How can York University save more than 17,000 trees a year? Three Schulich School of Business students have an idea and they’ve entered it as a video in the TD Go Green Challenge.
If they or one of the six videos by other York students promoting different green and sustainable ideas the University could implement win the challenge, it could mean $100,000 for the University to support on-campus sustainability issues and $20,000 for the student team.
Second place would earn a $15,000 team prize and a $15,000 grant to support tree-planting initiatives at York, and third place would garner a $10,000 team prize and $10,000 to support tree-planting initiatives. Judges will decide on the top three winners.
Right: Abhinav Gupta
But there is also an audience participation component. Vote for your favourite video and the one with the most votes will win the People’s Choice Award worth $2,500.
Visit the TD Go Green Challenge website until Friday, March 11 to view the videos and vote for your favourite.
The three Schulich MBA students Aaron D’Souza, Raveesh Khosa and Abhinav Gupta are convinced their idea will not only save trees and prevent the release of harmful toxins into the air and water, but will boost the economy, save students’ backs and position York as a leader.
“We wanted to do something that’s green on campus and have York be the leader in this across Canada,” says Khosa.
Left: Raveesh Khosa
The team is proposing that each York student be provided with a Canadian manufactured electronic tablet to which all their textbooks and course kits would be transferred. Students would place a deposit on the tablet at the beginning of the year and pay for the electronic versions of their course materials.
It would prevent emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the air from paper manufacturing, as well as the release of byproducts into the water supply.
“We always need to be on the lookout for trends,” says Khosa. “So why not use the technology, capitalize on the trend toward electronic books and be the first in Canada to make this happen.”
It’s an idea, says D’Souza, that would benefit the University, the students, the environment and the tablet manufacturer, which helps the Canadian economy.
Right: Aaron D’Souza
“Just from a convenience perspective, students would no longer have to lug around large stacks of books. Everything would be on their easy-to-carry tablet,” says Khosa.
It would seem a lot of people agree. In the first two days since their video was posted on the TD Go Green website, their video YorkU Goes Green got some 200 votes. It’s now up to more than 400.
Left: A still shot from the video YorkU Goes Green
The video was a true team effort. Gupta came up with the idea, all three brainstormed for the script, shot the video and D’Souza spent about 24 hours creating the pictures seen in the video and the music. Their faculty advisor Kelly Parke also helped and fellow MBA student Ronald Peters leant his voice to the project.
They are looking at it as a pilot project, says Gupta. The idea would be implemented at York first, then at universities across Canada. It would give York a name as a leader in sustainability. For Gupta, this was one way he could use what he learned in his MBA courses to better the world.
D’Souza echoed that, saying, “I want to be part of helping the planet. We take so much, we have to give back.”
To view and vote for the other videos in the running by York students, click on the following links:
GoGreen@York (MobileApplication) by Qasim Mohammad and Sabiha Kasmani
Reusable York by Emma Hewson and Judy Ngo
Transportation at York – A Threat to it’s Environmental Sustainability by Talha Farooq, Kirthan Sathananthan, Doan-An Chau and Samay Arcentales
The Future of Our Forest: A Sustainability Vision for York University by Darnel Harris and Caitlin Langlois Greenham
GreenNAV+ (Smog You Later!) by Sheyla Abdic, Vincent Huynh, Moksh Khurana and Kenneth Lam
The Campus Sustainability Hub by Michael Charendoff and Hazel Sutton
To find out who won, visit the TD FEF Go Green Challenge website on March 16.