SAW Schedule: Oct. 25 to 29

The University of Alberta's Sustainability Awareness Week runs Monday, October 25 to Friday, October 29, 2021. All events take place online using Zoom (except for an Augustana tour event on Thursday). Mark your calendars and enjoy!

Need help? Please reach out if you have any issues with registering or signing into an event.

Maja Osmanagić,


Updated as of October 24, 2021.

Noon–1 p.m. 

Global Learning: Achieving Personal Growth in both Traditional and Virtual Formats to Address the UN's SDGs

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The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals highlight many of the greatest issues facing humanity today. Do you want to do something to address them but are unsure of where to start? Join U of A International for an introduction to the different opportunities we support that will allow you to learn more about the issues, come up with creative solutions to address them, and make a meaningful impact.


Trevor Buckle, Associate Director of Education Abroad. Trevor oversees all institution-wide study abroad programs and formerly managed the U of A’s School in Cortona, Italy. Trevor is an active volunteer with the Alumni Association and is the Advisor for the University’s chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Ciara Murrin, International Internships Coordinator for Education Abroad. Ciara implements outbound international internships, and is passionate about experiential learning, intercultural communication and internationalizing the traditional academic program. She is originally from Ireland, completed her BA in Edinburgh, Scotland and has lived in Canada since 2007.

Isabell Henel, Berlin Liaison Officer. Isabell grew up and studied in Berlin, Germany and later did an internship in Costa Rica. She supports students looking for internship placements in Germany and has coordinated the e3 Berlin summer experience. Isabell is a passionate cargo biker and is proud of her hometown’s public transport system.

Alyssa Tan is a Mount Royal University student registered in the Bachelor of Business Administration - Marketing program.  She participated in a virtual internship as part of the e3 Berlin program here at the University of Alberta.

Hosted by University of Alberta International

3–4 p.m.

How to Eat Sustainably on a Budget?

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Eating sustainably can be a challenge especially on a student's budget. We want to help educate others about the multitude of protein alternatives that exist. Focusing your diet on more plant-based alternatives is not only better for the environment but can be healthier for your body as well. Join us to get some delicious, nutritious and budget-friendly recipes that will benefit you.

Featuring AREC 173 students Morgan Oestreicher, Carolina Neri Mercado, Kailyn Unka and Courtney Wolokoff.

Hosted by Community Service-Learning students, with support from the Sustainability Council

7–8 p.m. 

Solar Greenhouse Virtual Symposium

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A brand new building in the Campus Community Garden, the U of A Solar Greenhouse is centered around solar and aquaponics technology, research, and local gardening. Join us for our Solar Greenhouse Virtual Symposium as we answer some fascinating questions and explore how we can implement and use greenhouses in Edmonton’s community gardens.

Featuring Larry Zhong and Erin Clay from the student group Renewable Energy Design and Kim Muir from Exceed Solar.

Hosted by Renewable Energy Design, University of Alberta

Noon–1 p.m. 

Campus as a Living Lab: Experiential Learning through Research and Innovation

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Hear directly from some of the current Campus as a Living Lab project holders (Urban Wind; Vehicle Emissions; Solar Greenhouse) and what makes them excited to pursue research and innovation on campus. They will also share some of the challenges involved and highlight the environmental impact and outcomes their projects have.


  • Behn Jang - Program Coordinator, Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
  • Navita Kalra - URI Funding Advisor, Undergraduate Research Initiative
  • Larry Zhong - President, Renewable Energy Design
  • Carlos Lange - Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jim Laverty - Manager, Transportation Services
  • Mahdi Shahbakhti - Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Brian Fleck - Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Hosted by Energy Management and Sustainable Operations 

1–2:30 p.m.

Bike Maintenance 101

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Join on Zoom (Passcode: 867671)

The UASU Bike Library is happy to host an interactive bike maintenance session. You can tune in to the basics of checking your bike’s condition and get some tips and tricks on brakes and tires; there will also be time for addressing questions you may have.

Hosted by the Students’ Union Bike Library and Workshop

6–8 p.m. 

The Greenwashing of Animal Agriculture

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There is a well established body of evidence showing that diets based heavily on animal products are not sustainable, and that a transition to a much more plant-based food system is imperative in order to address climate change, land and water use, pollution, and zoonotic infectious diseases. 

But, taking its cues from tobacco and Big Oil, the animal agriculture industry has responded by creating and funding its own research. This industry-funded research has had a major impact on confusing the public about the extent to which animal agriculture poses an environmental risk that needs to be addressed by a plant-based transition.

In this panel we will review some of the ways in which the animal agriculture industry has been disseminating research and how this research has misled the public about the needed policy responses to our unsustainable animal-based food system. 

