Campus Sustainability Month celebrates efforts to advance social, environmental and economic sustainability at Concordia
This October, Campus Sustainability Month shines a spotlight on Concordia’s pursuit to foster a vibrant community deeply rooted in social, environmental and economic sustainability. The annual event series is part of an international celebration of sustainability in the academic sector inspired by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Throughout the month, there will be opportunities to get involved in initiatives and events that advance the university’s five-year Sustainability Action Plan and long-term sustainability vision.
“Campus Sustainability Month, like our Sustainability Living Lab, is meant to bring awareness and recognition to the community-led sustainability work driven by students, faculty and staff from across Concordia,” says Cassandra Lamontagne, manager for the Office of Sustainability.
Lamontagne adds that while considerable progress is being made in all of the action plan’s five streams — food, waste, climate, research and curriculum — there is still more to do and opportunities for everyone to step up.
Schedule of events
Like in past years, Campus Sustainability Month features weekly themes and related events that take place online and in person on the university’s two campuses.
Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Week kicks off the month with a full lineup that includes campus garden volunteering with mind.heart.mouth and the People’s Potato, a sustainability fair, a pop-up art hive, a harvest party at the Grey Nun’s Community Garden and more.
“We’re thrilled with how the events calendar is shaping up. The month offers an assortment of great community-building opportunities,” Lamontagne says.
“This year, we’re leading with Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Week because many of our campus garden initiatives are looking for volunteers to help prepare for winter. They’re also planning celebrations around the fall harvest.”
In celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10, Wellness Week offers a lineup of self-care events aimed at promoting mental health and well-being.
“Wellness Week coincides with Concordia’s first-ever fall midterm break,” Lamontagne notes. “It felt like an ideal time to invite students to unwind with activities focused on relaxation, being outdoors and carving space for themselves.”
During weeks three and four — Zero Waste Week and Climate Action Week — Concordians will have the opportunity to participate in reflection activities, learn about some of the university’s most impactful initiatives and get their hands dirty.
“We’ll offer some fun ways to engage with these important issues, including a hands-on vermicomposting workshop and collaborative sessions to navigate complex topics like greenwashing practices and air travel in academia,” Lamontagne says.
The final week, Fostering Community and New Futures, will feature events designed to engage participants beyond October toward thriving, community-based futures.
Contribute to campus sustainability year-round
The month brings awareness to the numerous sustainability-related initiatives, resources, services and opportunities available to students, faculty and staff year-round.
“While the spotlight is on sustainability this October, Concordians can continue to make an impact throughout the year,” Lamontagne points out.
She highlights the introductory sustainability training for faculty and staff to improve their department or office’s sustainability as one example and says to look out for the next round of the Employee Sustainability Ambassadors program.
“On the student front, there are countless ways to make a difference, from sustainability initiatives to volunteering opportunities,” Lamontagne says. “And this fall, funding is available for collaborative sustainability projects led by teams of students, faculty and staff through the relaunched Sustainability Living Lab Funding Program.”
She adds that another way to make an impact is to make small changes to our commute to and from campus — the largest share of the university’s greenhouse-gas footprint.
“We have a range of transportation resources available — from indoor bike parking to the campus shuttle — to help our community get around more sustainably.”
Lamontagne encourages community members to browse the Office of Sustainability’s tools and resources and stop by the sustainability fair on October 3 in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV Building).
“It’s a terrific event,” she says. “More than two dozen sustainability groups and initiatives will be at the fair, offering students and the larger Concordia community a chance to learn about their services and find ways to make a difference on campus all year.”
Find out more about Concordia’s Campus Sustainability Month and events happening this October.