Uncategorised

  • Brock Earns Silver STARS Rating

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos 

    Brock recently held two Focus on Learning sessions to provide an Introduction to Sustainability at Brock for staff and faculty on January 28 and February 3. The main purpose of these sessions was to share our recent accomplishments related to Sustainability at Brock. If you have not already heard, Brock recently obtained Silver rating from our first-ever STARS assessment by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)! The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance administered by AASHE​.   

    Overall, STARS provides Brock with sustainability guidance by outlining where our sustainability initiatives are succeeding and where we need to enhance our efforts.  

    STARS helps assess areas of future improvement to ensure campuswide sustainability progression. Brock earned a Silver rating through obtaining 47.15% of available points​. We were most successful in the Academics category, achieving more than 70% of total points available! Currently, 15% of all courses at Brock include sustainability content​ which is an amazing accomplishment. Additionally, Brock earned all points for Community Partnerships, Student Life, and Student Orientation. 

    Future areas of improvement for Brock would be in the Engagement and Operations categories. Some future goals for Sustainability at Brock include looking towards conducting a Needs Assessment to determine what students know about sustainability and how to improve sustainability knowledge throughout the university, considering the development of a climate action plan, and updating our current Sustainability Policy. 

    To learn more about STARS at Brock, click here to read a Brock News article written by our very own Sustainability Co-ordinator, Elenore Breslow! If you are interested in reviewing the entire assessment, Brock’s full STARS report is also publicly available on the STARS website. 

    This is an amazing accomplishment for sustainability at Brock and we hope to achieve greater success within the STARS assessment in the futureAdditionally, we want to thank everyone in the Brock community who assisted in providing information for this assessment – we could not have done it without you! 

  • Sustainable Development Goals: Public Health

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are ambitious global targets created by the United Nations to promote a positive global future. They were created based off the previous Millennium Development Goals created in 2010. It has been five years since the creation of the SDGs, and 2030 is fast approaching. Therefore, we must promote these goals and implement them into our daily lives, on all scales: individualinstitutional, and global.  

    COVID-19 has impacted our lives on a global scale, and we can see the consequences of neglecting our planet come to the surface. A healthy planet creates healthy people, therefore, because our planet is sick, we are too. Public health is a crucial aspect of the SDGs; however, most people associate health exclusively with SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being. The SDGs are very interrelated, thus, there are multiple SDGs that can promote public health on a global scale, each additionally impacted by COVID-19. These goals are:  

    • 2: Zero Hunger 
    • 3: Good Health and Well-Being 
    • 6: Clean Water and Sanitation  
    • 10: Reduced Inequalities  
    • 13: Climate Action 
    • 15: Life on Land 

    SDG 2: Zero Hunger relates to public health because food and nutrition are directly related to health. Improving nutrition goes beyond SDG 2 alone and can play a transformational role in driving sustainable development. Combating global malnutrition will significantly improve health and assist in ending poverty. To make progress on sustainable development it is essential to make progress on nutrition to increase health and well-being overall. Before COVID-19, food insecurity was already on the rise. The pandemic is an additional threat to food systems as countries are reducing global shipments of goods which impacts the financial security of small farming communities. 

    SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being is the main SDG associated with Public Health as it aims to reduce the global maternal mortality ratioend the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases, and in general reduce illness and mortality globally. The global health sectors are significantly impacted by the mass amounts of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. As the cases increase, health care workers are unable to keep up with the demand for care which causes the neglect of other health conditions to prioritize COVID. This is why we must stand together and stay home to reduce the spread of infection. Protecting the vulnerable protects us all   

    SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation is directly related to public health because often times various diseases can spread through unsanitary water. Additionally, one of the main actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is handwashing. However, without access to water, communities are left with increased risk to COVID-19 and other illnesses, making them increasingly vulnerable. In Canada specifically, there are many indigenous communities without access to water. This is worsened in the global south where some communities have to walk for miles to obtain water that is often unsanitary. For reference, 2.2 billion people lack safely managed drinking water and 4.2 billion people (more than half of the of the global population) lack safely managed sanitation 

    SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities is related to public health because those most vulnerable are the most affected by COVID-19. According to the UN statistics, illnesses and deaths from communicable disease will spike because of service cancellations (due to the global pandemic) will lead to a 100% increase in malaria deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, the global recession could decrease development aid to developing countriesFrom 2017 to 2018, development aid decreased by 64%, meaning it could decrease even more, and because two in five health-care facilities world-wide have no soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub, these communities will be hit the hardest by the pandemic.  

    SDG 13: Climate Action is directly related to public health. As temperatures increase, there will be more “natural” disasters globally, which will impact more communities, thus, impacting their access to health care. For example, the increasing temperature will cause drought along the equator, eventually forcing whole communities to migrate because of the lack of food and water. Additionally, only 85 countries have national disaster risk reduction strategies, meaning these disasters will increase inequalities globally, thus impacting health care. Vector-borne diseases such as malaria & zika virus, will travel at a broader range once global temperatures increase. 

    SDG 15: Life on Land is impacted by COVID-19 because as the world’s attention shifted towards the pandemic, there is now less attention being paid to the increasing loss of biodiversity. Additionally, wildlife trafficking contributes to the spread of infectious diseases and pangolins are specifically suspected to be the intermediary animal that transferred the coronavirus. This can be seen with other diseases such as the Ebola Virus being contracted from bats. Additionally, as forest areas continue to decline for agricultural expansion, it increases the rate of warming globally.  

    The lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to impact us as we move forward in time. We should incorporate all SDG’s into our lives to fight for a brighter future for everyone. The main lesson from this pandemic is that we are a collective, and we must therefore fight for our planet – all of it.  

     

    References 

    United Nations. (2015). THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable DevelopmentHttps://Sdgs.Un.Org/Goals https://sdgs.un.org/goals 

  • How to Lead a Low Impact Life in 2021

    Blog Contributor: Shannon Ruzgys

    There’s no better time than the start of a new year to commit to lifestyle changes that can better you and the planet! Here are 10 ways you can lead a lower impact lifestyle in 2021:  

    Minimize food waste in the kitchen: 

    • Nearly 1.3 billion tons of food are thrown out every year, which is enough food to feed all 815 million hungry people in the world 
    • In North America, 61% of food that is wasted is done so by consumers (not producers) 
    • How we can help:  
      • Avoid buying food in bulk: research has shown that buying bulk leads to more food waste 
      • Store foods properly: improper storing of fresh produce can lead to premature ripening and waste 
      • Shop ugly: food doesn’t have to look perfect to taste perfect, misshapen foods and those with minor blemishes are often discarded while being perfectly edible 
      • Organize your fridge: a properly organized fridge will help food from getting lost and discarded, never to be eaten 

    Ditch disposables: 

    • All of the following items have reusable options that can be easily found online or in store – try swapping out what you can: 
      • Paper towels 
      • Makeup wipes 
      • Water bottles 
      • Utensils  
      • Shopping bags 
      • Grocery produce bags

    Become engaged with the food you’re eating: 

    • Start thinking about where the food you’re eating comes from. Here are some questions you can ask to guide your grocery shopping: 
      • Where was this food produced? 
      • How was this food produced? 
      • Is there an environmentally friendly option that is accessible to me? 
      • Is this a necessity?  
      • Can I find an option with less packaging?  

