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Candace Bonfield

SFU’s sustainability ambassador, Candace Bonfield, is passionate about her environmentally-friendly work, studies and lifestyle.

Ambassador walks the talk

April 2, 2009

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While sipping fair-trade coffee from a reusable mug, Candace Bonfield, SFU’s sustainability coordinator, will cheerfully tell you a simple yet profound statement: Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is important and it’s the new common sense.

Her commitment to this philosophy is clearly seen in the work she does, in her graduate studies in communication in social movement development and organizational culture change, and in the lifestyle she leads.

Back in 2003, Bonfield co-founded the student-run sustainable campus coalition, now known as Sustainable SFU. Next, she presented a passionate mandate for sustainability governance to the university administration leading to SFU’s sustainability advisory committee, created in 2005.

Fast forward to the present day—Bonfield is the university’s sustainability coordinator charged with creating sustainability education and awareness initiatives and a change in culture. Her proudest achievement is the sustainability ambassador program.

"It’s fun and a great way to engage campus members to make a positive and creative impact within the campus environment," she says. "As it continues to grow, the beauty is that we continue to gain more knowledge and learn from each other."

She recognizes plenty of work still needs to be done. Her biggest challenge is changing people’s habits. Some are resistant to such lifestyle changes and may not recognize the importance of respecting the environment. "Sustainability is about balancing social, economic and environmental considerations with every decision we make … from buying a loaf of bread to designing student-recruitment approaches."

At home, Bonfield practices what she preaches by taking public transit, eating locally grown food whenever possible and purchasing clothing that is previously loved, locally designed or made of sustainable fabrics. She’s even planning her own green carbon-neutral wedding. The party favours won’t be traditional cake, candies or soap—instead she’ll be buying carbon offsets for guests’ travel and the honeymoon. Even her groom’s wedding ring is made with recycled materials from his mother’s and grandmother’s rings.

Bonfield hopes that one day SFU will be the model sustainable university with zero emissions.

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Rachel Forbes

Great story. So nice to see things are continuing to advance at SFU, thanks in large part to the ingenuity and pressure applied by people like Candace!

Paulina

Keep up the good work Candace and congrats on the wedding!

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