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Greening events at RRC

November 9, 2012

If you are planning an event – MAKE IT GREEN

Greening an event means taking steps to minimize your environmental impact. Start by looking at your event as a whole, break down each activity and use the 4 R’s – Rethink Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Planning and executing a green event is an easy way to adopt the practice of sustainability; not only will you reduce your impact on the environment, but you typically will reduce costs and set a leading example for others to follow.

An event can be large or small, a small event might be a coffee meeting where you ask everyone to bring a reusable mug, or you ask your caterer for glassware instead of plastic plates and cups for a lunch meeting or workshop. When planning a large event consider things like, electronic invitations, using local growers and organic food, encouraging guests to carpool or take transit. These are just a few ideas – the options are endless.

One large event we are helping to green on campus is the annual Chili Cup. Working with the Wellness Committee, the Office of Sustainability put forward these recommendations to reduce waste:

  • To cut waste, we will promote that guests bring their own “bowl and spoon”.
  • For those who bring their own bowl and spoon, we will provide an incentive – and enter them into a draw for a $25 dollar gift certificate.
  • We will use compostable cups and spoons.
  • Each taster will receive only one tasting cup, rather than several small cups.
  • We will promote “How We Greened this Event” – and let people know how we have reduced our impact.
  • We will contact the Recycling Team to make sure we have extra compost collection bins for the compostable cups and spoons and provide signage directing guests where to put their waste.

If you are planning a meeting, workshop or other event, and would like help making it green, contact Sue in the Office of Sustainability (204) 632-2144 or email shayduk@rrc.ca.

For more information on sustainability and what Red River College is doing to reduce waste visit the Red Goes Green blog.

Join RRC in the Commuter Challenge!

May 24, 2012

Have you been thinking about leaving your car at home? Not sure what to do without it? Let the 2012 Commuter Challenge be the time to give it a try!

RRC is taking the Challenge and we encourage you to join in! During Environment Week, June 3rd to 9th, join the more than 7,000 Manitobans who will cycle, walk, run, skate, bus, carpool or telecommute their way to work!

The Commuter Challenge is a friendly, national competition that encourages daily commuters to choose greener modes of transportation. Whether you ride Transit on a regular basis, or cycle to work for the first time ever, you qualify as a Commuter Challenge participant. So register for the Challenge and be counted – the more of us that participate, the better our chances of winning!

By registering on the website you will have a chance to win some exciting prizes, two of the largest being a $500 travel voucher from VIA Rail and a night at the Fairmont Winnipeg. You will also be eligible for the the RRC employee prizes which include a $700 gift certificate for either a new bike or an Extreme Bike Makeover at Natural Cycle. You will also help our workplace win as we strive for the highest participation rates in our population category!

On Tuesday June 5th President Stephanie Forsyth will participate in the Commute Challenge by cycling in to the NDC with Sustainability Manager Sara MacArthur. RRC has a history of high participation rates in the Commuter Challenge. In 2010 College participation won a silver placement for our staff population category. In 2009 College participation won a gold placement. Let’s bring our participation back up to gold in 2012!

Here are a few resources to help you get started…

Cycling – Manitoba Cycling Association; Bike to the Future; “The Commuter Cyclist: Tips and resources to make cycling to work as easy as riding a bike”; Winnipeg Cycling Maps are available from a number of locations, including in C409, and in the Environmental Issues display across from the bookstore at the NDC; City of Winnipeg Active Transportation; City Cycling courses being offered, see p. 82 of the Leisure Guide for details.

Walking – Prairie Pathfinders’, Winnipeg Trails Association 

Transit – Navigo, BUStxt

Carpool – www.carpool.ca

RRC Powers Down for Earth Hour 2012

April 2, 2012

March 31st marked the day the lights went out at Red River College — as staff and students joined in Earth Hour activities taking place throughout the world.

At 8:30 p.m., RRC turned off all non-essential lighting, joining the millions of individuals and organizations who unplugged to show their commitment to environmental sustainability.

“Sustainability is an important concept at RRC, and it continues to be a significant focus in our new strategic plan,” says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. “It’s about taking measures that enhance the viability of our institution, our environment, and our community.”

To reduce electrical consumption throughout the calendar year, RRC has installed occupancy sensors at construction and renovation sites, and developed a lighting replacement program using T5 and LED lighting.

“Collectively, we can do even more to reduce our impact,” says Forsyth. “Even small actions — like turning off the lights when daylight is sufficient, powering down your computer when it’s not in use, and re-considering the use of ancillary equipment like space heaters — can make a world of difference.”