    Make your protein green: 

    • It is well established that mass produced factory farmed meat is damaging to the environment 
    • Choosing environmentally friendly proteins is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of your diet, here are some options: 
      • Choose grass fed/pasture raised meat  
      • Grass fed meat is generally produced in a much more sustainable and even environmentally beneficial way 
      • Choose less meat 
      • Meatless meals can be easy, tasty, and a great way to reduce your impact 
      • Reducing consumption is a great way to reduce your environmental impact 
      • Choose plant based options 
      • Most restaurants and take out places offer delicious plant based options 
      • A variety of plant based proteins can be found a nearly all grocery stores 

    Shop second hand 

    • The greenest way to consume is by consuming products that are already produced 
    • Things like clothing and home décor can easily be purchased second hand (and are often much cheaper than buying them new) 
    • There are plenty of high quality items just waiting to be given a second life. Just because it’s not new doesn’t mean it’s not good!

    Upcycle before you recycle 

    • Plenty of items just need quick DIY project before they can be put to good use 
    • Sauce jars and old candles that come in glass jars can easily be upcycled for reuse 

    Use your voice in your community 

    • In the age of at home and takeout, avoiding waste can be difficult  
    • If you love a restaurant but hate their plastic packaging, write to them and let them know that sustainability is important to you 

    Use your voice on social media 

    • There are plenty of Instagram accounts that produce great educational content about climate change and the environment  
    • Following and sharing these pages is a great way to engage yourself and your followers in environmental education 
    • Some great Instagram pages that focus on environmental issues: 
      • @wwfcanada 
      • @yearsofliving 
      • @greenpeace 
      • @futureearth 
      • @earthrise.studio
      • @nrdc_org 
      • @ancientforestalliance  

    Avoid food, cosmetics, and cleaning products that have palm oil in them 

    • Palm oil is grown in tropical rainforests and the clearing of these forests for oil has largely been unregulated and uncontrolled. The conversion of tropical rainforest to palm oil plantations has led to widespread destruction and loss of irreplaceable ecosystems. Many endangered species are directly impacted by palm oil production, including orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos.  
    • WWF has a great page that explains how palm oil is used in everyday products:Here’s a list of products you may not know use palm oil: 
      • Oreos
      • Doritos 
      • Nail polish
      • Skittles 
      • Lipstick 
      • Dairy milk chocolate 
      • Smarties 
      • Margarine  
      • And so much more….
    • However, avoiding palm oil can be difficult so if you can’t avoid it look for products that use RSPO sustainably sources palm oil  

    Shop local 

    • Supporting local not only reduces transportation emissions but also supports your local community and those who live within it 
    • In the grocery store, many products have a local alternative for a similar price (i.e. Chinese garlic vs. Canadian garlic) 
    • Due to COVID-19 small businesses are everywhere and supporting them has never been easier! 

    As you can see, lowering your impact on the environment can occur in a variety of ways and it’s important to make changes that work with your current reality. Be kind to yourself and follow us on social media @BUsustainable for more tips! 

  • Why we Should Support Local and Shop in Season (when we can!)

    Blog Contributor: Shannon Ruzgys

    Will all of the news and constant doom and gloom around the environment, it is very easy to feel like there is nothing we can do to help. However, we get to choose three times a day what food systems we want to support and there are options for a diet that has a lower environmental impact. Here’s some reasons why we should all try to support our local farmers when we can and shop in season!  

     When we are looking at carbon emissions, transport typically only accounts for about 10% of emissions for a food product, which people tend to use an argument as to why supporting local doesn’t actually matterHowever, when you buy local, your food still has about 10% less emissions than imported food (which is still a significant amount). In Niagara we are extremely blessed with some of the best agricultural conditions in Canada, and there is a whole list of reasons as to why supporting our local farmers is beneficial:  

    • You support the local economy and farmers within your own community  
    • Local agriculture is a significant tourist attraction in Niagara 
    • Farmers markets bring in about $3.09 billion in revenue each year in Canada (Hagar, 2012) 
    • Farmers markets and their connection to food producers help build a sense of community 
    • When people feel negative emotions towards their food, they waste more. Therefore, building local connections and establishing positive relationships between farmers and consumers can help limit waste (Russell et al., 2017) 

    We really cannot stress how truly unique and valuable agriculture in Niagara is and as the climate changes, farmers will be the first to feel the impacts. Having a connection to these local food systems and the people that supply the food is vital. People who feel a sense of place and connection to their region are more likely to be motivated to act sustainably and preserve the natural environment (Rogers & Bragg, 2012). Fostering this connection through support and engagement with local farmers can be essential in fighting climate change in Niagara. 

