in recent months, due in large part to Committee Chair and Business programs coordinator/instructor Greg McCallum. Having some concern about the recycling program at the College, Greg and the Committee decided to hire a couple of students to undertake some of the legwork to see if it could be improved. Enter Livia and Josie.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Livia and Josie recently and was reminded, once again, how amazing our students are.
Livia, who studied business administration in her native Brazil, is enrolled in the Post-Degree Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices. She decided to work with the Sustainability Committee when she was assigned the task of developing a sustainability plan for a business she knew well for one of her classes. Having only been in Canada for 6 months, the College was an ideal option. Being a part of the sustainability committee would allow her to share her ideas while also learning about sustainability from others.
Josie is a first-year Tourism & Recreation Management student. She grew up in Penticton and attended a very “green” high school – something she fully supports. When she arrived at the College, she agreed with Greg’s belief that recycling on campus could be confusing. The position of Student Assistant for the Sustainability Committee not only fit her interests but the requirements also fit her skill base.
Livia and Josie have undertaken an audit of the recycling bins currently at the College to get a better feeling of where they are located and what they are used for. Livia shared with me photographs of all the recycling bins and a colour-coded map of the College with each bin marked at the correct location on campus. These two clearly mean business.
Next, Livia and Josie will work with the Sustainability Committee to develop a recycling plan-of-action. They will explore which types of containers should be where, establish recycling stations in common areas and purchase additional containers if needed. A questionnaire about recycling at the College may be presented to students and staff and, in the end, details of the new and improved recycling program will be shared with the College community.
When it comes to continuing to improve sustainability at the College, both Livia and Josie encourage us all to be patient. The rebirth of the committee has been fairly recent but more initiatives and events will be coming. I think improving recycling at the College is a great first step and I look forward to seeing Livia, Josie and the Sustainability Committee continuing their efforts. Thank you to all of you!