Common Energy brings National Sweater Day to UBC

This Sweater Day, UBC Common Energy is urging students to bundle up, turn down the thermostat and join them for a full day of sustainability awareness.

The World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) National Sweater Day has been held annually on February 5 since 2010. According to the WWF, 80 per cent of residential energy use in the country comes from heating, and lowering all residential thermostats in Canada by two degrees would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by four megatons.

Common Energy has brought the event to UBC year after year.

"Every year we try to change it up a bit, but still with the same underlying idea," said Sophia Yang, Common Energy events & outreach coordinator.

According to Yang, this year's Sweater Day at UBC will be split up into a series of daytime and evening events. Throughout the day, they will have a tent outside the SUB, where students can join in on trivia, hot chocolate and a photo contest.

To enter the contest, students can don a sweater and do one of two things: either pose for a picture at Common Energy's outdoor photo booth, or snap their own selfie beside a turned-down thermostat. Prizes include a Bookstore gift card and a UBC sweatshirt.

In the evening, Common Energy's Tangible Solutions team will be putting on a knitting workshop, with the help of the UBC Knitting and Sewing Club. There, students can turn their old t-shirts into yarn, and knit themselves a sweater. Yang said her team is also looking to host a seminar with a UBC sustainability expert.

Common Energy is UBC's largest student sustainability club, hosting regular events and collaborating with other UBC groups. For Sweater Day, they will be collaborating with Campus + Community Planning to help engage faculty and staff.

According to Yang, Common Energy's main goal for Sweater Day will be to encourage the entire UBC community to take part and foster discussions about energy conservation.

The thing with Sweater day is that this is an event that happens nation-wide, so we would urge students to also tell their families, and everyone around them," said Yang. "The key take-away is that this isn’t just a one-day event. There is more to be done [throughout the year] as well."