Every month we'll feature a creative, smart and sustainable Gustavson student or graduate. Please visit often and find out how they're changing the world.
Marina's rosy specs
For Marina Hutton (BCom 2014) the glass is half full, but she doesn’t sit back and sip. On the contrary, she’s busy recharging the world’s goblets.Read the full story
Marina Hutton's rosy specs
Marina Hutton's glass is always half full - so she's busy refilling goblets for the rest of the world.Read the full story
TED Dreams, TED Reality
Kyle Kozma has a dream to give a TED lecture one day. In the meantime, he's creating the dream for others.Read the full story
The comfort zone
Even when she's sitting still, Linsi Comfort radiates enthusiasm. And when the talk turns to sustainability, she lights up.
"We want to provide hands-on opportunities for students who are interested [in sustainability]," says the 2011-12 co-director of Gustavson's student-run Sustainability Club.Read the full story
Kopi Luwak, look out!
Like many students, David Lin thinks java deserves its own food group. So in the fall of 2010, when the third-year BCom students were given the choices for their team projects, David’s bunch opted for the coffee industry. Once the project was over, the idea kept percolating in David’s mind.Read the full story
An appetite for learning, a hunger to help
When third-year BCom student Connor Bildfell told people his idea for the campus-wide Pitch It competition, they looked at him like he'd lost his mind.
"Seriously?" they asked. "In 2012? You're going to create a magazine?"Read the full story
The CSS's Runway of Fame fashion show raised $3800 for the United Way of Victoria. Organized by a fourth-year BCom student, the day-long interactive Blended Bottom Line forum on social entrepreneurship included a panel of four social entrepreneurs and workshops to raise awareness of and participation in social entrepreneurship.
Active, proactive and creative, Gustavson’s student-driven Sustainability Club manages a range of successful projects. For example:
- In 2012, students topped their Carrotmob record, with a reverse boycott that raised $9,000 to help green a downtown restaurant.
- In 2011 they created the largest Carrotmob event in North America – the second largest in the world! Students promoted a local pub and the manager committed a proportion of the day’s profits toward helping the business, in its historic building, be more sustainable. Gustavson’s Carrotmob raised $8068.63 from patrons, which the pub matched for a total of just over $16,000 going to upgrades.
- In 2010, student volunteers created and maintained a composting program in their classroom building, keeping compostable material like food waste and paper towels out of landfill. It was so successful that university administration is considering including the system in its regular operations.
- The Sustainability Club ensured environmental sustainability at Commerce Students’ Society events by providing compost bins for leftover food and compostable utensils and plates, and recycling bins for drink boxes.
- Caroline Tkatschow, Marylene Croteau, Michael Doyle and Linsi Comfort participated in the World Partnership Walk in 2011, helping to raise money as well as providing a no-waste solution for the event. In partnership with ReFUSE, the team had eight stations with compost, plastics, and garbage bins throughout the Beacon Hill Park location. Because food scraps were composted and plastics and drink boxes recycled, there was very little garbage.
In 2012, Connor Bildfell scored big at both Plan it and Pitch It. The third-year BCom student pitched Soul/Food, a magazine that would provide info and resources to people with eating disorders, and won $300. Then his business plan brought home the social value award of $1500!
In 2011, business students David Lin and Mike Doyle took home $1500 and the award for Best Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan category of Gustavson's campus-wide entrepreneurship Plan It contest. The men had a quarter of an hour to explain to judges their Coffee Bean Bug business plan to reduce water and waste in the processing of coffee beans.
The Plan It award followed Lin's solo Pitch It win, another campus-wide competition in which he had only two minutes to wow the judges with the concept.
In 2011, students launched a new blog to post sustainability-related thoughts, experiences and photos while studying at Gustavson's partner universities around the world.
Together, faculty member Heather Ranson and then-third-year BCom student Linsi Comfort created a checklist for planning and implementing sustainable events. The checklist is available for anyone – and everyone! – to use.
A new category for the exchange photo contest opened up in 2010 and eight students entered sustainability/social responsibility images from their 2010/11 exchange trips.