UW offers lessons in sustainability UW Sustainability will host activities and events for students to learn about zero waste living and how they can be more environmentally friendly



graphic by Harshitha Damodaran

Sustainability week kicked off on Monday, Oct. 21, and runs until this Friday, Oct. 25. There are a number of activities and events going on throughout the week.

Zero-waste Mason Jar Challenge

The main event run by UW sustainability is the zero-waste mason jar challenge. Do you think you’re able to keep an entire week’s worth of waste in one 500mL mason jar? Now is your chance to find out! There are quite a few prizes to be won.

There is one grand prize, valued at $150, and a number of smaller prizes including one of three zero-waste packages, one of five $10 WatCard top-up’s, a prize pack from W Store, or one of five $10 gift cards to Zero Waste Bulk.

To participate in the challenge, the first thing you need to do is register your jar online on the UW sustainability website. Jars can be picked up from the sustainability office in EV1-301, from Green Residence Ambassadors, or you can use your own from home.

Collect everything that would otherwise be thrown into the trash throughout the week in your 500mL mason jar. This means any waste that is destined for landfill. Recycling and composting are not included in your jar. However, remember to divert these items from the landfill by using the compost and recycling bins across campus.

To take part in the challenge, participants must complete a survey at the end of the week. The survey will be sent via email to all registered participants and must be completed in order to be eligible for prizes.

Bonus: share your progress on social media using #WasteWeekUW and #ShiftZeroUW to help inspire others.

Waste Reduction Quiz

How confident are you in your knowledge of what is recyclable, compostable, or trash? Participate in the online quiz on the Zero Waste Week website to find out.

By participating, you are eligible for a chance to win one of two zero-waste prize packs, a $50 gift card to Zero Waste Bulk, or one of five $10 WatCard top-ups.

The quiz will remain open until Friday, October 25 at 11:59PM.

Project Zero Waste

Project Zero Waste is UW Campus Compost’s first convention and it focuses on working toward zero waste goals. In connection with National Waste Reduction Week, on Friday October 25, UW Campus Compost will be hosting multiple workshops, DIY tutorials, and activities.

Scheduled Activities

Scheduled activities include a carnival with food, booths, and games. There will also be workshops on many different skills such as making beeswax wraps, vermicomposting, creating a zero waste bathroom, DIY toiletries and accessories, and getting started on a zero waste lifestyle.

There will be a screening of the film Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story in EV3 3406.

The film follows two individuals over six months while they experiment with eating only discarded food. Remember to bring your own mug and containers to the film screening for zero waste snacks and coffee.

The full schedule can be found on https://uwaterloo.ca/sustainability/events/zero-waste-week-2019.

5 Tips for Living More Sustainably

1) Bring your own water bottle with you to avoid buying disposable container.

2) The same applies for coffee mugs ­—bring your own with you, a lot of restaurants will give a discount on your drink if you bring your own mug.

3) Sort your garbage. 70 per cent of plastic does not get recycled, so make a conscious effort to find a recycling bin instead of tossing it in the trash. Also keep in mind that organics and biodegradable goods belong in the green bin, not the trash can.

4) Bring your own straw and utensils with you when you go out to avoid having to use single-use plastic.

5) Ditch the plastic bags and bring (or learn to make!) your own tote bag. They are sturdier and better for the environment.


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