How New Students Can Be Green at uOttawa

Monday, August 27, 2012

cartoon girl telling people to be green

So you are coming to the University of Ottawa this fall and you want to be as green as humanly possible. Okay, well I am actually certain that this is one of the last things on your mind, with all the panicked packing and trying to squeeze out a couple of more summer moments with the friends and family. But I thought that I might give you a couple of tips for when you get to campus.
  • We are Bottled Water Free here so don't freak out when you get to the caf or the Pivik and start searching around frantically. To facilitate this transition into your new bottled water free lifestyle, the SFUO puts reusable water canteens in every 101 Kit. And if you didn't get a kit, stop by the SFUO's Sustainability Centre and they'll fix you up with a canteen for free.
  • A lot of you are new to Ottawa and are going to bring a bunch of luggage. Pack light! You are going to be inundated with a tonne of swag and free "stuff". You will have memorabilia coming out the wazoo. So bring only the essentials and when you get here, hit up the Free Store or Kijiji. You can get more clothes, furniture, posters, appliances, and whatnot for free once you arrive.
  • Recycle Everything! My promise to you is that by the time you are done here you should realize that everything can be recycled. And although I can't promise to you that you will be able to recycle everything all the time, we will do our best to get you thinking about what happens to your stuff once you are done with it. And if we do our job right, you will know what to do with it too.
  • Ottawa has some of the most variable weather in the world. Dress in layers! Some of your classrooms will be too cold, and some of your study rooms will be too hot. Get used to the idea of slipping in and out of your layers and you will do just fine.
  • Carry a travel mug with you everywhere you go. Trust me, good things happen when you roll with a mug. Take Muggy Mondays for instance. Free coffee every Monday morning if you have a mug. Drop by the table in the UCU and we will get you your fix of Fair-Trade coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
  • Join the People's Republic...  of Delicious that is. Every Wednesday the PRD serves delicious vegan meals in the University Centre. Bring your own tupperware and get some food. It's all by donation so pay what you can. And if you are interested in helping them do some cooking, they have a community kitchen cooking model that puts you right in the heart of the action.

So I think that this list gets you started. You might notice that if you did all these things not only would you benefit from some great free stuff, you would also be helping do your part for the planet. And that's the way it should be because sometimes it is easy being green.

~jON - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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