Sustainable Youth Canada

By: Raymond Wang

Environment , Activist

When our world is out of balance, our future is at risk. That’s why we have to be mindful about how we value social, economic and environmental objectives. Sustainable development — the practice of reserving resources to ensure intergenerational equity — is something our generation needs to apply and master. In the new millenium, sustainable development is becoming an increasingly important topic in our world, and it is up to our generation to take a stand for change. Believing in the power of unity, Sustainable Youth Canada's vision is to unite groups from all over the country to work together for reform.

Sustainable Youth Canada (SYC) is a 100% youth-led non-profit founded in 2013 with the aim of engaging high school and university students with sustainability.

Brought together by a vision and the three pillars of community, identity, and involvement, Sustainable Youth Canada is a rapidly expanding movement. Since its inception 3 years ago, SYC has grown to serve a multitude of high school and university regions across the nation, encompassing Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Waterloo, Edmonton and Calgary. Through this network of affiliated regions across the nation, Sustainable Youth Canada aims to create a united, nationwide community of youth passionate about sustainability, empowering young people to lead local events and fundraisers in advancing energy, social, and environmental sustainability. 

With a mission to provide a platform for youth to lead and engage with activities in sustainability, Sustainable Youth Canada operates its own youth-led educational and hands-on initiatives while maintaining channels that connect our members with localized sustainability-focused opportunities in the regions. In each region, our service programs, overseen by the respective regional steering committees, empower passionate young people across the nation to lead events, fundraisers, and more. 

Are you ready to join young Canadians from coast to coast in taking action for a sustainable future? Get Involved Today!

Team Members

  • Raymond Wang

    Founder

    Raymond is one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20, and a senior at St. George’s School in Vancouver. Since elementary school, he has always been an advocate of sustainability, leading various campaigns to promote green activities. Sustainability and science are two of his strongest passions, because they allow him to apply his leadership, creativity, research, and problem solving abilities to tackle long standing problems with both energy and the environment. Along the way of independently developing his innovations, Raymond wanted to find a way to unite like-minded youth across the nation to get involved with sustainability, thus founding Sustainable Youth Canada (SYC). He is extremely excited to be working with some of the brightest and most passionate youth across the nation at SYC to take action for a more sustainable future.

Impact

SYC Vancouver

SYC Vancouver is a founding region of Sustainable Youth Canada. Currently, the region consists of over 150 members, ranging from Grades 9-12. The Vancouver chapter’s activities have often been documented by various local media. SYC Vancouver’s activities in 2014 included presence at local volunteering fairs and organizing various carbon offsetting and waste management field trips. The Vancouver region’s efforts in the first reporting year have generally been focused on establishing a strong member presence, and building rapport with local organizations. Partnership relations established include the World Education Foundation, Vancouver Aquarium, Fair Trade Vancouver, BC Hydro, and Urban Impact. In February of 2015, Sustainable Youth Canada held the first ever Vancouver Sustainability Fair, featuring Fair Trade Vancouver as the keynote organization, and showcasing various partner non-profit organizations and student initiatives to attendees across the Lower Mainland Area. Additional Campaigns are planned throughout the remainder of the 2015 year, including special events for Earth Week.

SYC Waterloo

The Waterloo affiliated region was established in September of 2014, and is currently the fastest growing region.

In October, SYC was first introduced in the region through an article published by The Green Student, an online journal for students interested in environmental issues. On November 5th 2014, the Region made their first public appearance at ECOLOO, an environmental fair at the University of Waterloo and sparked membership interest. Several members signed up for the SYC mailing list to take student leadership with SYC in the Waterloo Region. On February 1st 2015, the Steering Committee attended the SYC Waterloo Winter Retreat to discuss the prospective goals for 2015.

SYC Waterloo has partnered up with the Canadian Council for the Dissemination of Science and Culture (CCDSC) to host the Sustainable Living Educational Program, a series of 10 monthly public workshops aiming to simplify the basic concepts of sustainable living to engage the residents of disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region in building healthier, vibrant and sustainable communities. Interested youth have the opportunity to take on a leading role as Sustainability Ambassadors.

