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Farmers’ Market – here’s our line-up

September 7, 2017

Red River College’s 2nd annual Farmers’ Market is being held on Friday, September 15th from 11am – 1:30pm in the Library Hallway… and we hope to see you there!

Our local line-up includes:

Wafflelicious – Savour one of these waffles and you’ll swear you’re sitting in a café in Brussels.

Gold Bone Broth – Bison bone broth and chicken bone broth is a delicious way to fill your body with all kinds of goodness like protein, calcium, antioxidants and amino acids. Plus it’s delicious.

Pod4design – Warm tired and sore muscles with these naturally made therapy bags. I can tell you that the Peppa Pig Therapy Bag I got for my 3-year old at last year’s market is a hit.

Hearts & Roots – Farm fresh, organic veggies. Need we say more?

The Stak Co.- Colourful packets of pulses and legumes to make delicious soups, burritos and chilis. Ole!

Nosh on This – Pamela whips up delicious sweet and savoury baking. Bet you’d never know it was vegan and gluten-free. This means you can eat twice as much, right?

Cze By Tania – If a beard was ever to be described as lustrous it would be thanks to Cze’s beard oil. Hair and body products, too! Did we mention Tania’s a former grad?

Prairie Quinoa – Did you know that in Bolivia and Peru there are more than 6,000 varieties of quinoa? Closer to home, engineer turned farmer Percy Philips grows amber quinoa on his farm near Portage la Prairie.

Assiniboine Community College Baking Program – Chef Barb and her students are back at it. This time they’re bringing streusel cake, bread and jams. Delish!

RRC Sustainability Office – The three hours a year when the Sustainability Office becomes a Market Vendor. We’ll be there selling our Bijou and Creekside honeys. Jars are $10 each.

Come hungry. Come with a reusable bag. Come with a full wallet. Come with your co-workers. We look forward to seeing you!


Cutting Paper Use. Slashing Energy Consumption – A fresh sustainability focus for Fall

August 28, 2017

We’ve got some exciting news to share. Sustainability is growing from two… to three. This Fall a Resource Reduction Specialist will join the Sustainability Office to bring a focused and dedicated effort to campus paper reduction and plug load energy reduction. Staff and students consistently rank these topics as top sustainability priorities. In the most recent staff survey (Feb-Mar, 2017) staff cited paper reduction and energy reduction as their top two sustainability priorities.

Staff rank campus sustainability priorities

These results aren’t surprising considering the significant financial and environmental impacts that come with them. Chew on this:

  • The amount of electricity consumed at College-owned campuses is enough to power the RM of Headingley for nearly two years.
  • As a college we use 14 million sheets of paper every year. Stacking our annual paper use is taller than putting the One World Trade Centre (1,776 feet) on top of the Burj Khalifa (2,717).

These numbers are big and somewhat daunting… but we’re up to the challenge!

The Resource Reduction Specialist position is being filled by Whitney Crooks, our current Sustainability Coordinator, on a two-year basis. (Whitney’s current position will be backfilled through a competition.) “I’m very excited about this opportunity. We know that there’s a great culture of sustainability at the College. I’m continually amazed at the support for sustainability and the great energy and ideas generated from students and staff. I’m committed to working collaboratively with all College stakeholders to addressing paper and energy reduction at the College.”

So stay tuned. The consultation process will begin in late Fall and we hope you’ll be a part of it!

Honey, here’s your shortlist

August 7, 2017

Our bees (and our Leslie) on Building A.

We received a whopping 98 submissions in our contest to name the Notre Dame Campus honey.

The honey names and descriptions were then passed on to our judges (Gord ‘Guardian of the Grounds’ McLeod, Riva ‘Penchant for Puns’ Harrison, and Darryl ‘Actual Apiarist’ Oshanyk) to develop our shortlist. It was a difficult task to pare the list down from 98 to 6 submissions, but our judges were up for this challenge.

Without further ado, our shortlist is….

