NAITSA promotes Sustainability Week with activities on campus

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Arts & Life

For the third year in a row, NAITSA will hold Sustainability Week on the main NAIT campus. Between March 18 and 23, students can get involved in various events throughout campus to increase their sustainable awareness. The goal of sustainability week is to help students realize the impact small everyday actions can have. 

This year, there will be a greater diversity of events, most of which will occur around lunchtime. Two of them are the Speaker Panel and Campus Clean Up. The first will take place on Wednesday, March 20th, at noon at the Dow Theater and will feature three community experts who have changed their lives or businesses through sustainability. The speakers will give tips on how to combat the pollution that the textile industry causes in the environment. They are Sara Farrar from Cherry Pick Collective, Katrina Hillyer from Earth Warrior Lifestyle, and Sarah Janzen from Blenderz Garment Recyclers

The campus cleaning event will last one hour on Friday, March 22, at 1:30 p.m. The idea is to remove as much trash as possible from the campus, inside and out. The event was inspired by the City of Edmonton’s community clean up program, where participants can gather a group and clean their neighbourhoods. 

“It was just a way to kind of help get students involved in making the campus look a little bit nicer, but then the goal is that hopefully they see that impact and how easy it is to set up and do, and then they can take that a little bit to their community,” stated Chris Black, NAITSA Student Involvement Coordinator and Co-Chair of the NAITSA Sustainability Committee. The volunteers will meet at the NAITSA office, and from there, three teams will be created and spread out with the purpose of cleaning as much as possible. NAITSA will provide all cleaning materials. 

This year will also have more campus-wide collaboration, with NAIT hosting sustainability-minded events during the week as well. While NAIT has collaborated with Sustainability Week in past years, this is the first year they are hosting their own events during the week. “We are very thankful to all the contributors that we had over the years, but they were representing themselves and their expertise, not necessarily NAIT,” explained Alley Medeiros, NAITSA Service Hub Manager and NAITSA Sustainability Committee member.  

“There’s at least a little bit more awareness, a little bit more willingness to work with this. And that will help build steam for next year in the year after and the year after, just to be a more cohesive campus for sustainability week,” added Black. In addition to events, sustainable collaboration can (and should) start within each department.  

“We’ve done things inside the office, like having different garbage bins around the office … it is convenient for anyone in any spot of the office to make sure that they are disposing of their garbage the correct way, because that is one of the main issues for sustainability is how incorrectly garbage is disposed,” said Medeiros. 

“We’re doing little changes also, like whenever having to buy new hand soap for stations that don’t have the dispensers on the wall, we’re trying to buy sustainable version for that, you know, plastic free versions for all those things.” 

As one can see, adopting sustainable attitudes in everyday life is not out of reach for students; small actions can have major impacts. As Medeiros explained, “We hope they [students] can see all these other facets of sustainability and how it can be connected to everything.” 

Cover photo via Ooks Life, NAITSA Sustainability Committee

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