Sustainability office funds six new projects

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Sustainability Office is funding six new projects through the Sustainable Hawk Fund. The projects that applied to the fund are scored on requirements that meet the Sustainability Office factors, as well as contribute to reducing a negative environmental impact on Laurier’s various campuses.

There are two application periods throughout the academic year when students are welcome to apply for seed funding or one time funding from the Sustainable Hawk Fund.

In order to apply for the funding, students must follow a series of conditions. Their projects must focus on the environment, be socially or economically sustainable, be located on Laurier’s campuses and be applied towards one-time expenses or seed funding rather than operational costs.

“Sustainable Hawk Fund is a funding program through the sustainability office whose goal is to increase and promote sustainability projects across the Laurier campuses … to that end we ba-sically open up the program to students, faculty and staff to apply to and contribute to ideas [sic] that would contribute to sustainability on campus,” Tyler Plante, outreach and program coordinator for the Sustainability Office said.

Plante also explained that the funding is meant to be a one-time use expense or seed funding that may also require additional funding from outside sources.

“We have budgeted $20,000 dollars per year and have two application periods per year so we run the academic year … one is Nov. 30, which has just passed and another is due on Mar. 31.”

Plante explained that the EcoHawks at Laurier’s Waterloo campus have greatly contributed ideas that meet the pillars of the Sustainability Office’s mission for the projects.

“A great program we funded is the Thread and Thimble, which is a self-repair clothing project which will be hosting an event where an instructor from Conestoga College comes in and teaches students, faculty, staff and whoever wants to attend and repair their clothing and other garments,” Plante said.

“It’s very cost effective. They are basically just paying the instructors for their time so it was easy to fund that one. It also hit on all the three pillars: reducing waste, social and economic.”

The interest of this program is growing and will hopefully receive more money to fund projects. The goal of the fund is to promote an environmental and sustainable Laurier. Plante explained that other schools have inspired Laurier to create this program. He hopes one day Laurier will reach the same success as other schools.

“The goal for this program is that it grows much larger than $20,000 dollars in funding and there’s many ways that can happen … for example, there is a program at McGill that has $800,000 dollars a year, so imagine what we could do with that kind of support,” Plante said.

The deadline to apply for the Sustainable Hawk Fund is Mar. 31. Plante encourages students who have thoughts of applying to reach out.

“There’s lots of opportunities to get involved. I really want to see students try and get something off the ground. It also looks fantastic on a resume,” Plante said.

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