Seeds of Hope poster exhibit highlights individual action

Seeds of Hope PosterVari Hall will become an oasis of sustainability for the next two days.

The President’s Sustainability Council in conjunction with Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is bringing the SGI Seeds of Hope poster exhibit to the Keele campus today and tomorrow. The exhibit will be displayed in the Vari Hall rotunda from 10:30am to 4:30pm on both days.

The Seeds of Hope poster exhibit is a joint initiative of SGI and the Earth Charter Initiative. Based on a simple premise – “it starts with one” – the exhibit conveys the importance of individual action for community sustainability. Through a series of 24 panels, it focuses on the themes of interconnectedness, social justice and peace to show how one idea can inspire and transform an entire community towards sustainable living.

The exhibit also features global examples of how individuals and small groups have taken simple actions inspired by the Earth Charter to create more sustainable communities. The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a sustainable and peaceful global society, and has been endorsed by over 4,500 international organizations.

The Seeds of Hope exhibit not only provides concrete examples and ideas on what individuals and groups can do, but also gives space for the York community to pledge their ideas and commitments to sustainability. To facilitate this exchange of ideas, staff and volunteers from the President’s Sustainability Council, the Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS), Regenesis@York and the Maloca Community Garden will be hosting information tables at the exhibit to talk with visitors about ideas for making the York campuses and community more sustainable.

Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to fill out pledge cards to be displayed on one of the posters and can also fill out suggestion cards with ideas on how York can improve sustainability on campus. All suggestion cards will be entered into a draw for one of four eco-friendly prize packs.

In addition to the exhibit, York’s Students for Sustainability will be holding a “Lunch ‘n’ Launch” event on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 12 to 2pm to launch the election campaign for student representatives to the President’s Sustainability Council.

Lunch ‘n’ Launch will take place in the Chancellor’s Room at the Underground. It features a free lunch and an organic garlic planting workshop. This will be a chance for all students to share ideas on how to advance sustainability goals at York University. It also offers an opportunity for the University community to get to know current council members, find out more about the structure and goals of the President’s Sustainability Council and ways to effectively give voice to sustainability issues of importance.

How to eat better PosterOn Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 12:30 to 2pm, Students for Sustainability will hold elections to determine the four student representatives, an outreach coordinator and two co-chairs for the council. The election meeting will be held in the York Student Centre in YUSC 307. Volunteer positions will be posted on the President’s Sustainability Council website prior to the elections. All students are encouraged to come out and run for a position or vote for their candidate of choice.

Students for Sustainability is the student sub-committee of the President’s Sustainability Council. The student sub-committee is an important component of the council and was formed to ensure that the distinct needs and preferences of York students are understood and integrated into the council’s work. The Student Sub-Committee meets monthly and four members are elected to sit on the President’s Sustainability Council. Membership on the student sub-committee is open to all York students.

For more information on all campus sustainability initiatives visit the President’s Sustainability Council website.

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a global organization devoted to peace, culture and education, based on humanistic Buddhist philosophy. The Earth Charter Initiative is a global network of people, organizations and institutions that participate in promoting and implementing the values and principles of the Earth Charter. The President’s Sustainability Council is an advisory body to the president with responsibility for providing input and recommendations on how to advance York University’s sustainability initiatives.

Submitted by Andrew Plunkett, sustainability project coordinator, and Pavel Graymason, sustainability engagement coordinator in the Office of the President