The Ring

Africa Calling: cast-off phones collected to serve people and planet

Mon, 2014-03-24 15:14

Davis. Photo: UVic Photo Services.
Davis. Photo: UVic Photo Services.

A red “London style” phone box is now stationed in the UVic SUB—the first of hopefully many drop off locations for the Africa Calling project.

“I hope every building on campus will have a red drop box,” says project founder, Kevin Davis. “The more unwanted phones we collect the more communities we can help in Africa.”


Gold for UVic in international sustainability rating system

Thu, 2014-02-13 09:25

The new Campus Bike Centre, LEED Gold buildings, staff and student sustainability action teams, recycling and composting programs... UVic's committment to sustainability has resulted in a gold rating in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).


Online course shows how to put the brakes on climate change

Thu, 2014-01-23 16:59

It all began with a request from government. Could the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), which is hosted and led by UVic, come up with an informative yet engaging way to explain the complicated science behind global warming? As a result, world-leading climate scientists—who were fortuitously based in Victoria—got together to create the first free, interactive online course in PICS’s Climate Insights 101 series, Climate Science Basics, which was launched by then-Environment Minister Terry Lake in August 2011.


Campus Bike Centre opens

Thu, 2013-11-21 09:30

Campus Bike Centre

The University of Victoria opened the new indoor Campus Bike Centre on Nov. 19, with a brief bout of stormy weather–including the unusual appearance of light hail–serving to underscore the value of shelter from the elements for cyclists as they arrive on campus.

The totally enclosed facility, nestled on the west side of the University Centre parkade, offers over 230 bicycle parking spots, as well as equipment lockers.


Could seaweed be an eco-fuel?

Thu, 2013-10-17 15:13

Philippsen with a handful of seaweed. Photo: Mitch Wright
Philippsen with a handful of seaweed.

It’s already a popular ingredient for soups, sushi and even some cosmetics, but seaweed might also become a viable source of fuel to help power vehicles.


Pilot study aims to increase office recycling

Fri, 2013-08-09 08:03

VPAC and Provost Reeta Tremblay and VPFO Gayle Gorrill are pitching in.
VPAC and Provost Reeta Tremblay and VPFO Gayle Gorrill are pitching in to help meet the university’s sustainability goals.

Though the University of Victoria is known for its green campus and sustainable initiatives, the campus still has a ways to go to reach the goal of diverting 75 per cent of its waste from the landfill. In fact, in 2012 university offices sent approximately 12 tonnes of banned recyclable material to the Hartland landfill.

In an effort to improve the rate of recycling in offices and help UVic comply with provincial and regional regulations, Facilities Management has commissioned a pilot study, running from September through November in the University Centre, Administrative Services, Business and Economics and Cornett buildings.


Dr. Vandana Shiva: Starting a revolution—from the ground up

Wed, 2013-04-10 10:52

Vandada Shiva visiting the UVic Community Gardens display at the UVic Local Comm
Vandada Shiva visiting the UVic Community Gardens display at the UVic Local Community Market on March 26. Photo: Mitch Wright

It all begins with the seed. By its very nature, a seed can give so much: “You plant one seed, the seed will give you thousands.” From the seed comes food, and “food is creation itself.” These are the sentiments of Dr. Vandana Shiva, who presented a President’s Distinguished Lecture on March 27, following a special 50th anniversary convocation ceremony.


Can you “Kick the Plastic”?

Wed, 2013-04-10 10:23

Kick the Plastic team members. Photo: UVic Photo Services
Kick the Plastic team members. Photo: UVic Photo Services

How about making your own toothpaste or using handmade cloth bags to store food? A group of Geography 101A students got inspired and started their own “Kick the Plastic” project after they watched the movie, “The Green Bin Project.”


Charge it up! Electric vehicle charging stations

Sun, 2013-03-31 23:00

Pedersen charging his car on campus. Photo: UVic Photo Services
Pedersen charging his car on campus. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Tom Pedersen, executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), plugged in his Nissan Leaf electric vehicle for its inaugural on-campus charge on April 3 at one of UVic’s new electric vehicle charging stations. Two level-2 (240 volt) 60-amp stations are now available for use by faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus outside the Campus Security Building in parking lot #2. Located in metered parking spaces, the charging stations cost $1.50 per hour for a maximum of two hours.

Funding was provided by the provincial government’s Community Charging Infrastructure Project, an incentive program that has funded over 500 electric vehicle charging stations across BC.


Photographer Paul Nicklen puts a face to endangered wildlife

Mon, 2013-03-11 08:46

Nicklen. Courtesy of National Geographic/UVic Torch Alumni Magazine
Nicklen. Courtesy of National Geographic/UVic Torch Alumni Magazine

Paul Nicklen’s first words to a packed audience at UVic’s Farquhar auditorium on Feb. 6 were “I am incredibly honored to be here, and in fact I’m in utter disbelief, given my track record here at this university 23 years ago.” Nicklen was invited to speak for UVic’s Alumni week, which honors everything UVic’s grads do for their communities, and as a 1990 grad and Canada’s only photographer for National Geographic, he certainly fits the bill.