Honey Name Description Submitted by
Bad to the Drone A George Thorogood Song is now in your head. Rob Buisson
Born to Bee Wild Many species of bees have recently faced extinction, one of the reasons behind this being excessive use of pesticides. Most of these bees were born to be wild. It’s always important for us to think about our environment and everything living within it, especially when it affects life on this planet so profoundly! Shaun Scrymgeour
Campus Buzz The name illustrates the fact that the bees are on Campus, and also includes the word buzz, which is the noise bees make. The name also refers to the details, scoop or lowdown on what’s going on at the College. Lynn Gibson
Creekside Honey Omand’s Creek runs along the edge of the college grounds and through Brookside Cemetery. It is home to a variety of wild plants, flowers and wildlife and likely a popular place for the RRC bees to collect pollen. Bettina Allen
Notre Dame Nectar Notre Dame, obviously because of the location, and nectar as the essential sugar component of honey. Dave Wozny
Rebelicious Honey We are the “Rebels” and the honey will be “delicious”. Mark Hoddenbagh

All students and staff are now invited to vote for their favourite honey name through the online poll below. Voting will end on Wednesday August 16th at 4pm and our winning honey will be announced on Thursday, August 17th.

The creative minds who came up with the 6 short-listed honey names will each receive one jar of our Notre Dame Honey, with the winning submission receiving four jars (2 of the PGI honey and 2 of the NDC honey). Sweet deal!

This honey-naming contest is one of many events we’re holding this summer to promote our partnership with Beeproject Apriaries and the 6 hives we have dotting the rooftops of our college campuses. We’re still gearing up for a honey extraction workshop and Farmers’ Market, so there’s plenty more time to get involved with this project.

Happy voting!

[poll id=”3″]

Bike to Work Day – Friday, June 23, 2017

June 20, 2017

It is Bike Week – a week to celebrate all cycling in Winnipeg no matter how or why you ride.  To cap it off, everyone is encouraged to ride to work on Friday for Bike to Work Day.

Pit Stops will be set up around the City to offer repairs, treats and activities to cyclists on their way to work. For the first time, Red River College is participating in Bike to Work Day by hosting a Pit Stop and offering escorted group bike rides to campus.

RRC Bike to Work Day Pit Stop – 6:30-9AM

Join us on the northside of the Omand’s Creek Footbridge (see map) on your way to cycling to work. Come by on your way to work to fuel up and join in the fun.

  • Coffee, water and breakfast treats
  • Tools and expertise to help with minor on-the-go repairs and maintenance
  • Music and fun activities
  • Bike Raffle tickets for sale
  • Information on the College’s new Transportation Plan

Bike to Work Day Bike Buddy Group Rides

Whether you are a novice cyclist who would like to ride with experienced riders or you just want to join a group ride, we have recruited some of the College’s veteran commuters to lead group rides to campus. Below is a list of group rides you can join on Friday morning. If you would like to participate in one, please register so we have an idea of how many people to expect. These rides will go at a comfortable pace to accommodate less-experienced cyclists.

Group Ride: RRC Bike to Work Day Pit Stop to NDC
Experienced cyclists will be leading group rides from the RRC Pit Stop to NDC at the following times (travel time is expected to be about 25 minutes).


Departure: 8AM
Arrival: 8:25AM
Leader: Tyler Steiner (below)
Departure: 8:15AM
Arrival: 8:40AM
Leader: Patrick Griffith (below)
Departure: 8:30AM
Arrival: 8:55AM
Leader: Leslie Ternowetsky
Tyler Steiner pictured here will lead a group ride to NDC from the Pit Stop Patrick will be leading a Bike to Work Day Group Ride from the Pit Stop to NDC Leslie Ternowetsky pictured here will be hosting a ride to NDC from the Bike to Work Day Pit Stop

Please meet your bike buddy escort at the RRC Pit Stop (northside of the Omand’s Creek footbridge (see map above) 5 minutes before schedule departure time. Register here.

Group Ride: Northeast Winnipeg to EDC

Jody Gillis pictured here will be leading a ride from Sugar Point to EDC.

Jody will be leading a ride to EDC.

Meet Jody (right) at Sugar Point (the northside of the active transportation bridge at Chief Peguis Trail and the Northeast Pioneers Greenway). The meeting point and route are mapped below.

Route: Sugar Point to the Exchange District Campus

Leaving at 7:40AM, Arriving at EDC at 8:20AM



Register here (note: if you would like to join in further down the route, please make note of that in your registration)

Honeybees – Part 2

June 15, 2017

Sara MacArthur gets to know the NDC bees.

