Intro to GRAS by Adeela Malik

One of the many amazing clubs here at Glendon includes Glendon Roots and Shoots (commonly known as GRAS). Our club consists of a group of students that dedicate their time, energy, and passion towards advocating for animal rights, human rights, and the environment. Our main focus is to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote an understanding of cultures and beliefs, and to inspire individuals to take action and make the world a better place. GRAS is under the parent organisation of the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation. Founded in 1977 in California by Jane Goodall, the Institute now has offices in 23 countries around the world!

Glendon Roots and Shoots is a club where hardworking students come together to think of ideas and ways to help the world by starting with our own small, beautiful campus in Toronto! You can be a part of our movement too! One member who joined GRAS last year explains: “It’s a club full of really positive and passionate people where we do impactful but fun activities like gardening, hosting galas for charities, watching movies about [the] environment and conservation, and visiting various green spaces for trips!

Among the various events we host is the campus cleanup. During the cleanup, students get geared up and go across the campus to pick up all the garbage. It’s great to see how the Glendon community doesn’t litter as much as other places in Toronto! Make sure to put recyclables in the assorted bins located in most of the buildings. This includes the plastic bin for cups and the separate paper bins instead of just dumping recyclables into garbage bins. Every small action goes a long way, and helps to keep our beautiful planet a little bit healthier!

Another great annual event includes the Halloween Trick or Eat. Several days before Halloween, GRASies go around the Lawrence and Bayview area to notify locals about our event, where we collect non-perishable food items to donate to food banks. Then on Halloween day, GRAS members, their families, and friends dress up in costumes and go door to door to collect the food items. So instead of getting free candy, we collect canned goods in order to help the needy in Toronto. Just last year we were able to collect over 200 items!

Around fall exam time, everybody gets busy, but not as much as the GRASies! Glendon Roots and Shoots hosts a gala/conference, in which proceeds are donated to charity. We also invite a few guest speakers to discuss the environment and other issues. Despite the university strike last year, the Green Submarine Conference was rescheduled and had a great turnout which included club members and other students! We got a really cool band to play for us (Emma’s Bone) and had several guest speakers and vendors. The gala/conference is a celebration of all of GRAS’s achievements throughout the year. It was also fun to transform Lunik into a submarine of sorts, thanks to our amazing volunteers and their decorations.

This year, one of our newest projects deals with the new policy of no plastic water bottles allowed at York University in order to reduce the pollution of plastic. In light of this policy and to help accommodate students, GRAS will be selling stainless steel bottles which will include a filter!

Many members shared their thoughts on GRAS; how it helped them meet new people and at the same time, impact our environment in a positive way and make a difference in our local communities. “It’s a really intimate, friendly group. Even though I’ve only started my 2nd year, I feel at home with the team. We are welcome to all people, no matter the level of interest in environmental issues, and joining is certainly a way of slowly learning more and giving back to our small community here at Glendon. We advocate for environmental issues, such as natural conservation and water cleanliness through our small acts of fundraising, awareness spreading and efforts in our own backyard. For example, cleaning up the campus and garden at [the] manor.”- Gulsvert, new exec of GRAS.

Je vous encourage à faire partie de notre club et d’aider à protéger cette terre et notre propre beau campus! Nous sommes un groupe amical qui veulent résoudre les problèmes tels que la conservation de l’eau, la pollution, les droits des animaux, etc. Cela commence avec vous! Ne vous laissez le robinet lorsqu’il n’est pas nécessaire? Débranchez les appareils lorsque vous chargez fait? Des petites choses comme celles-ci peuvent aider l’environnement à long terme.

 

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Published by: G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S.

G.R.E.E.N. G.R.A.S.S., which is an acronym for Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter & Glendon Roots and Shoots' Serial, is a newsletter and serial blog created and maintained by Glendon Roots and Shoots and its creation was inspired by the Glendon Residence Environmental Committee's Glendon Residence Environmental E-Newsletter (GREEN), thus its namesake. Our goal for GREEN GRASS is to spread awareness on environmentalism and sustainability by publishing submitted articles from Glendon's very own environmental activists and students. Published once a month, we hope to inspire fellow Glendonites and netizens beyond to become active world citizens and conscious consumers by sharing fellow students' voice of concern for the well-being of Mother Nature as we also promote G.R.A.S.' projects and initiatives. Thanks for reading~

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