    Eating food that is in season goes hand in hand with eating locally. When you eat food that is not in season in your region, you rely on imported foods. In Niagara that means that in the summer we are surrounded by an abundance of fresh and local produce followed by nothing in the winter. So, what can you do to help limit the amount of out of season produce you are buying? Well for one, you can stock up in the summer and freeze leftover produce for the winter. Frozen fruit and vegetables are great for defrosting and eating as well as making smoothies. 

    Niagara is known as the fruit belt of Canada; we are extremely lucky to be surrounded by plentiful harvests and growing conditions unlike anywhere else in the country. Farmers rely on the climate and their communities to make an income. Supporting farmers directly is one way that we can all help them build resilience towards climate change and prop up our local communities.  

  • Implementing Sustainability into the Zone Fitness Centre

    Photos above demonstrate the before and after progress of the Zone Fitness Centre’s flooring.

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    Brock Badgers are highly anticipating the completion of the Zone Fitness Centre and the progress photos seem to be generating increased excitement throughout the Brock community for use of this state-of-the-art facility! While we are all excited about the completion of the fitness centre, many people may not be aware of all the hard work that went into construction and the teamwork involved in the restoration various facets of the original Zone Fitness Centre, including the reuse of the Nora floor.  

    Brock bought the original flooring seven years ago and choosing to keep this floorinstead of replacing it with new flooring during this new construction project has saved the university tens of thousands of dollars, displaying the benefits of sustainable choices and reusing instead of replacing. Using specific chemical cleaners, water, and a sweeping machine (pictured), the Nora floor was beautifully restored. However, it took a lot of elbow grease from multiple members of the custodial staff team, and many hours across many shifts to properly restore the floor to its original glory.  

    Nora Floors are made of high quality natural and industrial rubbers making the floors very long lasting. In 2019, Nora announced that their products are CO₂ neutral across the entire product lifecycle! The company is very committed to sustainability overall. Nora also happily assisted in guiding the restoration process by suggestion which materials to use. 

    We were interested in highlighting this project for the Brock community because of the importance of reusing products, instead of replacing them. Reusing the floor not only saved money, but it reduced the amount of waste produced by the UniversityOften times construction can generate mass amounts of waste from the demolition prior to the building, but by restoring the original floor, this significantly reduced our environmental impact.  

    Thank you to Bryan Cober’s team (Manager, Structural Services) and the members of the custodial team in Facilities Management who made this sustainable choice and who contributed to making the Zone Fitness Centre an amazing place for all members of the Brock Community to enjoy. We think sustainable choices are the way of the future! 

  • Tips for Sustainable Holiday Season

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    It’s that time of year again – time to shop until you drop for the people that you love! Unfortunately, the holidays generate a lot of waste from unused gifts, to wrapping paper that you cannot recycle, to having lights on 24/7. So, how can you celebrate the holiday season sustainably? Well, here are some tips on how to be more sustainable during this holiday season:  

