Emma Fox: Sustainable Human of Guelph

Welcome to the our second Sustainable Human of Guelph blog series! This blog features individuals in the Guelph community, who exemplify sustainable lifestyles and a passion for creating change!

This week’s featured individual is Emma Fox! Emma is a third year Environmental Governance student who is super passionate about sustainable lifestyles! Emma ALWAYS has a smile on her face and an optimistic attitude! She is what other people in her program would call “professional hippie chic”.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Emma and the following questions and answers are her responses!

What is your sustainability pet peeve?

“Disposable one-use cups! You could make mountains with the amount of wasteful cups that are thrown out everyday. Large corporations like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s make little to no effort in creating cups that can be recycled or composted. People spend more money buying large coffees, when if they brought their own reusable mug they are only charged the size of a small. Tim Horton’s even promotes the use of their disposable cups through “roll up the rim.” You would think that these money making companies could direct some spending into environmental matters but no – corporate greed wins overall.”

What are you involved with on campus?

“I am involved in running Sustainability Week 2018, and I am a part of my program society Environmental Governance.”

Can you talk a bit about your role in Sustainability Week? What do you hope people take out of your events?

“My role for Sustainability Week this year is planning Friday March 23rd, and running social media. The Friday is based around UN SDG number 12: Responsible Production and Consumption. I will be hosting a Sustainability Fair with so many amazing companies like One Species, Outpost Vintage, the Truth Beauty company and many more local or large companies. Each company shows in some way that they are ethical and sustainable. There will be coffee, music, and more! I am also having a zero-waste workshop run by Kelsey Walker of Environmental Governance. This will challenge people to think outside the box and realize becoming Zero-Waste does not have to be a chore. I have also been working day and night to promote Sustainability Week on Instagram and Facebook (like and follow us!!!), because I care so much about what we are doing, and I think everyone can benefit and take away a lot from the several inspiring events we will be having. Caring about the environment is everything. We need it to survive, we need our planet to thrive, otherwise the human race will not exist. Simple as that. Sometimes our consumer driven society forgets to appreciate what the environment does for us, and what it is worth other than profit.”

 What is an issue you are super passionate about?

“An issue that I am super passionate about is animal welfare. Not only is this beef loving society killing innocent animals who don’t want to die, the meat industry is also killing our planet! Cows produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and their mass production emits it at alarming rates. In addition, beef production is the most water reliant food production process, and uses excessive amounts of water. The dairy industry is also an ethical monstrosity. That cow is not your mother, you do not need the milk that comes from her utters. Her child does. But where is that child? Gone, slaughtered for veal or put into the same system as her mom. People are profiting from animal abuse and enjoying it too. It’s and ethical and environmental issue that needs to stop.”

What would be your dream future career after graduating?

“I would say I don’t have a dream career. All I know is that I want to keep fighting for what I believe in and learn as much as possible along the way. I want to spread my knowledge and opinion as far as it will go, and learn more about this beautiful planet of ours and the beautiful people in it.”

Be sure to follow Emma Fox’s work encouraging ethical consumption and responsible consumerism by following Guelph Sustainability Week on Instagram and Facebook at @guelphsustainabilityweek or University of Guelph Sustainability Week 2018! If you are also super passionate about responsible consumption make sure to attend Emma’s events on Friday March 23rd!




Emily De Sousa: Sustainable Human of Guelph

Welcome to the first of many Sustainable Humans of Guelph blog posts! Here we will be featuring various individuals in the Guelph community, who are actively living sustainable lifestyles and changing the world for the better.


The first sustainable human of Guelph is Emily De Sousa, Guelph’s own ocean warrior! She is actively fighting for the world’s oceans through promoting sustainable seafood consumption and marine governance!

Emily is one of those people, that when you meet them, you instantly know that they are going to change the world. She is a third year at the University of Guelph in the Environmental Governance program and has a definite focus on marine conservation and governance! Her on campus involvement is quite impressive! She is the Tap In campaign director, who is fighting to get plastic water bottles off the University of Guelph campus. She is also president of Her Campus and the communications director of the Environmental Governance Society. To top it all off, she is one the directors of Sustainability Week and is the chief coordinator of the Water Day on Thursday March 22nd, 2018. She is definitely a very passionate person, who has perfected her time management skills!

