Eco-Friendly Day was inspired by a project developed by students from Agricultural Sciences (AGSC) 450 from the faculty of land and food systems. This class aims to teach students through case-based learning how to integrate knowledge learned throughout their degree in dealing with real world issues related to UBC’s food system. Each AGSC group ultimately provides recommendations to the department studied by them. These departments include: UBC Sustainability Office, UBC Food Services, AMS Food and Beverage department, UBC Waste Management, and UBC Farm.
This class creates the opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience with various food-related departments across campus. In addition, students are able to aid staff and faculty in devising sustainable solutions/innovations for their departments/outlets that many times their busy routines would have not allowed them to do.
The Impacts Committee, an AMS sustainability group comprised of students, staff, faculty, and clubs, worked on the recommendations of these students throughout the summer of 2008 to make their projects a reality by that fall.
Eco-Friendly Day was created to raise consumer awareness of food choices and sustainability initiatives as part of a larger effort to help the AMS lighten its ecological footprint as stipulated in the AMS Lighter Footprint Strategy. Recently, a new line of menu items were launched at AMS Food and Beverage department outlets that are local, organic, or/and vegan (LOV). These products were created to help make our food system more sustainable, by providing support to local growers, sustainable production methods, and accessibility to foods that have a lighter ecological impact – ultimately helping provide opportunities for customers to make more informed purchasing choices. This new LOV product line is promoted on Eco-Friendly Day at every AMS Food and Beverage department outlet in the SUB.
There are a variety of other sustainability initiatives the AMS is introducing from green discounts, provision of free range eggs, and fair trade items, to recycling and composting. Ultimately, this initiative seeks to raise awareness, participation, and support among students, faculty, and staff of AMS Sustainability efforts and other campus sustainability initiatives to help our campus and the broader community become true leaders in sustainability.