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Faces of sustainability: Shannon Oletic

Posted by Guest Author on July 06, 2015

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

I am the Asset and Sustainability Planner. I am responsible for the development and co-ordination of the university's new sustainability program and promoting sustainability initiatives around campus.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means incorporating people, planet and profit in to everyday living and all types of decisions. It means making decisions based on the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations.

What’s your favourite environmental hobby or activity away from work?  

Hiking, swimming, running, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

What sustainable steps do you take daily at home?  

  • Leave the air conditioning off as much as possible and keep the windows always open.
  • Turn the lights off as soon as I leave a room.
  • Clean with ‘green’ or natural cleaning products.
  • Avoid soaps and other products containing microbeads.
  • Purchase organic or local (or both!) products, as opposed to conventional ones, as often as I can.
  • Limit my use of plastic wherever possible and opt for products stored in glass instead.
  • Limit how often I eat red meat.
  • Follow the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle!

What sustainable steps do you take daily on campus?

  • Bring reusable mugs and tupperware for lunches.
  • Work with the office light off when sunlight is sufficient.
  • Avoid printing, or print double-sided if necessary.
  • Participate in as many sustainability-related initiatives as possible.
  • Spread the word on sustainability!

Who are your eco-heroes? 

Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith, the witty Canadian co-authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck and ToxinToxout. These books explaining the importance of our everyday consumer choices and the effects they have on toxin levels in our bodies and the environment. They are responsible for the ban of BPA in baby bottles in Ontario.

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

  • Make your own meals
  • Use organic and local products as often as possible (attending the upcoming Campus Market will give you a great opportunity to purchase these items!).
  • Eliminate one-time-use plastic water bottles; always carry a reusable bottle.
  • Power off all electronics when you leave the house.

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

  • Students: Join the Blue Team, help with current projects and start new ones.
  • Staff: Join the Sustainability Committee and promote campuswide sustainability initiatives.

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