Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) commitment to sustainability is admired the world over. The university is most well known for UniverCity, a model sustainable community designed to house 10,000 people atop beautiful Burnaby Mountain.
SFU added another feather to its sustainability cap on Wednesday by hosting a rip-roaringly successful sustainability festival in Convocation Hall, its central gathering place on campus.
Over 60 vendors set up booths, with topics ranging from alternative transportation to climate change education to sustainable fashion and purchasing. An extensive food and beverage garden served up local treats, and hot food like salmon lunches helped keep participants and attendees warm on what was otherwise a chilly autumn day.
The festival was choreographed with live entertainment throughout. Locally based bands Simian Special, Yesterday’s Forgotten and Mojave rocked the hall, and young dancers from Dancin Stars Burnaby provided nifty hip-hop, bhangra and acrobatic moves.
An extensive eco-fashion show presented remarkably diverse styles, featuring clothing by 13 professional and three SFU student designers.
The event’s climax came in the afternoon when SFU professor Boyd Cohen announced the winner of the “Greenest Person on the Planet” competition which he founded and hosted on his green social networking website 3RDWHALE.COM and YouTube.
The contest asked entrants to answer a multiple-choice survey and submit an essay. Six hundred entries spanning 25 countries were received. The two finalists were from Vancouver (Emily) and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Matthius). Matthius won the grand prize: a pod of beluga whales adopted on his behalf from The Defenders of Wild Life.
A volunteer committee comprised of SFU students and alumni of diverse backgrounds and interests organized the second annual Sustainability Festival as part of a mission to “assist Simon Fraser University in its transition into becoming a model sustainable institution,” according to the festival website. Their intention was to “build community,” “celebrate possibilities” and “inspire action.”