Photo from Jay Carter.

Jay Carter’s environmental influences started at a very young age. “My playground was the forest,” Carter told us. “Growing up surrounded by a natural environment and with different animals to take care of really helped build my passion for anything environmental.”

Ever since Carter started his undergraduate degree at McMaster University, he’s shown that passion all over campus.

Not only is his degree in geography and environmental studies, his thesis/project discussed the utilization of green spaces across socio-economic levels. After understanding how green spaces can aid in lower temperature areas and aid in mental restoration, he conducted first-hand research to find interesting conclusions.

Carter’s time at the Union Market, McMaster’s student-run convenience store, was largely influential. He pushed for selling local foods, “used but not bruised” notebooks, and he even assisted in getting composting systems in place.

In May 2010, Carter became the Sustainability Coordinator for McMaster’s Office of Sustainability, where he assisted in producing waste audits and greenhouse gas inventories. With his help, the office was able to see as 45% waste reduction across campus, and their carbon reduction targets were met.

“[Carter’s] passion, organized approach and willingness to go beyond expectations have made him an integral part of office activities,” said Kate Whalen, Manager of Sustainability.

His positive eco-influence doesn’t stop there. He has also worked with a variety of local environmental groups, including Open Streets Hamilton, Environment Hamilton, and SmartCommute Hamilton, having a positive and long-lasting impression on all groups he’s worked with.

With the aforementioned in mind, I couldn’t agree more with Whalen’s words: “Carter’s efforts have directly contributed to making McMaster a more sustainable and engaging place to learn, work, and play.”