Watch our promo video here!

Our upcoming event is What can YOUth do? a free, publicly accessible conference on how the youth of Kitchener-Waterloo can adopt and encourage sustainability in their local communities.  Join community leaders, members, and youth for all or part of a day of knowledge sharing and an evening of networking. See the website for more details: http://www.whatyouthcando.com/

Two of this region’s up and coming networking organizations have come together to bring you one of the largest ever networking events including youth and environment locally.  

Founded through the efforts of multiple individuals and organizations in 2012, the Waterloo Region Environment Network (WREN) is a network of 175+ environmental organizations and individual affiliates around Waterloo Region working towards a shared vision of collaboration, community, and sustainability.  WREN provides a framework for its members to foster connections and follow through on working together, via networking events, shared resources, and a digital space to host collective outcomes at www.wrenvironetwork.ca. Each year as a part of its events series, WREN hosts a major networking event to connect its members to each other and the greater community.  This year we are thrilled to be partnering #WRENE2016 with our local youth.

SYC Calgary

The Calgary region of Sustainable Youth Canada has recently started up again as of March, following a period of inactivity. The regional steering committee is comprised of four university students and six high school students, a distribution that has great potential to reach out and cater to both high school (secondary school) and post-secondary students.

With the greater goal of spreading awareness regarding sustainability and empowering students to become more involved, the Calgary SYC committee is determined to address common issues that afflict students: the belief that individuals cannot make an impact, and the lack of opportunities to work towards sustainability in a region where energy industries are dominant. The committee will be marketing to both high school students and university students alike; the University of Calgary will be the primary target for post-secondary students, and a number of high schools from around the city (covering all four quadrants) will be prioritized. 

Calgary SYC is currently planning to reach out to various organizations, companies, and clubs that can help us work towards our goals by providing volunteer opportunities, and publicity. This includes University of Calgary’s sustainability/ environment clubs, the City of Calgary City Council, and Green Calgary. 

The committee is aiming for a large scale event (fair or conference) in the upcoming 2016-2017 school year where local organizations, companies, and speakers will be invited to share and inspire students. Prior to this, smaller events and initiatives are to be hosted, including: volunteering opportunities (eg. clean ups and opportunities with partner organizations), booths at other external partners’ fairs, etc. 

With these goals and plans established, the Calgary SYC Committee looks forward to joining the national SYC community to support young people in working for a more sustainable Canada.

SYC Ottawa

SYC Ottawa is a founding region of Sustainable Youth Canada. In the past year, excellent ideas and initiatives were brought into session with the Ottawa chapter of Sustainable Youth Canada. Some of these initiatives included targeting our own Amazing Green Race initiative, similar to that held in Mississauga by the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA). Another exciting initiative included assessing the implementation of a course module into a geography affiliated course, called environmental leadership.

Particularly, SYC Ottawa's School Sustainability Plan was a great success. This idea was executed in partnership with a local environmental organization called the Ottawa Biosphere Eco City, and was implemented in a number of high schools throughout Ottawa. The initiative itself involved a brainstorming session to come up with potential ideas through which sustainability could be targeted, and also aimed at the completion of these ideas. As stated previously, this project was implemented in a number of schools, with Colonel By Secondary School included.

SYC Toronto

SYC Ottawa is a founding region of Sustainable Youth Canada. In the past year, excellent ideas and initiatives were brought into session with the Ottawa chapter of Sustainable Youth Canada. Some of these initiatives included targeting our own Amazing Green Race initiative, similar to that held in Mississauga by the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA). Another exciting initiative included assessing the implementation of a course module into a geography affiliated course, called environmental leadership.

Particularly, SYC Ottawa's School Sustainability Plan was a great success. This idea was executed in partnership with a local environmental organization called the Ottawa Biosphere Eco City, and was implemented in a number of high schools throughout Ottawa. The initiative itself involved a brainstorming session to come up with potential ideas through which sustainability could be targeted, and also aimed at the completion of these ideas. As stated previously, this project was implemented in a number of schools, with Colonel By Secondary School included.


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