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Green Wizards make environmental magic

Composting in residence is the main focus of the student environmental group known as the Green Wizards.

The vanishing organic waste in residences at the University of Toronto Scarborough has cemented the reputation of a student group called the Green Wizards.

Zoe Higgins, president of the Student Residence Council and a representative of the Green Wizards, describes the group as “a bunch of students who live in rez, trying to make their temporary homes more environmentally friendly.”

The group’s main focus is overseeing the composting program that takes place in the residences at U of T Scarborough. The Green Wizards walk door to door, promoting the use of green bins and collecting compost from each unit.

“We’ve been around for quite a bit, probably over six years, but only recently started making our presence known,” said Higgins, the former chair of the Green Wizards, who now contributes to the group as a general member and adviser. In the past couple of years the Green Wizards managed to have energy efficient lighting installed in the residences, maintain an effective composting program and raise awareness about various environmental issues through fundraising events.

This year, the accomplishments of the Green Wizards earned them a right to collect funding for events on campus, environmental dinners and other projects. “We value and recognize what they do; therefore we devote some of our program money to them,” said Michelle Verbrugghe, director of residences at U of T Scarborough.

With a core of only seven members and a slightly broader base of 20 volunteers, the Green Wizards leave onlookers spellbound by their accomplishments. “I really admire them for devoting their time to play such a huge role in the process. The department provided green bins and they did the rest,” Verbrugghe said.

The Green Wizards are currently trying to recruit more members, enabling them to tackle more important environmental problems. Higgins sees the composting program as a stepping stone. She noted that “there’s more to be done and we can do it right here, from rez.”

She said that upcoming projects, such as installing gas heaters and potentially placing sensor monitors that will turn the heating off when students are not in the residences, will make the campus more environmentally friendly.

“Our main goal is just to make our rez have a smaller ecological footprint,” said Higgins.

Margarita Medynsky is a student in the journalism program offered jointly between U of T Scarborough and Centennial College.




© University of Toronto Scarborough