Humber students look towards cleaner future for college campuses

Garbage waste buildup along the shore of the Martin Goodman Trail, near Humber College (Mickal Aranha)

Mickal Aranha
News reporter

Humber’s annual Earth Week begins on Monday and environmentally conscious students are busy preparing for four days of exciting events.

Graphic design student Emanuel Warner is actively involved with campus sustainability initiatives and is looking forward to the planned activities, not least of which are the giveaways.

“I’m excited for the prizes, and goodies, and the good vibes around campus,” he said. “And I’m rounding up friends to help out with the shore cleanup.”

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Shoreline Cleanups are taking place at both North and Lakeshore campuses and are one of three major initiatives the college has organized for the coming week.

Sustainability Office manager Roma Malik is excited about partnering with the WWF this year.

This is the first time we’re collaborating with the WWF for the engagement and education of our students,” she said. “We focus every year on cleaning up our campus, but this year we’re trying to clean up our waterways.”

Cups left behind near Humber River (Mickal Aranha)

“We’re connected to the Humber River at North campus and we’re connected to Lake Ontario at Lakeshore campus so we wanted to focus on those areas because it can really make a difference in terms of reducing the amount of plastic pollution in our water, lakes, and streams,”Malik said.

“We’re going to get into the mental state of team-building and having fun and also educating ourselves about how much waste ends up in our water streams.”

Break the Cycle: Enterprise Car Share and Dropbike program, is the second major Earth Week event. The goal is to reintroduce students to two existing sustainable transportation businesses on campus.

Enterprise Car Share is encouraging carpooling and the use of public transportation by providing students with access to car rentals on campus for only $6 per hour.

There also is Dropbike, which is a Toronto bike-sharing start-up that rents bikes for $1 per hour. There are 100 bikes between the North and Lakeshore campuses.

“They’ve been here for a few months but the bikes are removed for the winter and they’re brought back in the spring.

Next week is when they’re going to reintroduce them,” Malik said.

The third major Earth Week initiative is Chartwells Find the Cart event.

“Students will take a mobile cart around and talk to people about fair trade and why it’s important to Humber College and also give away freebies. If students, staff, and faculty bring their own mug then they get to have free coffee and tea,” she said.

There are a number of other smaller but unique activities scheduled, including a plant and seed sale, an e-waste drive, and a samosa sale in support of rescued farm animals.

Students are encouraged to visit the Sustainability Office website and social media accounts for details about registration, times, locations and surprises throughout the week.

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