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Grow a Row 2019- A Record to Beet!

October 18, 2019

The last days of autumn fell quickly and just before the snow landed, ACC baking students joined our Grounds Department to assist with this year’s Grow-A-Row harvest. Led by Grounds Gardener Shivcharan Sandhu, the team broke the RRC record with 4,270lbs of carrots, beets, onions, pumpkins and potatoes.

The Grow-A-Row initiative started here at RRC in 2013 and has since helped to support the greater community by providing over 17,376lbs of RRC harvested produce to Winnipeg Harvest, which supplies over 64,000 Manitobans a month with emergency food. The hard work planting, harvesting, digging, trimming, scrubbing, and all the behind the scenes work made this year a massive success thanks to Sandhu, Brady, Charles, Ron, Alexis and Bryan.

While the majority of the produce grown on campus is donated to Winnipeg Harvest and the Students’ Association Food Bank, Food Services also uses herbs and vegetables from the garden all year round as well as the ACC baking students. You may have even had a pumpkin pie made by ACC baking students this thanksgiving from our garden.  Click on a photo below to see the full gallery of the 2019 Grow-A-Row Harvest.

 

Red River College’s community garden initiative has really grown, and so has the amount of produce we’ve donated to Winnipeg Harvest.

Grow-A-Row Annual Harvests
Year Weight (lbs.)
2013 1,200
2014 1,504
2015 1,622
2016 2,877
2017 2,803
2018 3,100
2019 4,270

 

A key ingredient in the growth of our gardens on campus is nutrient-rich compost from our onsite windrows right on campus. This compost is full with fruit and veggie scraps from our cafeteria kitchens and coffee grounds from food services locations (also making a great stride in reducing our organic waste going to the landfill)!

 

 

Recap of the Climate Strike

October 1, 2019

Millions of youth and adult supporters around the world took to the streets last week to raise awareness about climate change and the need for urgent action through the Global Climate Strike. Locally, over 10,000 people attended a General Strike for Climate Action at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday, September 27.

We know that the College community cares deeply about climate issues and that we play an important role in our community to bring a climate lens to everything we do. During the week, the College provided opportunities for those wishing to show their solidarity with the Global Climate Strike movement while on campus. We spoke with many students, staff and faculty who shared their concerns with us last week.  Below is a brief summary of some of the ways our College community got involved.

Green felt circle with a red bead pinned to a grey jacket in front of a blue background

Green felt circle pins show support for the climate strike. The red bead symbolized RRC.

Students, staff and faculty were invited to make and wear green circle pins to show their support for the Climate Strike. Pin-making events were scheduled at both NDC and EDC and staff and students were encouraged to request a pin-making kit for their areas if they were not able to attend one of the events. Requested kits made about 200 pins, while between EDC and NDC, approximately 175 people came out to make pins.

A special shout out to the Portage Campus where students, staff and faculty made and wore green ribbons to show their support for the climate strike. Students were also encouraged to write on the student lounge windows their thoughts on how they could support the action and what actions they could take to mitigate climate change.

In total, an estimated 400 pins and ribbons were made and worn by RRC students, staff and faculty.

On Friday, September 27th at noon, RRC students, staff and faculty gathered together at the Notre Dame Campus and the Roblin Centre to take a photo showing their solidarity with the climate strike.

See the photo gallery below for some photos from the week of Climate Strike activities at RRC.

Real-time Transit comes to RRC!

September 25, 2019

Real Excited about Real-Time Transit Screens 

In a progressive step, Red River College has partnered with Winnipeg Transit and the Students’ Association to install real-time transit information screens across our campuses. These four screens, or passenger information kiosks, keep you ‘outta the dark’ (and out of the cold) while you wait for your bus. We know that transit is a primary commute mode for a large number of our students and staff and we’re excited that this technology will help improve the transit experience for so many.

Real-Time Screen at NDC.

Located at the College’s key transit arrival/ departure locations at the Notre Dame Campus and Exchange District Campus, the screens are updated every 60 seconds to let you know exactly when your bus is coming. The screens also display information on where to purchase bus passes and how to access RRC’s Safe Walk Program. With Safe Walk, security personnel can walk you to your bus stop and stay with you until your bus arrives.

Screen Locations and Routes

The routes displayed on the screens are those most commonly used by students and staff. Using ridership data gathered by the College and Students’ Association, a lot of careful consideration went into selecting which routes to display, since the screens can’t accommodate all routes. The Sustainability Office mapped the data (literally!) to ensure that the routes selected would be helpful to the greatest number of riders.

