The University of Waterloo prides itself on being a leader in terms of its environmental initiatives, with its ultimate goal of becoming an environmentally sustainable campus by the year 2000 (University of Waterloo Campus Master Plan, 1992). The term sustainable refers to the necessity to meet the needs of today without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to meet their own needs.
One area that our ERS 285 group found that the University needed to alter in order to achieve its goal is the area of Transportation. The problem statement as we see it, states that it is necessary to reduce the need to drive to campus. This would in turn, help the University to achieve its end goal.
Each year, cars emit approximately 5.5 billion tons
of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Dearden, 163). These emissions contribute
greatly to global warming and to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Another
of the major problems of driving automobiles is that in order to run, cars
must burn millions of gallons of fossil fuels. These fossil fuels that
are being burned are non-renewable, and therefore must be conserved as
much as possible. The roads around the campus also create run-off, which
collects the pollutants on the road, such as salt and sand in the winter,
and rubber deposits in the summer, and washes these foreign substances
into storm sewers. Once in the storm sewer, the water goes into a watershed,
often without primary treatment.