They’re back! And there are more!! Due to the overwhelming success of last year’s partnership with Beeproject Apiaries, we’re pleased to announce that our honeybee friends are once again spending their summer working away on Red River College rooftops. Just like last year, three hives have been installed on the 4th floor patio at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGI). We’ve also added three hives on the roof of Building A at the Notre Dame Campus.

Honeybees are vital to food production and are a fantastic way to engage around sustainability issues that happen ‘in our own backyards’. We have an exciting summer planned to give students, staff and faculty an opportunity to learn more about the amazing world of honeybees… and to enjoy some delicious honey, of course! Here’s how you can get involved:

Visit the hives – A hive visit at the Notre Dame Campus will be scheduled for late June. Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first served basis. (Check out one of last year’s hive visits here.)

Jar of Bijou Urban Honey.

Bijou Urban Honey.

Help name our NDC honey – Our PGI honey is named “Bijou” after the park just south of PGI where many of our rooftop honeybees foraged for nectar, but also because the honey is like a jewel – elegant and delicate. Our NDC honey, however, is currently nameless. In the coming weeks we’ll be holding a contest to find the honey name that best represents our geography, culture, and identity. Rebel Honey? Brookside Delight? We want your ideas!

Participate in a honey extraction workshop – Held at both campuses in late August, take part in the simplicity and beauty of the honey extraction process.

Purchase our honey at the RRC Farmers Market in September – Last year’s honey sold out in 40 minutes. Doubling our hives means doubling our honey yield, so we promise there will be more to go around this season.

To ensure you don’t miss a beat on any of the updates we’ve got coming down the pipe, we encourage you to follow the Sustainability Office on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

We hope you’re buzzing with excitement like we are!

Red River College launches Transportation Plan

June 1, 2017

Whether you walk, bike, drive, bus, or even scooter, commuting to campus is something thousands of Red River College staff, faculty and students do every day. For this reason we’re excited to launch the first phase of Red River College’s Transportation Plan. This is the first time the College has taken an integrated and long-range approach to how transportation programs and services are delivered.

The Transportation Plan, Phase 1 is rooted in the College’s strategic goal of Fostering Sustainable Growth as the plan addresses the social, economic and the environmental pillars of sustainability.

Transportation emissions account for approximately 30% of Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions. As an institution committed to sustainability, we take our responsibility to reduce our environmental impacts seriously. The plan contains a variety of actions to promote alternative transportation commute modes and to create more flexibility in commuting decisions. Some actions include:

    • Installing bike lockers at the Notre Dame Campus to give students and staff a weather-protected and secure place to park their bikes;
    • Adding air and repair stations at our two main campuses for students, staff and the broader community to conduct basic bike maintenance;
    • Introducing flexible parking options for staff;
    • Promoting carpool matches and active transportation “buddies” through the soon-to-be unveiled GoManitoba.

Feedback from students and staff has been instrumental in shaping this plan. We’re engaging the college community as we roll out Phase 1 and will continue to seek student and staff input as we shape future transportation initiatives. We want to hear from you!

Staff are invited to attend a lunch and learn (or watch online) on Thursday, June 8th from 12pm – 1pm in eTV Studio, NDC to learn more about this exciting initiative.

Happy travels. 🙂

The Transportation Plan is collaborative initiative of  Parking Services, Ancillary Services and the Sustainability Office.

Get Inspired – RRC Commuter Profiles Part 1

May 31, 2017

The Commuter Challenge is around the corner, and we thought some of you might be looking for inspiration to take the leap and try a more sustainable commute, like cycling! Well, look no further than your fellow RRC colleagues who are a wealth of experience and inspiration and happy to share it! Below are some RRC Commuter Profiles to help get you inspired.

Part 2 can be found here. If you would like to share your own sustainable commuting experience, please send us a note.

Also, don’t forget to register for the Commuter Challenge.

Photo of Cassidy Dzama

Cassidy Dzama

What is your name? Cassidy Dzama
Which campus do you work out of? Notre Dame Campus
How do you typically commute to work? Bike
How far is your commute one way? 5km
What do you like about your commute?
Exercise, scenery, fresh air, freedom.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?
It’s not just commuting to work like you would in a vehicle. You have to pack a bag with work clothes and a tool kit (spare tube, patch kit etc.). Wear slightly less clothing than you would if you were walking outside as you build up heat pretty fast. Start with a few commutes a week, and build up from it. Scout new ways to get to work and plan it out. I use Strava (mobile app) to keep track of my commutes. Find out which routes are faster. Buy some good road tires if you feel biking is something for you. Bike lights are a must for spring and fall as it gets hard to be seen during those times. Don’t let the poor conditions stop you is probably the most important tip. You rarely get the tail wind that pushes you to your destination, always plan to bike against it!