Mapping RRC ridership… one postal code at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Winnipeg Transit

These screens were made possible because of Winnipeg Transit’s Kiosk program. The College’s real-time screens are the fourth installation in Winnipeg, and we’re proud to pioneer a project that encourages transit ridership. Other screens can be found at the St Vital Mall, the Canada Goose factory and the Millennium Library.

“Winnipeg Transit is always looking to enhance the delivery of passenger information. We’re excited to partner with Red River College on this project – this is a very new step we’re taking to make transit use more convenient for riders,” says Adam Budowski, Transit Planner with Winnipeg Transit.

Sustainable Transportation at RRC

The College is investing in transit technology as part of our Transportation Plan and commitment to sustainable transportation. Other recent additions include bike lockers at the Notre Dame Campus, indoor bike parking at the Roblin Centre and air & repair stations. Our goal is to encourage alternative commute modes to reduce single-rider car trips to help our college, our community, and our city reduce congestion and emissions.

Learn more about sustainable transportation at Red River College here.

Climate Strike & Red River College

September 23, 2019

We’re in the midst of a global movement. Students around the world are taking to the streets and using the power of their collective voices to raise awareness about climate change and the need for urgent action through the Global Climate Strike.

Locally, Manitoba Youth for Climate Action is holding a week of events, culminating with a General Strike for Climate Action at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday, September 27. At the college, we know that so many of our students, staff and faculty care deeply and passionately about climate issues.

We also acknowledge the role we play in our community to bring a climate lens to everything we do. For these reasons, the College will be providing opportunities for faculty, staff and students to show their solidarity with the Global Climate Strike movement while on campus.

Make One. Take One.

When: Thursday, September 26 from 11am – 1pm (or organized on your own time)

Where: Notre Dame Campus (Library Hallway) and Exchange District Campus (Atrium)

A green circle pin is the recognized visual symbol for the Climate Strike. Faculty, staff and students are invited to make pins for themselves and others to wear throughout the week, culminating on Friday, September 27.

In addition to this hallway event, we’re encouraging regional campuses, departments and classes to organize pin-making within your own areas. Request supplies here by Wednesday, September 25.

Climate & Coffee

When: Thursday, September 26 from 11am – 1pm

Where: Notre Dame Campus (Library Hallway) and Exchange District Campus (Roblin Atrium)

Climate issues are daunting and overwhelming. Climate change can have an impact on our mental health in many ways. Come by for a cup of coffee (bring your reusable mug, of course!) and talk with your colleagues and classmates about what climate change means to you and the actions needed to reduce our impacts.

If you feel that your concerns around climate change are affecting your mental health, learn more about what you can do here.

RRC Climate Action Photo

When: Friday, September 27 at 12pm

Where: Notre Dame Campus (Plaza by bus loop doors) and Exchange District Campus (Roblin Atrium)

Wear your green felt pin and show your support for climate action as the college stages one of the largest photo opportunities ever! Our photos will be shared internally and uploaded to the Global Climate Strike website. Regional campuses are encouraged to organize your own photo opp. Contact sustainability@rrc.ca for more information.

Student Activism

Every year, the Red River College Students’ Association forms a Sustainability Club. Students who are interested in participating in climate issues on campus and in our community can contact Josh Roopchand at sa_president@rrc.ca.

The Sustainability Office is going to be taking vacation time on Friday afternoon to attend the Climate Strike at the Legislative Building.

We hope to see you out at one or more of these events.

RRC’s Fourth Annual Farmers’ Market – See you there!

September 6, 2019

Women selling jarred preserves to market goers

Jaya’s Preserves is back for their second market

The leaves are changing, sweater weather is back and it’s time to mark your calendars for our annual RRC Farmers’ Market!

On Friday, September 20th, the Library Hallway will be full of local vendors offering jewelry, candles, art, personal care products, sweet treats, produce and everything you need to usher in fall. And don’t forget to pick up your jars of our very own 2019 RRC Creekside honey. The Market is open to all RRC staff, faculty, students and the public.

When: Friday, September 20th – 11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Where: Library Hallway – Notre Dame Campus (2055 Notre Dame Avenue)

We have a great line up of new and returning vendors, check for your favourite or a new one you want to try below. Vendors are added as they register, so keep checking back to see who’s coming!

Art Soap Life – Natural and locally sourced handmade soaps and small batch skin care products that are safe for the environment and all ages.

Melanie de Tremaudan Art – This original artwork is made with vibrant alcohol inks using upcycled ceramic tiles and frames, and reclaimed barn wood.

Women selling vegetables and fresh produce

Lauries Vegetables & Preserves bringing fresh produce, preserves and home baking

Dang Good Tea – Bring home a jar of honey turmeric tea mix to warm you up wherever you are!

