A new generation of Canadian college students is integrating sustainability into daily student life. In the process, they are influencing official policy. At McGill University, a student-run agriculture program produces local vegetables for student dining halls and a Meals on Wheels program. At the University of Toronto, students focus on behavioral changes to save energy, such as turning off the lights when they leave a room. They also support a recycling program that has resulted in one of the highest rates of recycling at any institution in Canada, 74 percent. And at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, just 50 percent of students and staff arrive on campus by car—former parking lots are being replaced by new buildings, which include shower facilities for cyclists. These student projects are supported by university policies. Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia is issuing an updated sustainability plan every five years. The University of Alberta has adopted a sustainability commitment and principles policy, and sustainability is a main point in the University of Victoria’s strategic plan. As this generation of Canadian professionals moves into the workplace, we can expect major changes in sustainability practices along with an eye to the bottom line in dollars saved by smart use of the country’s abundant natural resources. I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

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