Emily also runs a popular travel blog called “Airplanes and Avocados” that focuses on environmentally friendly travel! It’s a great way to learn tips and tricks to sustainable travel and to learn how to get involved in marine conservation! I would definitely recommend giving her blog a follow.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily for this post with a set of questions about her sustainable lifestyle and passion for the oceans. The following is the interview questions and answers!

What’s your biggest pet peeve in regards to sustainability? 

“My biggest pet peeve when it comes to sustainability is how easy it is. A lot of people think that sustainability and environmental change can only be achieved through groundbreaking innovation, massive policy changes, or historic international agreements, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sustainability is achieved through small changes in the everyday lives of ordinary people. Each and every person on this planet has the ability to start making a change right now and my biggest pet peeve in this world is that so many people think their actions don’t make a difference at all. I wish more people would believe in their ability to influence change at a grassroots level.”

What was your earliest memory of caring for or being inclined to care for the environment/sustainability?

“I’ll be honest in saying I haven’t always been an environmentalist. Growing up I was too immersed in competitive sports to give anything a second thought, nonetheless pay attention to environmental issues. But, I guess one of my first realizations to how bad things really were was in a first year environmental studies course at the University of Ottawa. I had taken it as an elective because I was in the middle of switching programs and was trying to “branch out” my interests. Little did I know that 7-10 class in the basement of the library would change my life. After that, my first time scuba diving after being certified really ignited my passion even further as I actually saw the true destruction of humankind with my own eyes on the ocean floor, facing corals that looked like cancer had sucked the life out of them and seeing more plastic bottles floating at sea than I’d ever seen in a vending machine. I remember feeling like I had been cheated. I’d grown up reading books about the ocean and seen pictures of flourishing reefs, when I got down to the bottom to see a total absence of life, I was angry, and I knew I needed to take action.”

What are your passions in regard to sustainability?

“My biggest passion when it comes to sustainability is our oceans. Earth truly is a blue planet – we’re more than 70% water! It’s crazy to think that so many people and organizations are so focused on land-based climate change externalities, but no one is really talking about our oceans. And at the end of the day, our oceans are the stabilizing force of this planet. They literally are the lungs of Earth, producing half the air we breathe and absorbing a third or our carbon dioxide emissions. I’m so passionate about the oceans because I love being in the water and swimming alongside beautiful marine animals like sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles, and believe me there is truly nothing more incredible than seeing the sunrise over the horizon of a never-ending ocean, but when it’s all said and done, I have to care about the oceans, we all have to care about the oceans. Because if the oceans die, we die.”

Can you talk a bit about your work on campus in making it a more sustainable and environmental place?

“I love Guelph. I’ll start with that. I think that Guelph is such a cool place to be studying environmental issues and there are so many opportunities for students to get involved in all sorts of sustainability initiatives here. Specifically on campus, I am the coordinator of the Tap In campaign that is fighting against plastic pollution and the privatization of water. Our goal is to end the sale of bottled water on all of Guelph’s campuses. In addition, I am a member of the Sustainability Week planning team, a super rad week here at Guelph that highlights global sustainability initiatives and strives to make students more aware about the environment, social, and economic aspects of sustainability. I’m also speaking at the upcoming OPIRG Symposium about sustainable seafood and how it relates to food security  I’m a member of the Environmental Governance society, the president of an online magazine called Her Campus Guelph, and in the process of creating a Student Energy Chapter on campus.”

Anything you would like to tell readers?

“Small changes make a big Difference!  Also, your voice matters. I get a ton of weird looks when, as a 22-year old, I tell people I actually do write letters to my members of parliament. For some reason young people think this is weird or pointless, but I swear I have gotten a response every single time I have written an MP about an issue that I am passionate about. Don’t be afraid to exercise your voice and speak out for what you believe in. And use that power, and your vote, to influence real change in this world. ”


As you can see, Emily De Sousa is an amazing environmental activist here at the University of Guelph! Everyone should keep an eye out to see how she will save our world’s oceans! Check out her website “www.airplanesandavocados.com” to see her blog posts and hear about her upcoming events! She also has super rad travel t-shirts that helps support marine conservation world wide! You can find those also on her website!