Featuring presentations and an interactive discussion with:

Dr. Tushar Mehta completed medical school and residency at the University of Toronto and now practices Emergency Medicine. He co-founded Plant Based Data (, an online database which collects and organizes the most important academic and institutional literature regarding the impact a plant diet has on health, environment and food security, including the role of animal agriculture in creating pandemics.

Vasile Stanescu, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Mercer University. Stanescu is a co-founder of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies, co-edits a journal and book series in critical animal studies, and has published over 20 peer-reviewed publications on the subject.

Hosted by the University of Alberta Department of Philosophy and Nation Rising

12:00–12:30 p.m. 

Intersection entre la Santé et la Durabilité (delivered in French)

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Avez-vous jamais vu des détritus dans la rue et réfléchi au rapport qu'ils ont avec votre santé? Oui? Non? Moi non plus. 

L'objectif de la durabilité est de trouver des solutions à long terme. Au cœur de la durabilité se trouve l’Homme. Ainsi, nous devons nous rappeler que la santé nous concerne tous. 

Je m'appelle Lele et j'étudie les sciences infirmières (programme bilingue). Lors de cette séance, je vais aborder les questions de la santé et la durabilité. Je souhaite vous présenter des exemples du monde réel et vous encourager à réfléchir à la manière dont la santé et la durabilité sont omniprésentes dans nos vies.

Hosted by Campus Saint-Jean

Noon–1 p.m.

Sustainability Council Lecture Series and the Fashion Culture Lecture Series

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When a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed and killed 1,134 people, Aditi Mayer’s attention turned to the ill-treatment and meagre wages of fashion-industry workers. Now, Mayer, a photojournalist, blogger and activist, is using her camera and her voice to help change things. 

Whether she’s discussing sustainable fashion and social justice on her blog, grassroots organizing in downtown Los Angeles’s garment district, or partnering with National Geographic to document the social and environmental impacts of India’s fashion supply chain, Mayer is a force to be reckoned with.

In this lecture, Mayer will explore how power imbalances influence both the fashion industry and the sustainability movement, how the fashion industry continues colonial practices, and how we can reimagine this harmful system.

Hosted by the University of Alberta’s Sustainability Council and the Fashion Culture Lecture Series

5:30–6:30 p.m. 

Cooking with the Campus Food Bank

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The Campus Food Bank will show you how to make a mason jar salad, highlighting several items that are commonly given out to food bank clients—including several plant-based proteins. There will also be a brief presentation about food insecurity and its impact on students.

Hosted by the Campus Food Bank

12:00–12:45 p.m. 

Présentation & Table de Discussion: Objectifs des Nations Unies pour le Développement Durable (delivered in French)

All SDGs will be covered

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Une présentation sur les Objectifs des Nations Unies pour le Développement Durable, suivie par une discussion.

Hosted by Campus Saint-Jean

2–3:20 p.m.

Sustainability & Capital Fund - Green Fund: What would YOU do with $10,000?

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Your brain is brimming with sustainable ideas, but you aren't sure where to get started? And how are you even going to fund those innovative aspirations? The UASU Sustainability & Capital Fund (SCF) Green Fund offers $90,000 of funding EACH YEAR to undergraduate students' sustainability-oriented projects. Come learn about the SCF Green Fund, how to effectively apply for grant funding, and put your idea onto paper.

Hosted by Sustain SU, Students’ Union, University of Alberta

6–7 p.m.

Urban Beekeeping

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Join on Zoom (Passcode: 995707)

Interested in learning about honeybees? Want to become an urban beekeeper? Join MacEwan University beekeeper Amelia Altmiks to learn about their rooftop hive initiative.

Hosted by Grant MacEwan University 

Noon–1:30 p.m. 

Money Really Does Grow on Trees - Exploring Urban Tree Benefits in Camrose

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Note: This is an in-person, outdoor event at Augustana Campus. Meet at Berta Briggs Micro-Orchard located on the east side of the Theatre Centre (Old Church). The total walking distance is about 1.2 km, taking up to 90 minutes. We recommend you bring water, comfortable footwear, and clothing appropriate to the weather.

With over 80% of Canadians calling cities home, urban forests are key to supporting healthy and resilient communities. Urban greenspaces and primarily trees provide essential ecosystem services and also represent the most accessible avenue for exposure to the natural environment for most Canadians, providing additional aesthetic, recreational, and psychological benefits. This presentation will introduce you to Camrose's urban forest via a guided tree tour in the Augustana Neighbourhood. Greg King will provide details and examples of key ecosystem services and their economic values, drawing from a complete urban forest inventory conducted in the neighbourhood in 2019.

Greg King is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Alberta Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. His research investigates tree response to environmental drivers, specifically using tree-rings and dendrochronology. He has worked in northern and alpine ecosystems and is now applying research methods to urban forests.

Hosted by Dr. Greg King from Augustana Campus in Camrose

Noon–1 p.m. 