    Gifts 
    • Choose a gift that will last for years to come instead of single use items or clothes that can go in and out of fashion quickly.  
    • Shop local and support small businesses –  most small businesses have smaller carbon footprints and therefore are more sustainable.  
    • Handmake/regift instead of buying new items – thoughtful gifts often time have the most impact. 
    • Use sustainable wrapping paper like brown papermaterial, or even newspaper! It’s a great way to save money and the planet at the same time. You can add red yarn to tie it up for a more holiday feel.
    Décor 
    • Handcraft the decorations you can – knitting stockings or making your own wreath can be a fun way to spend time together while caring for the planet and saving money.  
    • Reuse tree decorations year after year instead of buying new ones. 
    • Use a real holiday tree (and compost it after use) to avoid plastic trees that take years to break down or decorate a house plant! 
    Holiday Cards 
    • E-cards are a sustainable way to spread holiday. 
    • Handcrafted cards are a great alternative to buying cards that are not recyclable. It also adds a touch of personality to show your loved ones how much they really mean to you.  
    Food  
    • Try using sustainably sourced food when deciding what to cook for holiday dinners. 
    • Cut down on the meat options, to reduce your carbon footprint, instead of having a turkey, ham, and meatloaf. 
    • Cut food waste – avoid overcooking if you can. Additionally, you can use leftovers to create new meals instead of tossing them in the compost.  
    Lights 
    • Switch to LED lights this holiday to cut down on energy usage for the lights. 
    • Additionally, use a holiday light timer to avoid having to remember to turn the lights off and on constantly. 

    Good luck on your exams and have a safe holiday, Badgers! If you are going home for the holidays, don’t forget to self-isolate for 2 weeks prior to avoid the spreading of COVID. While this holiday season may be different than the ones prior, try and enjoy this time with your loved ones. See you all (virtually) January 11th for the start of winter term! Happy Holidays!  

    References 

    Cornish, N. (2019, December 8). 17 tips for a more sustainable Christmas this year. House Beautiful. https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/lifestyle/shopping/g25616166/sustainable-christmas/?slide=17 

    Cowan, S. (n.d.). How to Have a ‘Green’ ChristmasEartheasy Guides & Articles. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/how-to-have-a-green-christmas/ 

  • Bob Davis and Gym 2 LED Lighting & Control System Upgrade  

    Blog Contributor: Elenore Breslow

    Brock University continues tdemonstrate its commitment to increase energy efficiency and sustainability on campus through energy savings projects. A recent project completed in April 2020 was the LED lighting and control system upgrade in Bob Davis and Gym 2. The Bob Davis Gymnasium is located on the lower level of the Walker Complex and is home to Badger basketball and volleyball teams and is where convocation and exams are held. Gym 2 is a multi-purpose gymnasium that is also located in the Walker Complex and is the main facility for the Universities PEKN Children’s Movement Program and where a number of intramurals are held. 

    This energy efficiency project aligns with Brock’s Energy Conservation & Demand Management Plan goal to continue the replacement of T12, T8 and CFL lights and fixtures with LED tubes and fixtures. Both facilities were illuminated with 4 lamp and 2 lamp T8 fluorescent lighting fixtures with a total fixture count of 356 and a total lamp count of 1,424. The aging T8 fixtures were replaced with new LED high bay luminaires. A total of 140 new LED fixtures were installed in the two gyms. In addition to the lighting upgrades the two gyms also received a new Lutron control system that installed dimming capabilities as well as occupancy sensors to curtail energy usage when the gyms are not in use. The lighting portion of the project resulted in electrical savings of 157,228 kWh and the controls portion contributes an additional savings of 62,772 kWh for a total electrical savings of 220,000 kWh per year. This represents savings of $42,900 annually. These savings are enough to power 7.8 homes for 1 year and is equivalent to 40.88 t CO2e reduction or taking about 16 cars off the road! 

     

    Project Details: 

    Project Cost: $96,500.00 

    Incentives/Grants: $7,000 for fixtures, $6,272 for controls (total $13,272) 

    Simple Payback: 1.7 years 

    Energy Savings: 220,000 kWh/year ($42,900) 

    CO2 Reduction: 40.88 eton 

    Project Completion: April 2020. 

  • How to Reduce Waste During Online School

    Blog Contributor: Mikellena Nettos

    Waste reduction is difficult and becomes increasingly more difficult when paired with a global pandemic. Being home all day without routine can bring out old and unsustainable habits. Therefore, here are five tips on how to reduce waste during online school or even working from home. Keep in mind these are only suggestions, and it’s okay if you are unable to follow them. Don’t be too hard on yourself, everyone is only doing what they can in hard times like these.  