Do you know a sustainable human of Guelph?
Let us know by emailing smedia@uoguelph.ca


Taking Out the Trash- Kitchen Addition

So a couple weeks ago we talked about some ways you can cut down on your waste while on the go. This next installment tackles one of the largest sources of household waste, our food – how we get it, store it, use it, and get rid of it.

We’ll start at the first step, in the grocery store

1) Reusable bags

Image from Bag the Habit

For many of us this might go without saying, but it’s a good first step for a lot of people looking to cut down on their plastic waste. Reusable shopping bags for your groceries are a must, but the most important thing it to be prepared. I’m trying to always have a super light weight bag (like this) stashed in the bottom of my purse or bag just in case I happen to grab something while I’m running around.

Even the best of us are sometimes guilty of grabbing a plastic produce bag or two though, especially for more fragile produce like leafy greens. Just as important as carry-out bags are reusable produce bags like these, which can also be used for bulk items and to store produce at home.

2) Choose Wisely

Most modern grocery stores are not designed to limit waste. Nothing makes me crazier than seeing something that’s not even overly delicate, like a lime or an orange, sitting on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in 17 layers of plastic wrap. It can be hard in some stores, but choosing fresh produce and putting it in your reusable mesh bag will go far in reducing your waste footprint. Sometimes these choices mean an extra step for you- i.e. washing your spinach instead of buying it pre-cleaned in the plastic bins, or chopping up big carrots instead of buying baby carrots in a bag. These little actions have a big impact, however, and it’s also a good incentive to cut out over-packaged processed foods and eat a little healthier!

Shelf in the supermarket
Image from Gippsland Unwrapped

And at the end of day reducing your waste is about process, not perfection. Choose ingredients that come in metal or glass containers, because these can be recycled many, many more times than plastic (and in the case of glass jars can even be reused for bulk containers!).

3) Bulk up

Most bulk stores (including Bulk Barn!!!) allow you to bring your own (clean) bags, containers, and jars for your bulk goodies! This is a great way to get all your staples, from pasta and dried beans, to honey and tea, to spices and soup mix without the wasteful packaging they usually come in at conventional grocery stores.

Bulk buying supermarket.jpg.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart
Image from Mother Nature Network

And the waste reduction doesn’t have to stop at the store, there are lots of ways to cut down on your kitchen waste once you get home too!

4) Learn how to store your produce without plastic

If you aren’t putting your produce in bags at the store you’ll have to learn some techniques for keeping it crisp once you get it home. This post  from My Plastic Free Life breaks down exactly how to store every conceivable fruit and vegetable for freshness sans plastic waste.

Image from Meghan Telpner

And as was mentioned in our last post, Tupperware, glass jars, or reusable beeswax wrap are great alternatives to plastic wrap or bags for your leftovers! Although a little on the pricier side, reusable silicone bags like these are also a great alternative, and can easily replace every conceivable use for my personal zero-waste kryptonite- freezer bags.

5) Replace your paper

Though paper towel is compostable in Guelph, it’s still unnecessary. You can save yourself some money and reduce the waste incurred in the production process by swapping it our for towels and rags. Good quality tea towels and microfiber clothes are neither expansive nor hard to come by, but if you want to be even greener just try cutting up some old t-shirts or towels to make the perfect rags for kitchen mishaps.

Image from Mary’s Kitchen

The same theory goes for reusable fabric napkins! These are surprisingly easy to find at garage sales, clearance bins of home goods stores, and are even a pretty easy DIY. Just keep a laundry bin at hand and wash them when they pile up!

6) And last but not least, COMPOST!

Most landfills are too tightly compacted for biodegradable waste like kitchen scraps to break down. These carrots, for example, were sitting in a landfill for 10 YEARS

Image from Kirkland Conserves

Use your city of Guelph compost bin (sorting guide here), or see this page  for tips on how to start composting at home. In residence? Drop Natalie a line at compost@pr.uoguelph.ca and we’ll see if we can get you set up with your very own bin!

