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Inspiring sustainability for Earth Day

The Climate Commitment Challenge provides ways for the Queen’s community to reduce its carbon footprint.

Aerial photograph of Queen's University Biological Station
Among other things, the challenge asks participants to cut back their overall water usage, save energy, and reduce their use of fossil fuels. (Aerial photograph of Queen's University Biological Station by Allen Tian.)

As Earth Day approaches on Thursday, April 22, the Queen’s Climate Commitment Challenge encourages members of the university community to work together toward meaningful sustainability goals, even as university operations continue to be primarily remote due to COVID-19.

Running from April 18-25, the challenge celebrates Earth Day by asking participants to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint throughout the week. Queen’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni, are all invited to participate. The challenge is also open to those who do not have a Queen’s affiliation.

“We can all use Earth Day to reflect on the importance of a healthy environment and the choices we can make to protect it. The Climate Commitment Challenge gives Queen’s a week to try out new sustainable practices and see the difference we can make as a community,” says Kim Gascoigne, Marketing Coordinator, Queen’s Hospitality Services and an organizer of the challenge.

Participants are invited to select from several challenges and will receive reminder emails throughout the week.

Among other things, the challenges ask participants to cut back their overall water usage by running the dishwasher or taking shorter showers, save energy by turning off lights and lowering thermostats, and reduce their use of fossil fuels by opting for sustainable forms of transportation.

Participants are also encouraged to share a photo of themselves completing their challenges – such as biking, hiking, or preparing a meatless meal – on social media.

“Earth Day is meant to inspire us to take action, and by asking participants to share their accomplishments online we’re hoping to spread the inspiration for sustainable living as widely as we can,” says Gascoigne.

Learn more about the Queen’s Climate Commitment Challenge and how to recognize Earth Day on the new Sustainable Queen’s website, which also has resources and information about how to get involved in sustainability efforts all year.

Register for the Climate Commitment Challenge on ePly