Prairie Quinoa – Engineer turned farmer Percy Philips grows amber quinoa and hemp seed on his farm near Portage la Prairie. We were so impressed, we use it here in our RRC cafeterias!

Pod4design – Warm up and soothe tired muscles with these naturally made therapy bags.

Jaya’s Preserves – A one-stop charcuterie shop! This mother daughter duo’s specialties include spicy carrot pickle, lemon pickle, and unique jams & jellies, .

Lotus Moon Jewels – Handcrafted jewelry made with genuine, natural gemstones. Each type of gemstone exhibits different metaphysical and healing properties.

Kookie Construct – Satisfy your sweet tooth with one (or more!) of these beautifully made and decorated sugar cookies.

Blissful Minds – After a long week, pamper yourself with bath bombs, soaps, scrubs and so much more!

Sunset Gourmet Food Company – Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Check out these home-style soups seasonings sauces and dips.

Assiniboine Community College Baking Program – Chef Barbara O’Hara and her students are back at it. Prepare for a variety

ACC bakery will be back with all your favourite treats

of goodies (think jams, pumpkin pies and granola!) made as fresh as it can get, right here using ingredients grown in their own on-site garden, by the ACC baking students.

RRC Sustainability Office – Take a little piece of RRC home with you. The bees have been working hard on our rooftop all summer, and now is your first chance to buy our 2019 Creekside honey!

Welcome Back: Your Green Guide 2019

August 29, 2019

September is an exciting time at the College with new classes, new faces, and new goals.

Our Sustainability Office is also in a period of change and new beginnings. We are happy to welcome a brandnew team member (blog post coming soon) and also have a big announcement that we are really excited for so stay tuned for that in the first few weeks of September.

Whether you’re new to the College or returning, here’s your “Intro to Sustainability” for keeping it green on campus this semester.

Events

Our team will have a booth at the Notre Dame Campus SA Block party on September 4, and one at the EDC campus on September 5. Come by to play games for prizes, meet the sustainability crew, and make a smoothie with our bike blender! Also, mark your calendars for September 20 for the 4thannual Fall Farmers Market at NDC, where local goods will be a-plenty.

Waste and Recycling

A compost, recycling and garbage bin with a Pitch In sign above that shows students in pictures what goes in which bin.You may have noticed there are no garbage or recycling bins in classrooms on campus. This is because we want you to Hall It! The Hall It! program gets students to use the trio bins in the hallways because it keeps classrooms cleaner, means staff can worry less about maintaining classroom garbage, and the hallway bins have helpful signage making it easier for you to put waste in the correct stream.

Transportation

There are many benefits to commuting sustainably, from reducing emissions to saving money – operating a car costs on average $8,000 a year! All information on bike racks, bike lockers, our carpool network, and discounted bus passes can be found at www.rrc.ca/parking.

Water

Ditch the plastic water bottles this year and fill your reusable water bottle at one of our water bottle filling stations around campus.

A water bottle being filled at a water bottle filling station.

Compost

Fun fact: the compost pile on our main campus gets around 300 pounds of fresh produce and coffee grounds a day. Our compost program is pretty important!

At Notre Dame, pre-consumer organic waste is collected at kitchens and composted on-site by our Grounds crew. The finished compost is used as fertilizer. At PGI, pre-consumer organic waste is collected from kitchens and culinary labs. Post-consumer organic waste is also collected, so if you don’t finish your lunch, you can compost it. After it is collected, it is composted at a commercial composting facility.

Food Services

Chances are you will be purchasing something to eat or drink on campus occasionally. Fear not! You don’t have to sacrifice your sustainable ways to do this! Food Services sources 28% of their food locally, and there are several Fair Trade options available including coffee, tea, and chocolate. And don’t forget your reusable mug when you go to fill up on coffee – prevent a disposable coffee cup going to the landfill and save yourself 10 cents!

Connect With Us
Don’t forget to follow us on social media! Find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and subscribe to our blog to get informed of all the latest sustainability news.

 

The Bees Are Back!

July 3, 2019

We’ve partnered with Beeproject Apiaries for 4 years and we are excited to bring the fascinating world of honeybees, not the mention the delicious honey, back to Red River College*.

Meet the Bees!

Our busy, little buddies have settled nicely onto the rooftop of Building A at the Notre Dame Campus and we invite all students and staff to meet them at their summer residence. Space is limited so be sure to sign up.

Date: Wednesday, July 10th
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: Building A Rooftop – meeting details to follow

Register here

Aren’t able to Meet the Bees? Not to worry. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Honey Extraction Workshop later this Summer!

Where do the Bees Come From?

