Students petition UVic to dump coffee cup waste

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Levi Hildebrand has used coffee cups dumped on him in the University Centre to draw attention to the number of cups thrown out on campus every day. Photo by Belle White, Photo Editor

Levi Hildebrand has used coffee cups dumped on him in the University Centre to draw attention to the number of cups thrown out on campus every day. Photo by Belle White, Photo Editor

A petition and YouTube video released by the University of Victoria Sustainability Project (UVSP) is demanding UVic provide more sustainable options for students sipping on their cup of morning joe.

While the university does provide recycle bins, over 3 000 coffee cups are tossed in the garbage every day only to sit in the landfill, and the UVSP hopes to change that.

The petition calls for UVic to provide ceramic mugs for patrons who decide to stick around at Mystic Market and BiblioCafé, and a cup-share program where students can rent reusable mugs, both of which USP sees as easy solutions.

As part of the YouTube video, students collected a pile of cups from across campus, and dumped them on Levi Hildebrand’s head in the University Centre lobby on March 27. The stunt was intended to show just a sample of the number of cups that are thrown carelessly in the trash.

Hildebrand, a filmmaker for the UVSP and star of the video, says that they want to send a clear message to UVic that it needs to start living up to its reputation of sustainability.

“Waste in general is unnecessary, especially at a university that claims to be quite environmentally conscious and that devotes an incredible amount of money to a sustainable building and faculty,” said Hildebrand.

“I just want to make the university better and more sustainable,” said Hildebrand.

The petition is live now at change.org, and at the time of writing, already has 189 signatures. The UVSP hopes to collect around 500 to present to the university in the hopes that students will be sipping on sustainability sooner rather than later.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly referred to the University of Victoria Sustainability Project (UVSP) as the University Sustainability Project (USP). We should know better, and regret the error. 

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