    Invest in reusables  

    If you don’t already have one, invest in a coffee maker instead of ordering delivery Starbucks delivery every day. This will not only save you money long term, you can help reduce the amount of non-reusable coffee cups that go into the landfill because they can be difficult to recycle. 

     Did you know that it takes 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water to make one ton of paper towels?. Instead of buying paper towels, buy reusable/washable cloths. Since you are home more often, you might use more paper towels than you used to. However, since you have the extra time why not invest in cloths that you can wash instead?! If you want to go the extra mile, just you can make cloths out of old tattered clothing, or if you don’t want to do the extra laundry, try to only buy paper towel made from 100% recycled paper!   

    Try and reduce food waste  

    Bulking buying can save money, but it can also waste money if the food isn’t eaten before it expires. A way to combat this is to buy more non-perishables or freezer items; examples are canned foods, dried meats, or grains. Additionally, you can put the food that is close to expiry at the front of your fridge to remind yourself to eat it first! Another food saving tip is learning how to properly store fresh produce. Also, don’t forget to compost when you are done with food scraps! 

    Unplug 

    Leaving your phone or laptop chargers plugged in all the time can end up using a lot of energy over time. Additionally, it can be a safety hazard in the case of power surges. A quick solution to this is a power-bar with an on/off switch if you don’t want to go through the trouble of unplugging all the time.  

    Additionally, not only does unplugging save energy, it can also increase mental health. Instead of watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through social media between classes, go on a walk or bike ride! Research shows that exercise (especially exercise within/around nature) increases perceived mental well-being, so don’t skip the walk!  

    Go for walks instead of drives 

    As previously mentioned, walks outside can significantly increase mental well-being. So, when you need a change of scenery from being stuck in your house, opt for a walk instead of aimlessly driving around. It’s better for your body and the planet because walks thankfully don’t require the combustion of greenhouse gases.  

    Make food with loved ones instead of ordering take-out 

    Making food can be particularly hard as a student, especially if you share the kitchen with multiple people. Instead of all creating individual meals, or all ordering takeout, try and cook meals together. This can increase well-being because you are spending quality time with roommates or family and creating a dish for you all to share. Eating together can also reduce the sense of isolation that some can feel due to this new virtual world. If you do order takeout, remember to opt out of receiving plastic cutlery, and use utensils from home instead!  

    Don’t forget little changes go a long way! We hope everyone if adjusting well and staying safe during this difficult time.  

    References 

    Canadian Produce Marketing Association. (2020, June 30). How to Store Fruits and Veggies. Half Your Plate. https://www.halfyourplate.ca/fruits-and-veggies/store-fruits-veggies/ 

    Kender, D. U. T. (2020, January 29). Myth vs. fact: Unplugging devices when you leave the house. USA TODAY. https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2019/11/27/unplugging-devices-when-not-use/4192100002/ 

    Hasselberger, L. (2015, January 6). 13 Facts about Home Paper Products that May Inspire You to Hug a Tree. DrGreene.Com. https://www.drgreene.com/perspectives/13-facts-about-home-paper-products-that-may-inspire-you-to-hug-a-tree 

    Maas, J. (2006). Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation? Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health60(7), 587–592. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.2005.043125 

    Reducing Waste: What You Can Do. (2020, September 4). US EPA. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-waste-what-you-can-do 

  • 5 Netflix Documentaries for the Eco-Conscious

    Blog Contributor: Shannon Ruzgys

    Documentaries are a great way to educate and inspire yourself and there is no shortage of wonderful documentaries about the environmentThese 5 Netflix documentaries are a must watch for anyone who has hope for a better future.  