Photo of Lisa Case

Lisa Case

What is your name? Lisa Case
Which campus do you work out of? Exchange District Campus
How do you typically commute to work? I cycle to work. I have a city commuter bike (with fenders) for spring/summer/fall and a fatbike for commuting in the winter. On days when it is not feasible to cycle, I walk.
How far is your commute one way? 2.5km
What do you like about your commute?
Most of it is on a bike route and dedicated walking/cycling path and I get to cycle through the Forks on my way to work. I love riding along the river in the morning and just enjoy nature. I will go out of my way to stay on bike paths because it’s more quiet

Photo of Lisa Case cycling across a bridge in the winter

Lisa Case cycling in winter

and safe out of traffic. In winter I love being able to cycle to work along the Red River Mutual Trail on the river.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute? I would tell people to start slow. If you don’t have a bike, borrow or rent one to see if you’ll like it. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need the first few times so you’ll enjoy the experience and not feel rushed and stressed when you get to work. You don’t need expensive gear/clothes to ride to work, just a good waterproof backpack (or pick up an inexpensive back pack rain cover from your local bike shop or MEC) in which you can pack your work clothes if you like. Many people I see just wear their regular work clothes while cycling. Because I was cycling to work year round we actually sold our second car as it was rarely being driven. My husband and I have never looked back. We do have to coordinate on days where I have an appointment that is just not convenient to cycle to, but my husband also cycle commutes three days a week so we make it work. If you really want to make it work you will find a way.


Photo of Matt Ferber

Matt Ferber

What is your name? Matthew Ferber
Which campus do you work out of? Notre Dame Campus
How do you typically commute to work? Bike year round. Occasionally drive
How far is your commute one way? 6km
What do you like about your commute?
Cycling keeps me active and surprisingly takes the exact same amount of time to get to work while me saving money. Cycling keeps me gloriously warm in the winter; no sitting still in a cold car or waiting for a bus that’s painfully late.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?
Wear a helmet if you cycle. Period. You probably don’t wear a seatbelt because you’re worried about your own skill as a driver.

I accidently got in shape by being too poor to afford a car and getting on a bike. Getting this incidental exercise also greatly helps me with my mood.

Cyclists are allowed on the road. Treat vehicles with respect while commanding your portion of the road and you’ll be treated with respect in turn.

I find vehicles are passing more closely than the 1 meter they’re supposed to I’m probably biking too close to the curb. Own your portion of the road while being respectful.

Photo of Patrick Griffith

Patrick Griffith

What is your name? Patrick Griffith
Which campus do you work out of? Notre Dame
How do you typically commute to work?
By bike as soon as the weather allows!
How far is your commute one way? 14 KM
What do you like about your commute?
Access to quiet streets and bike paths most of the way to the College. It’s a great way to de-stress after a busy day.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?​ Find someone who regularly commutes and get some tips. Things like good routes, what to wear, how to manage baggage. Besides that, it’s always good to know how to fix a flat (it’s not hard…)

Take the Commuter Challenge June 4-10

May 24, 2017

Click here to register for the Commuter Challenge

Time to dust off the old bike, lace up those walking shoes, or download all of S Town for bus binge listening and join 20,000 people across Canada taking on the Commuter Challenge. For one week in June, reduce your carbon footprint and walk, run, cycle, bus, carpool, and telecommute.

The Commuter Challenge is also a friendly competition, and it is a point of pride that Red River College has won GOLD in our workplace category for the last two years – let’s make it three!

RRC accepting the Commuter Challenge Award in 2016.

RRC accepting the Commuter Challenge Award in 2016.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Register here
  2. Use sustainable transportation to get to and/or from work at least one day during the week of June 4-10
  3. Participate in one of our events throughout the week
  4. Log your daily commute
  5. Be entered to win great prizes!

Early Bird Prize: RRC employees who register for the Commuter Challenge by May 31 will be entered to win a prize.

