Within each residence at UBCO, there is an ILC, or an integrated learning community. ILCs focus on specific concepts such as healthy living, or leadership. In Purcell, the sustainability ILC resides on the 5th floor, and works to encourage sustainable and eco-friendly practices; almost every UBCO student could follow their example.

According to Abigail Bos, the Sustainability ILC Leader, “The main purpose of each ILC is to put together a group of residents with a common interest in order to help the community by carrying out different activities related to their ILC.”

Bos’ ILC is geared “towards conservation, recycling and reducing consumption”. They, (Bos and her residents) are partnering this year with Sustainability leaders of campus, and are promoting sustainable initiatives such as “The Power of You.”

Bos outlined her ILC’s goals for the year, stating, “My team’s main goal is to raise environmental consciousness and provide platforms and events for people to educate themselves on different issues revolving around sustainability. We just ran Swap not Shop, which is an annual Sustainability ILC event that promotes recycling clothes, rather than purchasing new clothes. This promotes sustainable and ethical reasons to stop supporting the clothing industry. Since it was so successful we are running another Swap not Shop in March, in conjunction with the events we will be running for earth week.”

Ultimately, Bos and her ILC are setting an excellent example for the students of UBCO, one we should all be following. Throughout my days on campus this semester, the number of people who are still not recycling things that can be recycled, complaining about the new biodegradable cutlery at Sunshine Cafeteria, and even just the massive amounts of straws, plastic bags, single use cutlery, and other garbage is astounding.

UBCO has revamped its garbage disposal, even adding in compost for things like teabags and leftover foods, yet its students have not followed suit. Even Bos’s Swap not Shop event was meagerly attended (at least when I went), and Bos commented that it took a lot of advertising to get people interested.

As young students, we are the ones inhabiting the future planet, the one that can either be covered in garbage, potentially burning up, or losing its winters because of climate change, or the one that can be green, with an ecofriendly culture and a sense of longevity. It is up to us, and we should all follow the example of the students on fifth floor Purcell, who have recognized that they can do their part to make the world a greener, better place.

Maybe start by planting some veggies in the summer, or by buying some Tupperware instead of plastic bags. Or by even using the biodegradable cutlery in the cafeteria (you get used to them pretty quickly!). At the very least, start thinking about your impact. This land will not last forever, and it deserves better treatment.