The moment you step onto campus in September, you’ll hear the excitement from your new first year Golden Hawks and you’ll want to make the most of your Fall Semester.

When classes start up you’ll begin to decide what kind of impact you’ll make on campus this year. Maybe it’s starting your own entrepreneurial venture or getting a part-time job at the Athletics Complex! How you decide to start your first few weeks will help guide you on your own path towards to the difference you want to make over the next four years.

One area that everyone can make a difference is sustainability. Laurier’s Sustainability Office’s programming focuses on operational aspects of the University such as energy efficiency to more in-person activities such as campus engagement. One achievement that the Office is proud of is being designated as the #1 Green Campus in Ontario, ranked by Corporate Knights. It doesn’t end there though – we need to continue to provide opportunities to you so you can leave Laurier applying sustainability in your work or daily life.

Wondering where you can get started? Check out these four simple tips to start your semester off sustainably:

#1) Bring your reusable water bottle to campus 

A simple tip to keep you hydrated and your energy up throughout the day! Did you know the production of water bottles is very resource intense? Per water bottle we need approximately six times as much water than what is in the container to produce bottled water. The importance of bringing your own water bottle to campus is essential to reducing our waste and limiting our environmental impact.

#2) Coffee Cup Discount 

Another quick fix to reduce your waste. Make sure to bring your own travel mug when you plan on getting coffee or tea on campus. Bring your reusable mug to any coffee or tea location on campus and receive a 40¢ discount year-round.

#3) Eco-Container Program 

Laurier was one of the first Canadian universities to implement a reusable take-out container program. For a one-time fee of $5, you can get an eco-container to be reused each time you purchase take-out food. Eco-Containers are available at Veritas Cafe, Wilf’s, Terrance (Union Market & Eltorito), Frank’s Coffee Haus and BYTE75. Follow these 3 easy steps to participate:

  1. Purchase an Eco Takeout Card from a participating location – Union Market, Fresh Food Company (takeout only), King St Café, Veritas, and Wilf’s.
  1. Give the Eco Card to a participating location and your food will be served in an Eco Container.
  1. Once your meal is finished, return the used Eco Container and we will exchange it for your Eco Card. We will take care of the Eco Container clean up!

#4) Check out our new Freestore! 

Check out our Freestore in September! Last year, the Sustainability Office ran Laurier’s first Freestore. The program was highly successful, with dozens of students almost clearing the store out within two hours of opening.

Following this successful pilot program, we are now running a permanent, year-round Freestore on campus. The Freestore location will be announced mid-September and it will be a small space where we display household items, school supplies and limited clothing, all for FREE. Through this program, we are helping the Laurier community tackle issues of waste in our consumerist society.

Want to learn more? Click the following links to stay engaged in sustainability!