    Kiss the Ground  

     

    Modern day industrial agriculture is degrading our environment through tillage, heavy pesticide use, and mono-cropping (just to name a few). These practices lead to soil erosion, which not only immediately threatens global food security, but is also irreversible. This documentary proposes a solution, regenerative farming, an ethical practice that prioritizes animal health, restoring degrading lands, and drawing down carbon. Told from the perspective of scientists, farmers, activists, and politiciansthis documentary provides hope for a better farming system that can heal the soil, balance our climate, and feed people all at the same time. 

    Our Planet  

     

    This documentary contains all the things we’ve grown to love from nature docs such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet, while also choosing to focus more on how humans are altering the natural world around us and the impact that we’re having on biodiversity worldwide. There are 8 episodes that each focus on a different ecosystem, while highlighting how climate change uniquely impacts each of these environments. In David Attenborough’s words “[This] series will explore the Earth’s most important habitats and celebrate the life they still support. We will reveal what must be preserved if we are to ensure a future where humans and nature can thrive” 

    Rotten

     

    While this is not explicitly an environmental documentary, this Netflix show, which currently has two seasons, focuses on the problems in our food supply chain. Each episode focuses on a different food product, exposing the corruption, waste, and social impacts of the foods we choose to eat. The issues with our global food supply chain run deep but as consumers we have the power to choose what we want to support by what we put on our plates three times a day. This series is a great tool for educating yourself on how to be a more ethical grocery shopper (even if that means leaving avocados off your morning toast).  

    The Biggest Little Farm

    This documentary follows a couple and their dog on their journey to restore 200 acres of dry, nutrient depleted farmland into a healthy farmable ecosystem using nature-based regenerative solutions. Viewers follow them on their journey as they turn 200 acres of desert into a utopia that utilizes the power of a healthy ecosystem to farm with nature. Throughout almost a decade of work they plant 10,000 orchard trees, over 200 crops, and bring in animals of every kind. It is an inspirational documentary that demonstrates how farming can be done in a way that benefits animals, people, and the environment.  

    David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

     

     This documentary is David Attenborough’s witness statement where he states his concern for the state of our planet and his hopes for a better future. Throughout the documentary he narrates key moments in his life all the while showing human population growth, carbon in the atmosphere, and the percentage of intact wilderness within the scale of his own lifetime. He emphasizes that nature currently faces two great challenges: climate change and massive loss of biodiversity. This documentary is not only a testament of Attenborough’s life’s work but also carries a dire warning for the future and a hopeful way forward through the restoration of the natural world.  

     

  • Brock Cares Event with WWF-Canada Showcases the Impact of Student Action

    Blog Contributor: Shannon Ruzgys

    On October 27th Brock Cares hosted an event called Conserving our Environment and Increasing Biodiversity Through Student Action” where viewers were joined by Kathy Nguyen, Specialist of Engagement at WWFCanada and Connor Thompson,  graduate of Brock’s Master of Sustainability program.  

    The presentation started with an overview of the current state of the environment and wildlife in Canada, which is unsurprisingly grim. Canada is currently warming at a rate 2x faster than the rest of the world, and that rate rises to 3x faster in Canada’s arctic. However, there were hopeful notes about Canada’s vast amount of untouched wildness and our duty to ensure it stays that way.  

    From there, Kathy and Connor launched into Brock’s exciting new partnership with WWF-Canada called the “Living Planet @ Campus Program”, where through volunteering and academics, students can earn the Living Planet Leader certification. This is a nationally recognized self-guided certification that includes 4 requirements to receive the certification: personal application of sustainability, volunteerism, application of sustainability in academics, and leadership and teamwork. 

    Brock graduate Connor Thompson was one of the first students to receive the Living Planet Leader certification in Canada. He explained that when he was entering the job force, he was looking for something that would differentiate himself from other candidates and that being a Living Planet Leader was extremely useful in doing so. He also talked about how completing the certification was an enriching experience that provided him with useful skills and experiences.  

    This certification is meant to enrich your overall academic experience and you have up to three months after graduation to complete it. If you want to learn more about WWF-Canada and how to get involved in the Living Planet @ Campus Program through the Living Planet Leader certification, click here.