Sustainability sounds like a very broad issue, but actually it is around us in our daily life. When you buy a cup of coffee, the coffee sleeve go with it is made out of recyclable material. There are many water refill stations on campus, if you use these water refill stations properly, you can save huge amount of plastic and money. Using cloth bag instead of plastic bag is a very environmental friendly habit too. But are you really aware about its existence?
In fact, in recent years, Fanshawe College has done a lot in terms of sustainability, for example, all lights in renovated buildings on campus are LED, and there are garbage separation bins everywhere in our campus. Besides,in 2009, Fanshawe College signed Pan-Canadain Protocol For Sustainability, this protocol is within the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.
The protocol reads: the signatory institutions to this protocol agree to maximize their contribution to a sustainable future and are committed to their roles as leaders to their internal and external communities. In the context of this protocol, sustainability is institutionally defined and may include environment, economic and social dimension.
Fanshawe College has its sustainability office at C2006, but many students do not know it at all. Fanshawe student Ilana Walker says she has heard about this office before but she is not sure where it is. Student Endrit Bllaca says he never heard about this office until he takes this interview. Fanshawe College sustainability coordinator Amanda Whittingham says they do not get enough feedback from students too.
“The students population is not super interactive with us at the time, so as much as we put information out there and interact with them, we do not get a lot back. So when I do get to chat with students whether I am doing in-class presentation or events, people are always very excited about what we do on campus, but they also like to tell me that they did not know.’’
It seems like Fanshawe College sustainability office needs more publicity. Amanda Whittingham says they are doing everything they can to spread sustainability but still people are supposed to be more self conscious about this.
“ We are using all our means to spread the word, but we are also in an age where people are easily able to filter what kind of information gets to them. So that is the barrier that we need to figure out how to overcome and at this time we have not figured out that part yet.”
The coordinator adds that the definition of sustainability is to meet the needs of present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
“‘Sustainability very rarely has its instantaneous payback and it will not always benefit the generation that is doing it but that is the whole point which is to do things for the future and for people in the future, for our children, for our children’s children. So even though you may look at something and say that is not going to benefit me and how can that help. You can be guaranteed that people in the future will absolutely thank you for that.”