Making sustainability a part of your everyday routine

It has been identified as a strategic direction and key priority for the institution but when it comes to talking about making the University of Lethbridge more sustainable, what exactly does that mean?

In an effort to promote the University's sustainability initiatives, the University of Lethbridge Students' Union (ULSU) is intent on solving that question and helping students, staff and faculty at the U of L get on board the sustainability bandwagon.

Zack Moline, the Students' Union president is a key driver of the University's sustainability aspirations, and he speaks to first creating an awareness on campus about just what makes up the three prongs of the sustainability equation.

"I think everyone gets the environmental side of it," says Moline. "It's about strategies to reduce your impact on the environment, limiting waste, your carbon imprint and so on. What's not understood as well are the social and financial aspects of the equation."

Moline explains that financial sustainability is achievable on a number of levels and speaks to making financial decisions that allow for growth but in a way that does not outstrip revenues and resources.

"It even speaks to students in terms of them budgeting properly, such as taking out less student loans so that they can afford their education," says Moline.

On the social side of the equation, the emphasis is on social responsibility and creating an atmosphere of support networks both internally and externally.

"It speaks to creating an overall sense of a campus society that is socially responsible, so that in the wider community there is a recognition that people have a responsibility to others and their community," says Moline.

It involves wellness initiatives in the workplace and fostering a sense that people will be given the necessary tools to excel in their roles.

Each month in the Legend, we will be presenting stories about people who are living the sustainability initiative, those who are doing their part, whether big or small, to further the goal of making our campus more sustainable. We are also looking for feedback from the community because we want to know who is pushing the sustainability program forward. Is there a student, staff or faculty member who has incorporated concepts of sustainability into their everyday routine? Let us know.

Moline is proud to represent a student population that is keen for this messaging and is looking for ways to make their world more sustainable.

"Students are definitely welcoming to this kind of message. I think they see how important it is for our future, and I think they all have a vague sense of what sustainability means. With this initiative, we can take that knowledge a little further and help them understand what it really means, how they can be more sustainable in their daily lives and routines," says Moline.

As well, look for tips to appear on the campus digital signs about strategies to introduce sustainability to daily routines.

"It's all about education," says Moline. "As we see resources dwindling throughout the world, it's apparent that sustainability is going to be a key concept for us to grasp in order to succeed and grow as a society. For young adults coming to get an education, this is important to them and for the University to put a great emphasis on this, we'll have a leg up as we go out to solve the world's problems."