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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Faces of sustainability: Shannon Oletic

Posted by Guest Author on July 06, 2015

Who are you and how does sustainability fit with what you do on campus?

I am the Asset and Sustainability Planner. I am responsible for the development and co-ordination of the university's new sustainability program and promoting sustainability initiatives around campus.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means incorporating people, planet and profit in to everyday living and all types of decisions. It means making decisions based on the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations.

What’s your favourite environmental hobby or activity away from work?  

Hiking, swimming, running, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

What sustainable steps do you take daily at home?  

  • Leave the air conditioning off as much as possible and keep the windows always open.
  • Turn the lights off as soon as I leave a room.
  • Clean with ‘green’ or natural cleaning products.
  • Avoid soaps and other products containing microbeads.
  • Purchase organic or local (or both!) products, as opposed to conventional ones, as often as I can.
  • Limit my use of plastic wherever possible and opt for products stored in glass instead.
  • Limit how often I eat red meat.
  • Follow the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle!

What sustainable steps do you take daily on campus?

  • Bring reusable mugs and tupperware for lunches.
  • Work with the office light off when sunlight is sufficient.
  • Avoid printing, or print double-sided if necessary.
  • Participate in as many sustainability-related initiatives as possible.
  • Spread the word on sustainability!

Who are your eco-heroes? 

Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith, the witty Canadian co-authors of Slow Death by Rubber Duck and ToxinToxout. These books explaining the importance of our everyday consumer choices and the effects they have on toxin levels in our bodies and the environment. They are responsible for the ban of BPA in baby bottles in Ontario.

How would you challenge UOIT students and staff to become less wasteful? 

  • Make your own meals
  • Use organic and local products as often as possible (attending the upcoming Campus Market will give you a great opportunity to purchase these items!).
  • Eliminate one-time-use plastic water bottles; always carry a reusable bottle.
  • Power off all electronics when you leave the house.

What would you recommend to someone on campus who is interested in sustainability? 

  • Students: Join the Blue Team, help with current projects and start new ones.
  • Staff: Join the Sustainability Committee and promote campuswide sustainability initiatives.

Filed under: Faces of sustainability