Thanks for following along with this series Gryphons! Remember to comment on this post or on any of our social media shares to get entered in our giveaway! We’ve already gotten so many great tips! Here are some of our favorite ways that our readers are being sustainable

paigey.oneill  I am using a reusable mug with the B-Corp Cupanion! This way I can keep track of how much waste I am saving while still enjoying my morning ☕️!

maddychauvin I use reusable mesh bags for my produce at the grocery store, and always bring my own bags for everything else! 😊 love this idea by the way!!

samjanjac Reusable food wrap from @mindyourbees !!! No more Saran Wrap!! 🐝

baileyelan I use reusable dryer balls rather than dryer sheets and use mason jars for everything!

kelseyrean Shop with mason jars at bulk barn + started purchasing makeup from @elatecosmetics (their products come in reusable bamboo kits/containers) ✨

shaelynnsmit I’ve been using the diva cup for 4 years and it’s been great not having to buy tampons and it creates zero waste!!! Mother Earth would be proud 🌲

on.my.way.to.0.waste I’ve been buying my dry foods in bulk and package free by bringing my own jars and reusable bags when I go shopping!

kaelykraeft bringing mason jars for bulk food, asking for no straw and bringing my own bottles for water!

claireehlert I bring a reusable mug/bottle whenever I go out so I don’t have to get a single use cup from a cafe if I’m in a rush!

tennyjrinhI always bring a mug/water bottle with me, and use reusable bags when I go grocery shopping! I’ve stopped taking the flimsy plastic bags to put my produce in at the grocery store as well 😊🌎❤️

tennyjrinhI also am making an effort to just buy second hand/vintage clothing so I am not contributing to clothing waste 👍🏼

loco_pacha_mammaI use a bamboo toothbrush and homemade toothpaste in a glass jar to brush my teeth 👍🏻😁

glenysrobinsonnn I make my own deodorant from coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda and essential oils and keep it in a mason jar! I use handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex and just toss them in the laundry. I always have reusable cutlery and straws in my backpack, so I never have to worry about forgetting! 🥄🍃

glenysrobinsonnn Oh! In the summer I make homemade popsicles instead of buying individually wrapped ones! So fun! 🍭💫

zerowasteguelph I use a charcoal stick in a big vintage glass water jug in the fridge to filter my water, no more plastic from Brita filters and certainly no plastic water bottles! 💦💦💦

Taking Out the Trash- Lunchbox Addition

I consider myself to be pretty environmentally conscious- I lug my mug, I shop and eat local, I use re-useable containers in my lunch (and, well, I work in the sustainability office, so…)

My roommates live pretty much along the same lines, and still, week after week, we manage to fill up our garbage can with unrecyclable plastics and packaging. This year I want to take a deeper look at where all this garbage is coming from, and find new ways to get a little closer to a zero-waste lifestyle. Through a series of four blog posts I want to share some budget-friendly, student-friendly tips to reduce waste (particularly plastic) in our lunches, kitchens, bathrooms, closets, and lifestyles in general.

So with no further ado, here are some ways I’ve been trying to take the trash out of my lunch, thanks for following along!

1) Meal Preppin’

Even if I go into the week with the best of intentions, busy evenings and 8:30 classes catch up quick and I find myself grabbing food to go on campus. The I Am Reusable program, available at most hospitality outlets on campus, is a great option. For just an initial, one-time $5 investment, you can get a reusable takeout container for your food. Then, when you bring it back (they wash it for you), you get a card that you just have to exchange for a new container the next time you get takeout food!

Even so, breakfast sandwiches to go are a bad habit of mine, and the wax paper they’re served in cannot be composted or recycled. The best way I’ve found to avoid this all together is to plan ahead. I take a little time on my weekend when I go grocery shopping and plan out my meals for the week. To-go breakfasts like overnight oats and make-ahead breakfast sandwiches are easy to whip up on Sunday night, and are saving me both money and trash on my morning Tim’s run.

As an added bonus, planning out what I’m going to eat each week instead of shopping randomly helps me avoid wasting food. Because everything I buy is part of a recipe, nothing is sitting in my fridge going bad. A good beginners guide to meal prepping can be found here.

2) The Zero-Waste Lunch Kit


And there are so many great options for carrying all that great food around! Investing in a large Tupperware with sections for snacks was one of my best decisions this year, but there are so many affordable options using things you might already have too. Jam jars make great snack containers, and there are so many alternatives to ways that plastic sneaks into our lunches- fabric and silicone pouches instead of Ziploc bags, thermoses and Tupperware containers, mason jars for salads. Many plastic, and even stainless and glass, containers are available at thrift and second-hand stores.

One of my favorite things I’ve discovered recently is this great alternative to plastic wrap. See here to learn how to DIY it!


