Feb. 14, 2018
Tyler Plante, outreach and program coordinator of Wilfrid Laurier University's Sustainability Office, is very proud to work for and support the most sustainable campus in Ontario (and third most in Canada!).
"Laurier is a university where the people - from students to staff and faculty to administration - live out their values," says Plante. "We don't just talk about making changes. We take action."
Corporate Knights, a magazine that promotes "clean capitalism" noted Laurier's sustainability accomplishments in its Greenest Campuses in Canada index. The November 2017 ranking was just the last in a long list of awards given to Laurier for outstanding work in environmental protection and sustainability.
With support ranging from Laurier's senior administration to the first-year student who wants to get involved, Plante says it's easy to stay inspired in his role.
"Laurier is all about passionate students who want to give back," he says. "You can feel it on campus. The students, faculty and staff are willing to look at their own behaviour and make changes that will make a difference."
Plante is personally passionate about giving as well. He's a donor to each Hawkstarter campaign led by the Sustainability Office, including: Laurier Hawk Honey, which assists in increasing the number of hives for Laurier's own apiary while providing experiential learning for students; and Planting a Laurier Forest, which reached its fundraising goal in 2017 and is now in the process of planting 125 trees in the Waterloo community.
Plante is also a donor to Laurier's Community Campaign thanks to his support of the Something Golden Award. This award is primarily funded through the Sustainability Office's Something Golden program, which collects and resells household items left behind in residence upon move out. The purpose of this donation is to encourage and support students who are actively involved in sustainability initiatives. Eligible candidates are full time students in year two, three or four who demonstrate financial need and have an active interest in sustainability. This involvement can be shown thought volunteer work on campus or in the Laurier community.
"When students get involved in any of the sustainability efforts on campus, they are not only contributing to the health of the planet, they are aligning their values with their actions," says Plante. "That kind of personal commitment helps to change social norms."
For Plante, being an active model of social engagement and generosity is an important way to make change.
"People will get on board with an initiative when they see others taking part," he says. "That's why every person has the potential to make an exponential difference."
For those interested in becoming part of the change to protect our environment, Plante offers a few simple ideas to get started:
To find out more about supporting Laurier, please visit wlu.ca/giving.
To learn more about Laurier's sustainability projects, connect with Plante at the Sustainability Office, 519.884.0710 x4192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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