EnviroWestern is a student-run organization created for the purpose of addressing the environmental issues affecting our campus. As of 2006, we are also an official USC service, and as such an institutionalized part of Western. Our leadership consists of several project team leaders, as well as an appointed EnviroWestern coordinator. The general membership can consist of anyone who is currently enrolled at Western, as well as UWO staff.
GROW (group of programs)
GROW: Growing Roots Over Western is a community garden located just south of the TD Waterhouse stadium. GROW team members participate by growing their own lot of food, and then harvesting and sharing at the end. The garden began growing in 2005.
GROW Big: A program to restore some of the ecological function to parts of the Thames River corridor in London. The tree and shrub species used are all native to the London region and represent the diversity of the species-rich Carolinian Forest that covered the area before European settlement. We live in an area that has an incredibly high diversity of plants and animals (the highest in Canada), but it also has lots of people. This area has suffered many losses in woodlands due to settlement, and although we can't put it all back to forest, we can restore small parts! Since 2004, GROW Big has prepared the forest floor, planted over 200 trees and shrubs along with thousands of seeds (many of which are developing as trees.)
GROW Wildflower: Maintain and improve the GROW Wild garden, collection/distribution of seeds, and involvement in other city plantings. The groups plans to provide native wildflower information on a web site to promote the planting of local fauna. In May 2006, the project got underway with the planting of 700 plants from 25 different species. In 2007, the area was expanded for more growth.
The week sees a wide assortment of activities (primarily in and around the UCC) ranging from the simple advertisement of our club's activities, to elaborate and eye catching public displays encouraging environmental consciousness, and public presentations. It is easily EnviroWestern's most important time of year. It is widely publicized, and has the power to reach thousands of students on campus.
The overall goal is to reach as many students as possible and to education them on EnviroWestern's initiatives. It provides a forum to engage and demonstrate greener living on and off campus.
Travel Mug Team
Using travel mugs is a wonderful example of what EnviroWestern is all about; getting people on campus to do something easy, convenient, and economical, that's also great for the environment.
The Mug Team addresses the issue of cup waste by promoting the use of travel mugs, and selling our very own EnviroWestern mugs. Currently, coffee cups are not recycled on campus, because of a petroleum bases additive.
Campus cleanups are scheduled anywhere between two and four times per year, (depending on a variety of factors). EnviroWestern get together as many people as possible and clear some of the garbage that tends to accumulate in some areas on campus. The cleanup has been running for several years and not only helps to reduce garbage on campus, but brings awareness to the consequences of littering.
The Waste Audit team's duty is to annually audit the content of Western's garbage; figure out what students have been throwing out. Barring any remarkable technological development, this can only done one way: sorting through the garbage by hand. The Waste Audit team's job is a messy one, and one that is generally under appreciated. However, it is an extremely important task, which ultimately benefits every one of EnviroWestern's project teams... and by law someone has to do it.
Under regulation 102 of the 1994 Environmental Protections Act, all teaching institutions with 350 or more students must conduct an annual waste audit and produce an audit report.
The past three years have all been successful in that an accurate account of Western's waste habits are being documented. The information is useful on campus, providing the data that can guide priorities and initiatives in the near future.
Environment & Sustainability
(Masters of Environment & Sustainability) - The Master’s in Environment and Sustainability program creates graduates that can work on interdisciplinary teams and who can take leadership in solving the challenges posed by societal changes related to the environment and ecological demands. The program is designed to focus and develop the intellectual and practical skills for the application and advancement of environmental sciences and sustainability in scientific, business, industrial and policy sectors.
Environmental & Sustainability
(Collaborative Research Program) - The Collaborative Program in Environment and Sustainability is designed for students (MSc/MA/MEng or PhD) who wish to become specialists in specific aspects of environment and sustainability, and who also wish to gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental problems and solutions are encouraged.
(Baccalaureate of Science, Faculty of Science) - Environmental Science at Western is a discipline within the Faculty of Science. Four year BSc Programs (as of September 2004) include; Honours Specialization in Environmental Science, Major in Environmental Science, Specialization in Environmental Science, Minor in Environmental Science.
(Baccalaureate of Arts, Faculty of Social Science) - A four year BA program offered by the Department of Sociology is the Major in Population Studies . An Interdisciplinary Minor Program offered by the Department of Anthropology is the Minor in Environment and Culture.
(Baccalaureate of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering) - Engineers have a mandate to protect public health and safety and to enhance the quality of life. Students participating in the Environmental Option of the Civil Engineering program learn how to fulfill this mandate and, at the same time, minimize the effect of human activities on the environment. The B.E.Sc. in Civil Engineering (Environmental Option) is a four year program while the B.Sc. with a Major in Environmental Science is of three years duration.
The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, in collaboration with the Faculty of Science, offers a five-year concurrent degree, which leads to a B.E.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering and (three year) B.Sc. degree with a Major in Environmental Science. Students enrolled in the Biochemical and Environmental Option are able to take additional Environmental Science courses to obtain greater depth in this area.
The SunStang Solar Car Project is a non-profit, student-run mega project at the University of Western Ontario that participates in international solar races, most notably the World Solar Challenge and the North American Solar Challenge. The team consists of undergraduate and graduate students from faculties as varied as Engineering, Social Sciences, and the Ivey School of Business.
The SunStang Solar Car Project was conceived in 1991 as an honors research project and within two years saw its first competition in the 1993 World Solar Challenge (WSC). 1994 brought forth a new challenge: the Sunrayce, a 1700km race from Indianapolis, Indiana to Denver, Colorado. SunStang designed and built a completely new car to tackle this challenge. The 1996 Canadian Solar Discovery Challenge was not only a first for Canadian solar car racing, but also marked SunStang's first victory. Fueled by this success, Sunstang set out to create an outstanding car for the 1996 WSC. The team finished 2nd out of North American cars, proving once again that SunStang can compete with the world's best. In 1997 SunStang was awarded the Spirit Award for the Sunrayce competition. The next and most recent WSC for SunStang was 2005, where the SunStang team placed 4th in the Stock class.
During student orientation week, Hospitality Services and Facilities Management run a fun contest to encourage incoming students to use the blue box. Prizes are awarded to students at residence as they are given recyclables and must select the most appropriate blue box to put them in. The games brings awareness to the recycling program on campus. Because we separate our recyclable by material type it also helps students to identify what items go in to which receptacle.
Developed by MES student, Rafiq Dhanji, the Save the Blue Campaign is a water conservation initiative aimed at students in the residences at UWO.
An awareness campaign was launched to promote conservation methods via the use of posters. Posters were displayed in common areas around residences and received a positive response.
A preliminary survey determined that students in residence were using almost 50 litres more per day than the average Canadian in personal water consumption.
The campaign put the onus on the students and drew attention to overuse of water resources. A follow up survey, found notable improvements. For example, there was the increase in the reporting of leaks, which rose by 55% following the awareness campaign.
The Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR) has been recently created to conduct fundamental and applied research and development activities in the fields of renewable energy, valorization of wastes for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, environmental protection and sustainability. ICFAR includes researchers and both undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Science, the Ivey Business School and the Research Parks. In addition, ICFAR is the coordinating centre of a major national research network, the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Network (ABIN).
As a result of considerable funding from the Ontario Government, from the Federal Government, and from the private sector, ICFAR is building state-of-the-art facilities and laboratory infrastructure, including several pilot plants and demonstration units, and the members of ICFAR are carrying out a large number of R&D projects of industrial significance.