The environmentally focused, non-profit organization One Change came to Laurier Brantford on November 2. From 11 AM to 2 PM, Angela Libby, outreach and volunteer coordinator for the fuel efficiency program, Michelle Gruda, assistant volunteer coordinator and Carley Bender, Eco Hawk member, handed out free air pressure tire gauges to students and faculty at the Student Centre and Odeon buildings.
“If we could get everyone in Canada to maintain proper tire pressure,” says Libby, “each person would save about two weeks worth of fuel a year and then there’s that much less pollution in the air.”
While this may seem like a small accomplishment, One Change relishes in these baby steps.
“Our slogan is ‘simple actions matter,’” says Gruda. “Being in the situation we are with the environment, it’s kind of overwhelming, and people aren’t quite sure where to start. Our whole campaign is focused on giving people really simple things that they can do.”
One Change knows firsthand how something modest can quickly grow in importance and stature. The organization began five years ago, running as a small operation out of an Ottawa living room. Since then, it has grown nationally and internationally. Offices have popped up across Canada including in the Toronto area, and reach as far as New Jersey and California.
“It’s been amazing,” says Libby. “We’ve had over one thousand volunteers in nine hundred communities.”
Bender comments on why this movement is so important to Laurier Brantford as a whole.
“They’re showing students how easy it is to be green.”
Bender also comments on future green events by Laurier’s Eco Hawks.
She speaks briefly about their plans to hold a recycling information campaign, a paper conservation blitz around Christmas surrounding gift wrap and possibly a tree planting endeavor.
Their first campaign started with the tire gauges and One Change though. This was fitting as One Change represents a new and very grassroots take on environmentalism, perfect for a close-knit school like Laurier Brantford, which truly embraces the notion of community.
Gruda voices an optimism for the future of the program at this campus.
“It’s the people that are engaging with the ideas and concepts behind this movement and they see the value in it, so they carry it forward.”