Coming back sustainably

As we start to think about our return to normal, we have an opportunity to reset and decide what normal means. At UNB Sustainability we wanted to share some tips for how you can ensure that your return to work starts a change towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Bring your own

We’re all aware of the impact that single use items have on the environment. Globally, 300 million tons of plastic is produced each year, half of which is referred to as single use and most isn't recycled.

While most of the responsibility for plastic pollution lies at the cooperate and governmental level, individuals still have the ability to make changes and that's why we're asking for people to bring your own.

A reusable water bottle, bringing food from home or even growing your own food. At whatever level you can, bringing your own will allow you to dramatically help reduce your personal waste, especially cutting down on your plastic footprint.

See our backpack must-haves to help you start your zero-waste journey.

Travel green

People cycling to university

Four out of five Canadians commute to work using a car, truck or van. This causes an increase in traffic and congestion, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, as well as negatively impacting our happiness and overall wellbeing. Therefore, we want everybody to think about their commute and see whether they can travel green.

Cycling to UNB can help you maintain a better standard of living, reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Plus, you can join the Academic Biking Challenge and represent UNB on the global stage.

If you are unable to cycle look at your other options. Both UNB campuses have well positioned bus stops and carpooling or saferide can even be an option to reduce the traffic on our roads.

To start you on your journey, check out REI's (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) Intro to Bike Maintenance Video, List of Key Tools for your bike, and their full list of Care and Repair guidance.

Spread the word and get involved

group of students outside using sustainable products

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world - Howard Zinn

The significance of an individual action might be limited, but the collective shifts they begin can add up quickly. When you make a change it is important to spread the word and get involved.

Humans are highly social creatures, your actions and words can encourage others. Share your stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can even write about your Sustainable Journey for the Green Review blog.

When you follow a certain lifestyle or cause, everyone around you unconsciously makes note of it and will automatically ask themselves if they should be doing it too. This can create a ripple effect and, if enough people change their actions, you can make change happen.

Take this to the next level and help push bigger and more substantive changes. The larger your sphere of influence, the bigger change you can create. Advocate for Sustainable causes on the local, national and international levels. Make sure that you're registered to vote. It is important that everyone starts to think of the influence they hold and look for pathways to create the policy changes our society needs.

Find ways to get involved and make your voice heard.