University of Calgary

Rethink purchasing and reduce waste

UToday HomeFebruary 15, 2013

By Anna Nowaczyk

Students check out lightly-used items ranging from furniture to electronics at the university’s weekly Surplus Sales to help reduce waste and save money. Photo by Elise HetuStudents check out lightly-used items ranging from furniture to electronics at the university’s weekly Surplus Sales to help reduce waste and save money. Photo by Elise HetuRecycleMania is in its second week. Campus members can participate by recycling and rethinking purchasing practices to help reduce or eliminate waste.

Help the university move towards its goal of becoming a sustainable and net zero waste campus with these simple actions:

  • Buy fair trade coffee and bring a reusable mug for discounts at these vendor locations.
  • Buy used for less at the warehouse-sized garage-sale held every Friday from 12-2 p.m. in the General Services building. View the catalogue.
  • Pick up an Eco Card from the Dining Centre or become a member of their Eco-Container Exchange program to purchase meals in a reusable container and to receive every 10th meal free.
  • Purchase green office supplies, furnishings, and laboratory products from preferred vendors.
  • Order apparel through the Bookstore, which ensures that factories and third party factories of suppliers meet the minimum standards of basic labour rights set forth by the International Labour Organization. These same standards are met on gifts and apparel sold at the Medical Bookstore, Stuffs Convenience Store, Art Store and Lofts.
  • Bring your campus ID card to the MicroStore to receive preferred pricing on electronics; all are EnergyStar and EPEAT certified.

Reduce waste:

  • Hold a waste free event using the guide available online and promote it with materials available through the Office of Sustainability.
  • Avoid printing, or reduce font size and margins, print double sided, black and white and set print quality to toner saver.
  • Put food scraps (including meat, dairy and bones), tea bags, coffee grinds, napkins, compostable and cardboard serving ware, and wooden chopsticks into organics collection bins found in food courts and high traffic areas.
  • Recycle paper, beverage containers and more. The university diverts 20 streams from landfill.

To help measure the collective impact of our actions, the University of Calgary is participating in RecycleMania until March 30, alongside more than 500 other North American post-secondary institutions.

Visit the SustainabilityON website or connect with a SustainabilityON Coordinator for details.