By: Sanjida Amin
From April 17 to 21, 2023, Brock University hosted another Sustainability Challenge to encourage engagement in environmental action for Earth Day. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, and it is considered as the beginning of the environmental movement. Over the years, Earth Day has become one of the world’s greatest environmental participatory movement on the planet. The day is now regarded as a global initiative to promote the protection and care of our planet.
To celebrate earth Day, Brock students took part in a Sustainability Challenge by showcasing daily sustainable actions. Brock University partnered with Blackstone Energy Services with the hope to encourage students to contribute to a sustainable campus and incorporate sustainable solutions in their daily lives through innovative and engaging software. Students used the Blackstone Energy EcoBoss app to log daily sustainable actions, such as using a reusable water bottle and carpooling, over the course of five days. The rules were simple: students were required to join challenge through registration once the app was downloaded and log all sustainable actions made throughout those five days on the EcoBoss app to accumulate points. Those with the highest scores at the end of the challenge won the following prizes:
1st place prize: Niagara Parks Experience Vouchers, sponsored by The Niagara Parks Commission.
2nd place prize: CYBORIS Solar Bluetooth Speaker.
3rd place prize: Solar Pack Charger, sponsored by Blackstone Energy.
4th, 5th & 6th place prizes: Sustainable lunch bag with a 16oz Hydro Flask and a wheat straw food storage container, sponsored by the Campus Store, the ESRC, and Blackstone Energy.
7th to 10th place prizes: Seed planting kit with potting soil and seeds from the Brock University Seed Library.
Popular actions which were tracked using the app included using reusable water bottles, turning off lights, turning off water while brushing teeth, taking shorter showers, saving energy, eating leftovers, recycling, using public transportation, composting, air drying dishes, buying local, and so much more. Students from a range of academic fields and programmes-including business, education, science, and the arts-took part in the competition and engaged enthusiastically throughout the duration. Through the app, we were able to estimate CO2 savings, waste diversion, and water savings from logged actions. Total estimations include the following:
- 2,027kg in CO2 savings
- 114kg in waste diverted
- 4 thousand litres in water savings
The competition aimed to include Brock University’s student community in sustainability initiatives at campus and show how simple it is to incorporate sustainable practises into daily living. Moving forward, there are plans to host more sustainability challenges to motivate students to continue their environmental actions to minimize energy usage, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to the health of the environment!