3) Be prepared while on the go

So far, by being prepared, I’ve been able to cut out a lot of avoidable plastic waste from my lunches! Having a medium plastic container, a metal fork and spoon, a reusable straw, a cloth napkin, and my favorite coffee mug in the bottom of my bag takes up very little room, and ensures that whether I’m grabbing a smoothie or packing up leftovers from a lunch meeting at Brass Taps I can ditch the single-use packaging

We hope these tips are helpful! If you have any creative ways to take the trash out of your on-the-go lifestyle let us know in the comments! The week after next I’ll be back with my tips for a zero-waste kitchen!

How to be a Sustainable Student

To all new students, welcome to the University of Guelph!! For returning students, welcome back!! To get you starting off the new school year right, we’ve compiled a list of some great ways to be a sustainable student at UofG! The great thing is that it is super easy to be environmentally friendly at UofG because of all the amazing initiatives that we have going on. Be sure to let us know on social media which tips you try or let us know some tips that you use yourself that we might have missed!

Continue reading “How to be a Sustainable Student”

Where To Eat #Meatless on Campus

Are you a vegetarian/vegan student at the University of Guelph? Struggling to find good food options? Look no further, I will tell you the endless amounts of delicious foods you can find on campus. You will leave a happy little full camper 😉

Central Campus

The University Centre 

The UC Food Court

uc food

  • Nature’s Best: A fully vegetarian/vegan eatery, with meal choices changing daily
  • Salad/Soup Bar: Check daily for different salad choices. The vegetarian/vegan options will be labeled. Varies from potato salad, tofu noodles, hummus, fresh veggies etc.
  • Breakfast and Cereal Bar: No time to eat breakfast? In the morning, the bar turns into a breakfast spot with cereal, granola, soy milk, fruit, yogurt and cheese.
  • Pastabilities: Your choice of pasta, with fresh veggies, sauce, and add tofu.
  • New Asian Fusion: Many ethical dishes inspired by the chefs themselves. From samosas to curries.
  • Pastries: Most pastries should be vegetarian. There are vegan pastries right in the fridges by the cash register, brand is Sweet To Earth.
  • Booster Juice: Loads of smoothies that are vegetarian. Easily make any smoothie vegan by substituting out the yogurt/whey protein with soy milk or soy protein.



  • Everything vegan/vegetarian on the menu will be marked. This includes Vegan Nachos, to tofu wraps etc.

Bob’s Dogs

bobs dog

  • Offers a vegetarian/vegan hot dog.

North Campus

Lennox Addington Pit

  • Omelette/Pasta Bar: Offers vegetarian omelettes, and easy to make pasta vegan (offer tofu)
  • Needa Pita: Hummus wrap, falafel or grilled vegetable are all vegan
  • Hot Grill: Offer grill cheese sandwhiches

Creelman Marketplace


  • Nature’s Best: See UC FoodCourt for details


  • Mongolian Grill: Choose from an assortment of veggies, noodles and protein source (tofu available) and watch your food being freshly grilled right in front of you.
  • 100 Mile Grille: Perfect place to go with a non #meatless friend. Fresh Local Foods made into delicious meals. Including; sweet potatoe fries, bean burger, french toast etc.

South Campus


Mountain Snacks/Windows Cafe

  • Homemade crepes, smoothies, waffles
  • vegetarian dinner and lunch options available

Prairie Hall 

  • Mongolian Grill: See Above for details.


  • Salad Bar


  • Make your own Sundae Bar

West Campus

Offers many cafes but not the best place to find vegetarian/vegan meals, only snacks.

Roaming (Food Truck Nation)

Caffeine Canteen


  • Get your fair trade coffee here
  • Sometimes offer vegan pastries, so be sure to check their instagram posts daily.

Gryph Grille

gryphgrille_danabellamyRGB (1)

  • Offer a vegan hotdog and burger
  • Get Fries too because life is too short my friends


Fresh Organic Vegetables and Herbs

University of Guelph Organic Farm

  • Buy organic produce grown right here on campus! Below you will see a map of where it is located on campus. (Big orange Star)

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 11.29.49 AM


Be sure to explore the campus and see what other options the school might offer! The options are endless.

Also don’t forget about the off-campus dining where there are loads of places you can eat at.

Enjoy all the deliciousness !


The Ladies of Sustainability ❤