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Faces of sustainability: Dawn Regier

Posted by Guest Author on July 06, 2015

Who are you and how does sustainability fit with what you do on campus?

My name is Dawn Regier and I am the Asset and Sustainability Assistant at UOIT. I am also the student leader of the Blue Team. Both of these positions allow me to be actively involved with sustainability events on and off campus, and learn about all the things the university is doing to be sustainable.  

What does sustainability mean to you?

To me, sustainability means moving forward without moving backwards. That means being aware in your everyday life how you can make choices to reduce your negative environmental impact. Sustainability focuses not only on the environment, but also on the economic and social spheres. This means people have resources and finances in place to meet their needs, and keep their communities healthy.

What could UOIT do to become more sustainable?

UOIT could become more sustainable by having composting near all food locations around campus. At the moment, the kitchens have compost, but this is not accessible to students and staff. The addition of composting would be a great step in reducing waste at UOIT.

What sustainable steps do you take daily at home? 

I do simple sustainable actions that add up over time. I reduce my water waste by taking short showers and turning the tap off when brushing my teeth. I plan what I am going to eat that week before going to the grocery store to reduce wasting food. During the day, I turn off lights when I can and open the blinds to allow natural light to come in.

What sustainable steps do you take daily on campus?

I start each day off on campus with a sustainable step by walking to and from campus. I always have a reusable water bottle with me and take advantage of the Brita hydration stations around campus. I also pack a lunch and use reusable containers instead of plastic bags. These steps are not only waste-free, but they also save me money. As a student, who doesn’t love saving money?

How would you challenge UOIT students and staff to become less wasteful?

I think students and staff could do more to reduce their waste. It is not uncommon to see a garbage can full of coffee cups on campus, which could be eliminated by bringing a reusable travel mug and asking to get it filled. Another area is paper reduction. Think twice before printing: Do you really need to print, or can it be read electronically?

What would you recommend to someone on campus who is interested in sustainability?

I would recommend they get involved with the Blue Team on campus. It is a great place to find like-minded individuals passionate about sustainability. The Blue Team has the support of the Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability to help get ideas off the ground. In the past, students have come up with great ideas such as a tree planting event and a water bottle greenhouse build. Students and staff can also send in their ideas, feedback or suggestions to sustainability@uoit.ca.


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