Greens at Queen’s

Ontario Green Party leader shares his impressions of sustainability initiatives at Queen’s during a two-day visit to Kingston

Queen’s Sustainability Coordinator Aaron Ball says 40 new water filling stations have been installed on campus.
Queen’s Sustainability Coordinator Aaron Ball says 40 new water filling stations have been installed on campus.
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In a visit to Kingston this weekend, Ontario’s Green Party leader Mike Schreiner called Queen’s water bottle ban a step in the right direction.

The ban was announced in Jan. 2011 and was implemented on Sept. 1 of this year. It applies to all outlets on campus, including spots like Tim Hortons and the Queen’s Centre’s Grocery Checkout Fresh Market, Aaron Ball, sustainability manager, said. “The reaction thus far has been very positive,” Ball told the Journal via email, adding that students offered supportive comments at the Frosh Week sidewalk sale.

He said there are 40 new water filling stations on campus in addition to the 20 already existing ones. Others have been updated, he added.

The new fountains are located across campus in buildings like Mackintosh-Corry, Stauffer Library and the ARC. The University also has 130 water fountains.

“One of the neat features of the water stations is that we can actually track how many plastic water bottles worth of water is now being poured from a water station, which will allow us to monitor the usage in a quantitative way.”

Despite initiatives like the water bottle ban, Schreiner said he does have advice for improvement to Queen’s sustainability.

“I would like to see Queen’s make a commitment ensuring local food in all the residences and cafeterias and food facilities on campus,” he said.

Schreiner was in Kingston from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening, and participated in a series of public events and meetings.

“I love touring around Ontario and I think the biggest value of that is to meet people, and listen and learn,” Schreiner said.

The two-day visit included a talk about sustainable healthcare, a meet and greet, a bike tour and a local food picnic.

Schreiner also talked about sustainable education at a Queen’s-hosted event, and attended the Kingston Fall Fair on Saturday evening.

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