The Shift Zero pledge is a voluntary pledge that encourages students to commit to at least three actions that will help them reduce their personal waste while living in residence. Students can sign the pledge by visiting a Green Residence Ambassador booth or online. After taking the pledge, participants will receive an automatic email with a summary of their commitments and a list of supporting resources and programs. They will also receive a door sticker and are encouraged to place it on their door to help promote the pledge to others.

PLEDGE COMMITMENTSShift Zero logo

The pledge consists of eight possible commitments. We encourage students to commit to at least three actions from the following:

  1. I will use an eco-container or real plates/cutlery for my food purchases.
  2. I will bring my own reusable mug for hot drink purchases.
  3. I will carry my own water bottle and use the refill stations across campus.
  4. I will do my best to eat all of my food and make sure to put food waste in the green bin.
  5. I will participate in the zero waste challenge and other zero waste week activities.
  6. I will participate in activities/events put on by the Green Residence Ambassadors in my residence.
  7. I will read the waste sorting guide and make sure to sort my waste properly.
  8. I will encourage a friend to take the Shift Zero pledge.

1. ECO-CONTAINER PROGRAM

The eco-container program is a reusable container program offered by Food Services. It is currently available in CMH, REV, and V1, and will be expanding to the SLC once construction has been completed.

HOW IT WORKS: Students can purchase a container for $5 and will save 20 cents on their meal each time they use it. After students finish their meal, they can return the container to Food Services and receive a token back, which can be used to pick up a clean container at their next meal.

Find out more here.

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2. REUSABLE MUG PROGRAM (‘LUG-A-MUG’ PROGRAM)

The lug-a-mug program is a reusable mug program offered by Food Services and franchise locations. It is currently available at all locations where coffee/tea are sold.

HOW IT WORKS: Students can receive a 20 cent discount on hot beverages for bringing their own mug to all Food Services locations that serve coffee/tea. Students can receive a 10 cent discount on hot beverages for bringing their own mug to all franchise locations (e.g. Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Williams).

Find out more here.

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3. WATER BOTTLE REFILL STATIONS

Students can take advantage of more than 60 water bottle refill stations across campus by bringing their own reusable water bottles.

HOW IT WORKS: Students can bring their own water bottle to any of the refill stations across campus. Refill stations can be found on the Campus Map under Points of Interest > Sustainability > Water Bottle Refill Stations.  

Find out more here.

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4. FOOD WASTE AND GREEN BINS

Students are encouraged to be mindful of the amount of food they take during meals to avoid food waste. Food Services now offers a food-by-weight program so that students can request their desired portion size to cut down on food waste.

If there is food left over, students are encouraged to use the green bins provided in cafeterias or other Food Services locations.

Find out more here.

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5. ZERO WASTE WEEK + ZERO WASTE CHALLENGE

Zero Waste Week is a campus-wide initiative, led by the Sustainability Office, that encourages students and staff to be more mindful of their personal waste and look for opportunities on campus (and at home) to reduce their material footprint.

Zero Waste Week includes three key activities:

  1. Zero waste challenge: The zero waste challenge, or ‘mason jar challenge’, encourages participants to collect all their waste in a mason jar for one week to visualize how much waste they generate on a weekly basis. Items that can be recycled or composted are not included in the jar and can be placed in the organics/recycling bins across campus. At the end of the week, participants must fill out a follow-up survey and are then entered into a prize draw for awesome zero waste prizes and gift cards!
  2. Waste sorting challenge: The waste sorting challenge, or ‘sort-a-thon’, encourages participants to learn more about proper waste sorting by trying to sort 20-30 common items in 30 seconds. Participants can take the challenge with a friend for some friendly competition or can try the challenge by themselves/as a team. After taking the challenge, participants can provide their name/email to be entered into a prize draw for awesome zero waste prizes and gift cards!
  3. Warrior waste sorting quiz: The waste sorting quiz is an online quiz which tests participants knowledge of proper sorting on campus. Participants can provide their name/email on the quiz platform to be entered into a prize draw for awesome zero waste prizes and gift cards! 

Find out more here.

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6. GREEN RESIDENCE ACTIVITIES

Your Green Residence Ambassadors will be leading activities in residence throughout the term. Find out who your ambassadors are and mark your calendars for their events! 

We’ll be posting a calendar of all booth activities across campus and on our website!

Find out more here.

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7. WASTE SORTING GUIDE

Review the waste sorting guide and reflect on your waste habits. How often have you wish-cycled? How can you change your behaviour to lower your personal waste and material footprint? If you are unsure how to properly sort your waste, ask one of your Green Residence Ambassadors or email sustainability@uwaterloo.ca

Find the waste sorting guide here.

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8. TELL A FRIEND

This one is easy, spread the word! Encourage a friend to take the Shift Zero pledge and help each other stay accountable to your commitments! Plus, a little friendly competition is always fun! When you've encouraged a friend to sign the pledge, make a post on social media and tag us (@uwsustainable) so we know!