University of Calgary

Buy responsibly and reduce waste

UToday HomeJanuary 19, 2012

By Anna Nowaczyk

Last week, Mac Hall received the first of 64 new organics and recycling units which will be rolled out across campus. Photo by Justin BrownLast week, MacEwan Student Centre received the first of 64 new organics and recycling units which will be rolled out across campus. Photo by Justin BrownTake part in the annual SustainabilityON Waste and Responsible Purchasing campaign between now and March 31, by thinking about what you buy and how you can help reduce the amount of waste the university generates.

You can support the Institutional Sustainability Plan’s goals for sustainability in supply chain management—and becoming a 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-sales held every Friday from 12 to 2 p.m. in the General Services building. View catalogue.
  • Pickup 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 such as Grand & Toy who offer competitive pricing for campus business units. For example, one ream of 30 per cent recycled content paper is 19 per cent cheaper than non-recycled paper.
  • 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.

A campus wide Photocopier Challenge and 200 gram Waste Reduction Challenge will run alongside the North American RecycleMania Competition Feb. 5 to March 31. Photo by Riley Brandt A campus wide Photocopier Challenge and 200 gram Waste Reduction Challenge will run alongside the North American RecycleMania Competition Feb. 5 to March 31. Photo by Riley Brandt Reduce waste by:

  • Hold a waste free event using the guide available online and promote it with materials available through the Office of Sustainability (email sustain@ucalgary.ca).
  • Avoid printing, or reduce font size and margins, print double sided, black and white and set print quality to toner saver.
  • Compost organics and recycle paper, beverage containers and more. The university diverts 20 streams from landfill.

To help divert waste from landfill, the university is expanding recycling infrastructure by rolling out 3,500 new bins ranging from small organics collection bins for staff lunchrooms to multi-stream units in high-traffic areas.

To help measure the collective impact of our actions, the university will participate in RecycleMania alongside 600+ other North American post secondary institutions from Feb. 5 to March 31.

To fuel the competition internally, a Photocopier Challenge and a 200-gram Challenge will be spearheaded by SustainabilityON Coordinators across campus.

Get more information at SustainabilityON website or connect with a SustainabilityON Coordinator.