GBC green team challenges staff and students to do 50 sustainable actions by the end of the semester
Fifty Acts of Green is a campaign launched by the green team at George Brown College (GBC) to encourage students, staff and faculty to complete 50 sustainable actions this semester.
Stephanie Foster, green team sustainability co-ordinator at GBC, said one of the goals of 50 Acts of Green is to raise awareness about the environment.
“We hope everybody can practice behaviours that reflect environmental responsibility,” explained Foster.
By using the hashtag #50GreenGBC on social media participants have shared photos and videos demonstrating what they have done to help the environment at GBC.
Jorge Olenewa, a professor in the centre for arts, design and information technology, said that for 17 years he has opened classes or labs to turn off the multimedia projector when he notices that no one is there.
“Why would anybody leave a 500 Watt lamp on, often over an entire weekend?” he asks. “They consume a lot of energy unnecessarily. So, why waste electricity and money?”
In fact, energy efficiency on GBC campuses is part of the 2014-19 energy conservation and demand management plan at the college.
In the plan, 2012 baseline energy consumption data shows that electricity consumption on all campuses was 26,030,762 kWh and that 17% of electricity used was from renewable sources.
Achieving a two per cent reduction in total energy consumption associated with the 2012 baseline, taking into account all campuses and the new student residence, is one of the goals of the plan.
This two per cent reduction represents 520,615 kWh. According to Statistics Canada, the average annual electricity for households in Canada is 11,111 kWh. This means that GBC is planning to save enough electricity to power 47 homes for a year.
Alongside the bigger issue of reducing energy consumption as an institution, Foster said there are lots of ways individuals can help such as recycling, biking, or buying fair-trade coffee.
Yasmin Shah, a game development student, agrees. She said that one of the small things that she has done is trade drinking bottled water for using a reusable water bottle.
“I still think it will help and when everyone does, it will be contagious,” said Shah.
50 Acts of Green will run until April 22 with prizes given out bi-weekly with random draws. Each post with the #50GreenGBC, or email to 50GreenGBC@georgebrown.ca will count as an entry.
Prizes include Keep Cups, GBC stainless steel water bottles, and GBC reusable tote bags.