Wednesday March 10, 2010
The inaugural Green Globe Awards were handed out this past weekend by organizers of the Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference. Yan Yu won the honour in the Queen's community category while the Kingston category prize went to Ted Hsu, executive director of the sustainable energy group SWITCH.
"The award represents a growing interest at Queen's and in the community for sustainability issues, and, I hope, a growing concern and commitment to action as well," said Mr. Yu, the Main Campus Residence Council's Sustainability Coordinator. "Recognizing others who are green leaders is the first step to a cultural shift, that green is no longer a fad, but something which we must do in order to ensure the survival of human civilization far into the future."
Mr. Yu was honoured for the many new programs he helped create at the university's residences. He has worked closely with Living Cities in Kingston to bring pea and bean plants into the residence rooms of first-year students and residence staff. He's also helped bring vermicomposters into resident rooms, and is the coordinator of the MCRC Green Team, which has given volunteering opportunities to environmentally concerned residence students.
"My goal is to make Queen's the greenest university in Canada," Mr. Yu said.
At SWITCH, Dr. Hsu has helped organize public education events, and advocated for policies that promote a sustainable energy economy and effective action on climate change. Under Dr. Hsu's leadership SWITCH has tripled its membership since 2007. It is not uncommon for over 100 businessmen, students, faculty and citizens to go to monthly SWITCH meetings.