Humber looks for ideas to draft its new environmental sustainability plan

Mar 19, 2024 | Campus News

Humber’s Office of Sustainability picked the first day of spring to gather ideas to improve its next sustainability plan.

It hosted a panel at the Barret Centre Tuesday morning that challenged participants to develop environmental projects that included the perspectives of disadvantaged people who don’t have a say in sustainability.

Lindsay Walker, associate director of the Office of Sustainability, said that colonialism has often silenced the voices of Indigenous people, which has not allowed their perspective to be known.

person standing in front of microphone and podium

Lindsay Walker, Associate Director, Sustainability speaking on the issue of sustainability Photo credit: David Madureira

Jason Seright, Humber’s VP of Inclusion and Belonging, says Indigenous people believe in their inherent connection to the land and to foster care for their environment.

A man standing in front of a microphone and podium

Jason Seright Humber's Vice President of Inclusion and Belonging Photo credit: David Madureira

“Through Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing, we’re taught to live in harmony with our land, understand its relevance and respect its inherent value,” he said. ” It also teaches us to live in balance with nature, to give back what we take and to honour the intimate interconnectedness of all living things.”

Panelist Jordyn Burnouf, advisor to the Vice-President of the Métis Nation, agreed.

“Even within our culture rocks are living beings, the water is a living. And so when we talk about sustainability, it’s that inherent and inextricable connection of all things to one another,” Burnouf said.

The other panelists had perspectives from their communities to add as well.

Moyo Rainos Mutamba, director of Educational Equity and Internationalization at Sheridan College, explained what sustainability means to people in Zimbabwe.

“Sustainability is about nurturing the mindsets, the skill sets and structures that prioritize self-care and prioritize other species, and that also prioritizes preserving our planet,” he said.

Mutamba pointed out connections between both his and Jordyn’s cultures, and said they both emphasized community by looking for similarities with people to create a more sustainable future.

After the panels, people were given time to discuss sustainability issues, and to brainstorm potential ways to promote those ideas at Humber.

Vera Butrimova from Humber’s People and Culture Department suggested an app to help students carpool or find someone else taking transit to prompt more sustainable transit among students.

“We were thinking of having some sort of app or a tool where people can point where they’re coming from onto campus so that maybe there can be like a carpool share situation,” she said, “where people can come together on campus, or if you’re taking the transit, maybe you want a transit buddy, so just again, promoting community but also coming to campus and from campus in a more sustainable way,” Butrimova said.

Woman sitting at a table

Vera Butrimova sitting at her table discussing with her group Photo credit: David Madureira

The panel was part of events to mark Earth Month. The College has additional events taking place on the North Campus March 27. and at Lakeshore campus March 28.