RRC Commuter Challenge Events

The Sustainability Office wants to help you take on this challenge and keep you motivated to succeed. Here are some we’re doing that:

Commuter Welcome Stations
We will be welcoming our sustainable commuters to work in the morning with free treats and infused water to help you start your day. Stations will be set up to help you register for the Commuter Challenge and log your commute.

Tuesday, June 5 | Roblin Atrium | 7:30-9AM
Wednesday, June 6 | NDC Bus Loop | 7:30–9AM **NEW DATE**

Custom Bike Raffle
Win a gift certificate from Natural Cycle and upgrade your existing bike or get a new custom bike.

Tickets are 1 for $2, or 3 for $5 and can be purchased at any of the above events, or at the Sustainability Office (NDC, C519).

Tickets will be on sale Monday, May 29 until noon Friday, June 23.The winning ticket will be announced in All Staff News the week of June 26, 2017.

Please note: the value of the prize will depend on the number of tickets purchased.

Sustainable Transportation Resources

Red River College offers a 60% subsidized monthly bus pass for staff at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses. Find out more here.

Navigo – Plan your Winnipeg Transit trip
Selkirk Transit

Free Weekday Bus Pass for 5 Downtown Commuters
Green Action Centre & The Downtown Biz are teaming up during Commuter Challenge on the #Busisbetter campaign to get even more people taking public transit during the week. They are offering five weekday transit passes for RRC employees who work at one of the downtown campuses and who normally drive to work.

All you need to do is register for the Commuter Challenge, agree to take the bus for that week, and complete a survey about your transit experience. The first five eligible people who contact Whitney Crooks will receive a free transit pass!

Bikes on racks at NDC

Bike racks at NDC

Active Transportation
Bike racks are located around campus for your convenience. Downtown staff can park their bikes with peace of mind in our secure bike lock up inside the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. Register for the bike program in the Campus Living Office (Room 106, Massey Building) between 8:30 – 4:30.

Winnipeg Bike Map (or come by the Sustainability Office to pick up a copy)

Creators of Gender and Sexual Diversity course win Sustainability Leadership Award

May 19, 2017

A big congratulations goes out to Nora Sobel and Bradley West who accepted the inaugural Sustainability Leadership Award at Red River College’s RED Forum last week.

This award was created to shine a spotlight on the great sustainability work being done by faculty and staff throughout the College. Being recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 7 consecutive years doesn’t happen without dedication, innovation and commitment from our entire College community. The Sustainability Leadership Award is one way we’re recognizing staff and faculty who are putting sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Nora and Bradley accepting the Sustainability Leadership Award from RRC President Paul Vogt

Nora and Bradley from the Diversity and Intercultural Services department received this award for developing an online course to raise awareness about gender and sexual diversity issues among Red River College students, staff and faculty. Read More →

Earth Day Recap

April 25, 2017

RRC staff at the Phoenix Recycling Facility

Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Phoenix Recycling

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Earth Day Celebrations last week! Your energy and support helped to make the week a great success!

Here are some of the highlights from the week:

6 staff and faculty attended the Behind-the-Scenes tour of Phoenix Recycling and got a closer look at where the 100 tonnes of recycling we create annually goes.

157 people came to our Fair Trade Café where they got to enjoy delicious fairtrade brownies made by ACC students

Fairtrade brownies made by ACC students were served at the Fair Trade cafe during Earth Day Celebrations.

ACC students baked fairtrade brownies for the Fair Trade Café.

and help crowd source the fairtrade teas that will soon be available on campus. After sampling eight different fairtrade teas, each person voted for their favourite. The top 3 teas were: Golden ChaiMoroccan Mint, and Honeybush. Stay tuned for information on our efforts to become a Fair Trade Campus.

1,473 lbs of e-waste from work and home was collected for recycling.

34 people attended the 7th Annual State of Sustainability (in person and virtually) to learn about what progress we have made in the last year and what sustainability initiatives are coming down the pipe. One highlight: due to the success of the pilot conducted during Waste Reduction Week in October, a

Attendees at the 7th Annual State of Sustainability

7th Annual State of Sustainability.

permanent collection bin for pen and marker recycling as well as for plastic shopping bags will be installed this year. The link to the full presentation will be made available shortly.

And finally, the icing on the Earth Day cake is that for the 7th year in a row, Red River College was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers!