Sustainability at Queen’s University in Canada

Sustainability Professor, Steven Moore, wants Queen’s University in Ontario Canada to be a moral and sustainable leader through their actions.

Moore said Queen’s should create more gardens on campus. He believes lawns are “ecological deserts” despite being important places to run and play. The University piloted an Employee Community Garden by planting two large communal plots.

Moore models sustainability through his own lifestyle, living in an earth-sheltered house in Tamworth, facing the Salmon River.

In Moore’s house, natural light seeps into each room from windows facing the south side of the house. The house naturally regulates its temperature, at around 12 to 16 degrees Celsius (54 – 60 degrees F.) underground year-round.  “It’s nice and snug. Cool in the summer, and warm in the winter,” Moore said.

The house has a “green roof” with wild-seeded grass, milkweed, and monarch butterflies and interior post and beam construction repurposed from a 1920 aircraft hanger.

In his Sustainability Strategies and Practices course at Queen’s, he teaches the most basic path to being more sustainable individually is to “reduce, repair, rent, refuse, reuse and repurpose” items. Reducing demand means having smaller houses, fewer vehicles, and less stuff. “We have a $600 billion a year marketing machine globally that tries to convince us to buy stuff because our economy is based on buying stuff. Well, that simply will not work,” Moore said.

According to Moore, even if we found energy supplies to last hundreds of years, they wouldn’t be able to keep up. “It is really a change in mindset. We won’t invent our way out of this. If we—humans—don’t change the way we view the world as something we can dispose of, then we will not survive.”

Moore started Repair Cafés before the pandemic, by gathering “handy people” who can show others how to repair things. The cafe idea started in Sweden and similar spots have sprung up all around the world. He believes starting a cafe would be of interest for students at Queen’s, especially because it’s fun and models the importance of repairing broken items.

According to Moore, demand and consumption are a large culprit in the climate crisis, and our society believes certain things to be essential. He said individual awareness is the first step, but action happens in groups. “The idea is not to convince them first and then do something—the idea is to do something and then people will be convinced,” Moore said. “There are very smart people who have figured out how to mobilize large groups for a social good.”

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1 thought on “Sustainability at Queen’s University in Canada”

  1. So awesome that we can reduce our carbon footprint willingly, with the right mindset, and not because of *Agenda 2030* or *The Great Reset*!


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