Certificate in Sustainability (CIS) - How can the Certificate in Sustainability fit your program?

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All too often we find that there is still a lingering perception that sustainability has only to do with environmental science. Take some time to learn about the Certificate in Sustainability and discuss how enrolling in the certificate can help broaden your program and future career options. 


  • Brandon Alakas - Associate Professor, Augustana - Fine Arts & Humanities; CIS Advisor at Augustana 

  • Jayla Lindberg - Student Academic Services & Experiential Learning Coordinator, Augustana - Academic Programs & Campus Registrar's Office

  • Jasmine Farahbakhsh - Academic Sustainability Coordinator, Sustainability Council

Hosted by Student Academic Services, Augustana Campus

3–4 p.m.

Planet and Plate: Exploring how our food chain impacts our world.

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Have you ever thought about the journey that your food takes to get to your plate and the impact that it has on people and the planet? Welcome to a deep dive session where we will be exploring how different food chains operate in our food system, stemming from producers all the way to consumers. Whether you shop directly from farmers at the grocery store or order take-out from a restaurant, we will be exploring the journey our food and related products take as they make their way into our bellies. We will also dissect the impact of different food choices and their impact on the environment by exploring the relationship between food items, packaging waste and how consumer behaviours and habits have shifted over the course of the pandemic. Attendees can scan a QR code to receive sustainable recommendations for personal food packaging alternatives. 

Featuring AREC 173 students Fatima Dhooma, Nicole Escobar Gonzalez, Ashley Tunney and Amy Johnson.

Hosted by Community Service-Learning students, with support from the Sustainability Council

4–6 p.m.

How to Transition to a More Plant-Based Food System

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We must transition to a more plant-based food system to reduce the environmental footprint of food production, mitigate infectious disease risks, improve dietary health, reduce chronic disease, and avoid harms to nonhuman animals. But how can we do this when economic and cultural forces perpetuate a food system that relies on animal products?

In this session our speakers will discuss the concrete steps public and private institutions can take to rapidly transition to a more plant-based food system. The session will highlight the work of several groups—DefaultVeg, Nation Rising, ProVeg International, and The Canadian University Campaign—that are endeavouring, in different ways, to make plant-based meals the norm, and meat consumption the exception. 


Joey Tuminello is an Assistant Professor of philosophy at McNeese State University and a program coordinator for the nonprofit organizations Farm Forward and Better Food Foundation, including the DefaultVeg campaign. His research interests include the philosophies of food, medicine, animals, and environment through the lenses of hermeneutics, pragmatism, and Jainism.

Kathleen Kevany is an Associate Professor and Director of Rural Research Collaborative with Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture, where she specializes in sustainable diets, well-being, and systems analysis. Kathleen is a certified counsellor and psychotherapist and is soon to complete a certification in Plant-based Nutrition with Cornell University. She has thirty years of experience working within business, government, and community development.

Eleanor Carrara is the Executive Director of the Organizing Committee for the Plant-Based Transition Coalition. Eleanor started the Canadian University Campaign in the fall of 2020 working with senior leadership, dining and sustainability teams, ambassadors, and organizations such as DefaultVeg to promote the plant-based transition. 

Darlene Levecque is co-founder and Executive Director of Nation Rising, a non-partisan political advocacy group lobbying the federal government to shift subsidies from animal agriculture and towards a plant-based food system. Darlene holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Languages from Laurentian University, and a deep expertise in human resources and project management.

Jessika Ava directs the ProVeg Grants Program, where she works to expand vegan advocacy efforts worldwide through strategic capacity-building efforts. Jessika’s niche lies in coordinating global projects, quantitative program evaluations, and guiding philanthropic and grantmaking support. Her notable experiences include NGO management, international grantmaking, biostatistics, and Asian street animal welfare.

Simone Lühr works at ProVeg Germany in both the research team and the food services team. Since 2017, she has been a project manager responsible for organizing cooking training courses for chefs, especially for university canteens. In these, she educates chefs on the "why" and "how" of plant-based nutrition and cooking. She holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biology with a focus on biodiversity and ecology.

Hosted by the University of Alberta Department of Philosophy and Nation Rising

Certificate in Sustainability Integrative Project Gallery

Link: Click Here

Check out what our Certificate in Sustainability students have been up to in this website feature! Through their integrative projects, our students have explored pressing topics in sustainability such as models for teaching social sustainability and impacts of permafrost thaw up north. Learn more about all of their projects on this page, or head over to our Instagram page to see the project posts and more!


Marleina Schreiner - Waldschule: Growing the Roots for Social Sustainability

Megan Uglem - Green Spaces for a Sustainable City

Kate Marouelli - Emerging Social and Environmental Impacts of Permafrost Thaw in Northern Canada

Hosted by the Sustainability Council