University of Calgary

BLING BLING! This year’s charity designate is Green Calgary

UToday HomeJuly 29, 2013

University of Calgary students in 2012 donated buckets of change for the charity of choice.University of Calgary students in 2012 donated buckets of change for the charity of choice.BLING BLING is a friendly competition between faculties to raise money for the Orientation Week charity of choice each year. In 2011, almost $5,000 was raised for Next Generation Nepal, and in 2012 we raised over $4,100 for the United Way and $1,000 for Kids Help Phone.

All funds raised this year will be donated to Green Calgary, an organization chosen based on its connection to this year’s Common Reading Program book selection: No Impact Man by Colin Beavan.

Each faculty has a jar located in MacEwan Student Centre, where students can donate coins or bills. Donating coins gives a faculty “positive” points, while donating bills gives a faculty “negative” points. It becomes a week-long race to collect as many coins as you can for your own faculty while strategically placing bills in the jars of faculties in the lead.

BLING BLING is a fun and engaging way to introduce incoming students to the value of community engagement, and the University of Calgary’s commitment to supporting our greater community.

Money raised is counted at the end of each day and the point tallies are announced. The winning faculty of BLING BLING, and the total funds raised for Green Calgary, will be announced Friday, Sept. 6.

We asked Green Calgary’s marketing and events co-ordinator, Amy Inkster, a few questions about what Green Calgary does in our community and how their work aligns with this year’s Common Reading Program selection:

Q: What services does Green Calgary offer to Calgarians?

  • Rain Barrel and Composting Community Sales: Green Calgary partners with the City of Calgary to provide rain barrels and composters to citizens at a discount. During the spring and summer months, we host 11 “pop up” rain barrel education sales in parking lots all over the city. First Calgary Financial and Enmax make these sales possible through generous sponsorship.
  • School Presentations: Green Calgary offers curriculum-oriented inquiry-based school presentations for Grades 1-6. More info about the presentations can be found here.
  • Lunch ‘n’ Learn Corporate presentations: Green Calgary offers corporate presentations on the topics of composting, green cleaning, and creating a healthy home.
  • Sustainability Series: GC offers a monthly workshops, open to the public, on topics ranging from canning to organic veggie gardening.
  • Waste Audits and Reporting: GC offers one-on-one support to assist companies in achieving waste reduction and other environmental goals at the workplace. Through customized consultation, staff are able to provide the necessary recommendations and solutions, quantitative reporting on recycling initiatives and associated ecological benefits, recycling research, education and advising to corporate green teams.
  • Healthy Homes Visits: One-on-one support for sustainability in the home. Have a Healthy Homes consultant go through conserving water waste and energy in your home and reduce chemical use in the home as well.
  • Green Events Services: GC provides consultation and training to reduce the ecological footprint of events.
  • Eco Store: Open from Tuesday to Saturday, Green Calgary’s storefront sells all the products used in our programs: chiefly rain barrels, composters and green cleaners.
  • Green Yard Consults: If you have barriers to setting up a rain barrel or composter Green Calgary will install them for you and show you how to use them.

Q: How does Green Calgary’s work align with themes in No Impact Man?

While No Impact Man’s experiment seems extreme, many of us are able to take some of these actions without much hassle and reap the benefits. For example, walking to work not only reduces carbon emissions but it reduces stress, helps maintain a healthy weight and ups your intake of vitamin D. Green Calgary empowers Calgarians with the tools, information and support to lessen their impact on the environment.

Q: If you could ask Calgarians to do one thing to improve our city, what would it be?

The one change we believe has the greatest impact is to consider the lifecycles of the things we consume and act on that information. Asking yourself: Where was it made? How did it get here? What will I do with it when I’m done using it? Can I borrow this from a neighbour or could I purchase it second hand? Could I repair it if I needed to? Could I build or make this thing instead of buying it? Will the money I spend on it go back into my community? Do I really need this or will it just collect dust?

The shift towards mindful consumption is the start of a sustainable community. Encompassed in this mindset is the opportunity to build skills, compost, conserve water, energy and fuel, and connect with your neighbors and friends.


Donate your spare coins and bills strategically, generously, and daily from Tuesday, Sept. 3 – Friday, Sept. 6. Work together with the rest of the campus community to raise money and have fun watching the points tally up!


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