I hope you’re all having a fabulous summer! While we have been having our fun in the sun, UBC Common Energy has also been planning for the fall. The 2011/12 year looks like it will be lots of fun and bring about some exciting changes on campus. The sub-groups this year consist of Dialogue, Education, Tangible Solutions, and Challenges as well as our newest group: Food! Each team’s plan for the year is below – make sure to check them out. Also, if one of these sounds like something you’d like to be involved with please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org! We are always looking to expand the Common Energy team so if you’re interested please let me know.
Coordinators: Kristin Sunde and Khushi Chachcha
The Dialogue team works to establish forums on campus in which students, faculty, staff, and community members at large can share ideas, discuss issues, and develop holistic solutions together. It collaborates with other sustainability groups on campus to host events and truly values the importance of robust people networks working together to push forward a socially progressive and environmentally sustainable agenda.
This year, the Dialogue team will be hosting monthly Green Drinks lounges, the NOW! Climate Action Conference, and the AMS Sustainability Coordinators workshop.
Other ideas that are in the works include a Sustainability in Arts event and a number of Movie + Discussion nights.
Coordinator: Pani Pajouhesh
The Education team works to integrate sustainability education principles, pedagogy, and concepts into UBC’s academic curriculum.
Education’s largest annual project is coordinating the goBEYOND Teach-In at UBC (see the EDUCATION tab for more information). The Teach-In encourages professors to incorporate sustainability education into a lecture showing the link between climate change or other issues and their field of study.
Other ideas coming up for Education include working to improve climate change and sustainability education curriculum and coordinating the UBC Rethink Award.
Coordinator: Rosalind Sadowski
The Tangible Solutions team works to implement concrete projects that will bring about real change at the University. While originally this group was meant to bring about infrastructural solutions at UBC, it is now a more plastic group meaning that it can support different projects each year and meet the changing needs of the University community.
In the past, Tangible Solutions led the installation of the water bottle filling stations throughout the SUB through a student-driven SEEDS Project (check out http://sustain.ubc.ca/seeds). As well, it has looked into making UBC a bottled-water-free campus!
Additionally, Tangible Solutions may work on projects around food gardens, waste management, and composting. Or it may run an initiative that YOU suggest! If you have a great idea this is the group within which it could be implemented.
Coordinators: Corina Santema and Amy Jiang
The Challenges team works to catalyze behaviour change at the collective level. This team organizes events and initiatives that challenges communities to come together in an effort to make real changes to lessen their impact on the environment.
The Challenges team’s main initiative each year is the Do It in the Dark energy competition. Do It in the Dark took place for the first time in November 2010 in Totem Park and then, again, in Place Vanier in March 2011. This year, both residences will be taking part in Do It in the Dark from November 7th to 25th. Challenges will be leading the organization in Place Vanier.
Additionally, Challenges will lead the Invent the Future competition on campus in collaboration with BC Hydro.
As well, Challenges may collaborate with the World Wildlife Fund (as it did in 2010/11) in running UBC’s Earth Hour event (on March 31st) and the Sweater Day initiative (on February 9th). In the past, Challenges has also partnered with goBEYOND to promote the use of its personal online carbon footprint calculator.
Coordinator: Aaron Rusak
In the Food team’s inaugural year it will promote local food awareness by advertising and sharing information about the benefits, businesses, and restaurants. The Food team will collaborate with other food groups on campus (such as the currently-in-the-works Slow Food UBC, Sprouts, etc).
One of the Food team’s main projects will be hosting a number of Cooking Workshops throughout the year!
As well, involvement in Local Food Day is expected in addition to a number of awareness campaigns.
As you can see, UBC Common Energy has a very busy, exciting, and important year ahead. Check back often for updates on each sub-groups’ progress.
See you in September!