February events wrap up!

February is usually a busy month for UBC Students, who are all busy getting cozy with IKBLC as they study for midterms and then in between these study sessions students are busy making swanky plans for Reading Break. However, for Common Energy members, February was extra busy with a whole load of fun events!

At our monthly Big-Team meeting we all enjoyed yummy homemade stew and mac and cheese among other delicious potluck items. We then welcomed Tanya Bennett, a UBC Alumni, who was kind enough to run a Social Media workshop for the CE team. We all learned about how to effectively manage our multiple social media platforms! Thank you Tanya for teaching us about Hootsuite and saving us loads of time by scheduling tweets! Genius!

February 9th was National Sweater Day—a WWF initiative that asks people to turn down their thermostat by three degrees and sport a wild sweater to show that they are taking action on climate change. The Challenges team made wonderful Sweater Day posters (some of which actually hung on hangers) and ran an interactive booth in the SUB and IKBLC. With the kind donation of Happy Planets from UBC Food Services, the booths were busy and we were definitely able to reach out to the thirsty student population!

The Tangible Solutions team ran another UBC’s Got Skillz workshop, this one being a free knitting workshop!! The turnout was fantastic and the participants all went home with a warm and fuzzy set of needles and yarn. And of course, the priceless skill of knitting, which will reduce their personal consumption in the future.

Finally, Chew On This was a huge success! Monday’s event, “business case for sustainable food” was a full line up. Rebecca Irani, from the UBC Bookstore made a convincing argument for buying fair-trade. If you are sorry you missed the fair trade talk, don’t despair—UBC Fair Trade week is coming right up and Common Energy is running a Fair Trade mob!! Randy and Annie from Discover Organics gave us a first-hand look on primary production of sustainable food. Then Chef Steve Golob, the head chef of Place Vanier cafeteria gave us the most dynamic talk on what UBC is doing in terms of serving socially-responsible, local food. On Tuesday, Sprouts kindly ran a workshop about food-mapping, which was well-received by the audience. On Wednesday, for the panel discussion had over 55 people turn up! Then on Thursday the Oxfam UBC’s ‘Hungry for Change’ dinner went drew a huge crowd– everyone went home with a full belly and motivated to help out in Oxfam’s work. We cannot thank our partner organizations: IKBLC, CUS Sustainability, Oxfam UBC and UBC Food Services.

Check out the webcast for the Monday and Wednesday events below, sponsored by IKBLC.

As if that wasn’t enough to fill our calendars, we had a huge CE delgation at the SFU Sustainable Campuses Conference. Read Quinn’s blog post here.

Thanks for reading and gear up for a magnificent month of March! eARTh festival and Fair Trade mob is just around the corner, are you joining us?

-Kyuwon Kim, Assistant Director

Fair Trade Mob (March 5)

Common Energy UBC’s Tangible Solutions team produced the incredible Compost Mob back in November and it was so well received that now we’re at it again with the Fair Trade Mob! From March 5-9th UBC is celebrating its designation as Canada’s first Fair Trade Campus. See more info about the entire week’s events here.

Our Fair Trade Mob will be taking place on MONDAY, March 5th at noon. If you want to join us, come and meet us for dressing in costumes in the SUB meeting room beside the Deli in the basement. More details are on the facebook event page. The training day is Thursday, March 1st 12:30-1pm (for staff) and 1-2pm (for students) in the Vanier Upper Atrium.

Fair Trade is an amazing way to bridge the different components of sustainability: environmental, social, and economical. As the UBC Bookstore puts it: “Fair Trade is a different way of doing business. It’s about making principles of fairness and decency mean something in the marketplace. It guarantees the farmer or producer a fair price for their goods so they can live a decent life.”

And, if you’ve forgotten how much fun our first Compost Mob was, here’s the video:

See you there for rapping and dancing about Fair Trade!