For Kilian Loftis, cycling is a way of life. His father put him on a bike at age two and now the fourth-year UVic engineering student cycles 500 kilometres a week during summer and two-wheels his way to campus, home and around the city year-round.
“I’ve never owned a car and don’t see any reason why I would,” said Loftis, president of the UVic Cycling Club and among the more than 2,000 who regularly cycle to campus. “It’s part of my lifestyle, I stay in shape and cycling is a lot of fun. It’s one less car on the road and every little bit helps.”
Loftis notes his carbon footprint is further reduced, as manufacturing a bicycle creates fewer carbon emissions than assembling a car.
Nearly 8,000 members of UVic’s campus community use public transit, pedal power and shoe leather in getting to and from campus every day. UVic supports sustainable transportation through dedicated bike paths, the student UPASS transit program, a subsidized employee bus pass option, and amenities and infrastructure for cyclists.
Cycling, transportation options and reducing individuals’ carbon footprint are key themes of UVic’s second annual Sustainability Week, Oct. 13-16.
“At UVic, sustainability is our commitment to future generations,” said Kristi Simpson, associate vice-president of financial planning and operations. “Our vision builds on the collective action of the university community through planning, shared learning, grassroots activities and institutional leadership.”
Sustainability Week promotes sustainable lifestyles and aims at getting people out of their cars to reduce carbon emissions, vehicle traffic on campus and parking demand. A host of activities include free bike tune-ups, a bike maintenance workshop, a mural art project at the Campus Bike Centre and a birthday celebration – with cake – to mark the centre’s second anniversary.
UVic’s commitment to sustainability is also expressed in dynamic learning. UVic integrates sustainability into more than 300 courses and experiential learning programs among faculties, departments and schools. Beyond the classroom, there are field schools addressing such issues as environmental law, sustainable social and business practices, and human dimensions of climate change.