RRC’s bees are European Honeybees. Honeybees aren’t native to North America, but have become vital to our ecosystem today. Similar to other pollinators such as wasps, butterflies and moths, when European Honeybees pollinate, they bring grains of pollen from one plant to another. This increases crop yields for plants that can’t self-pollinate or rely on wind to pollinate. Crops found around the Notre Dame Campus such as canola, barley and buckwheat benefit greatly from this process.

NDC Pollinator Garden

Because we feel that pollination so important, under the leadership of our Grounds Department, we’ve been working on a Pollinator Garden for all the pollinators. Having started the project in Spring of 2018 and completed it in Spring of 2019, we think the progress is pretty cool to look back on:

The Pollinator Garden is located along the walking path on the South-East grounds of the Notre Dame Campus. The more diverse the garden, the more pollinators it can support! Here are a couple fun facts about some of the flowers you’ll see (from left to right):

Harebell Flower | Campanula Rotundifolia: Producing bell-shaped flowers that bloom singly or in small clusters, this bluebell can be found in meadows, grasslands, rocky slopes, crevices, alpine areas and sandy shores.

Black-Eyed Susan | Rudbeckia Hirta: ‘Hirta’ means hairy, referencing the short bristles that cover the leaves and stems. Growing up to 3’ tall on stiff, upright, leafy stems, this flower attracts butterflies and birds the whole way up.

Giant Hyssop | Agastache Foeniculum: Not only is this flower a favourite with bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, its seeds attract goldfinches! You’ll want to put your nose up to this one to see if you can smell the faint fragrance of anise.

*In case you’re wondering, we couldn’t install hives on our PGI rooftop this summer because of construction.

Are You Ready For Bike Week?

June 11, 2019

Bike Week Winnipeg starts Monday, June 17th and goes all week in celebration of riding bikes, in Winnipeg! To kick off a full week of events, The Sustainability Office is excited to be back at Omand’s Creek during Bike to Work Day for the 3rd year in a row! Pit Stops will be set up around the City to offer repairs, treats and activities to cyclists on their way to work.

Mark your calendars and test your brakes because these events are coming in fast!


Bike to Work Day Pit Stop

Date: Monday, June 17
Time: 6:30am – 9:00 am
Location: North side of Omand’s Creek Walking Bridge

About: Join us on the northside of the Omand’s Creek Footbridge (see map) while you cycle your way to work. Stop by, fuel up and join the fun. Want to visit more than one? Check out the full map of pit stops here.

  • Coffee, water, fruit and tasty baked treats
  • Tools and expertise to help with minor on-the-go repairs, maintenance and questions
  • Music and mingling
  • Prize draw
  • Swag and giveaways

The A-B-C’s of Cycling

Date: Tuesday, June 18
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: D-E-F Courtyard (change of location weather permitting) Read More →

Print Release – One Year In

June 10, 2019

Person swiping their staff card to log into a printer

Staff must authenticate at the device to release their print job

In May 2018, the Print Optimization Working Group (POWG) implemented the Print Release feature on College Xerox devices – aka “Swipe to Release”. This feature required all staff to login at the device to release their print jobs after sending them to the print queue. There were two main reasons for the implementation of this feature:

1. Security: Releasing your print job at the device means no more “print and sprint” to make sure you get to the printer to retrieve confidential documents as soon as they come out of the printer. This feature helps to ensure that printed documents, especially those with confidential information, are not inadvertently seen or retrieved by other parties.

2. Paper Reduction: Without Print Release, an estimated 10% – 15% of all printed paper is never collected. By releasing your print job at the device you can cancel unnecessary print jobs, saving paper and reducing printing costs. If you’ve ever tried to frantically cancel a print job already underway, you know the value of having that second opportunity to make sure you’re printing what you really need.

It has been just over a year since Print Release was implemented and after some number-crunching, we have some interesting results to share. Below are some of the impacts of College-wide unreleased print jobs – jobs that were either cancelled by the user or were never printed because they timed out – on Xerox devices for the period of June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019:

Graph showing the cumulative sheets of paper saved College-wide from unreleased print jobs from by month June 2018 to May 2019. The number for sheets of paper saved over the year is 188,103.

Unreleased Print Jobs: 31,098
Sheets of Paper Saved: 188,103
CO2 Emissions Avoided: 5,981.7kg
Printing Costs Saved: $19,168.83

If you stacked up the 188,103 sheets of paper saved from unreleased print jobs, it would be as tall as the tower at The Forks Market!

Here are some more fun facts about Print Release and printing at the College: Read More →

Commuter Challenge 2019

May 30, 2019

We already have 172 commuters signed up for Commuter Challenge 2019! Last year we had a total of 175, and we want to beat it! all you have to do is sign up here, use sustainable transportation for the week (and beyond), and log your commutes from June 2nd-June 8th!

What is it?

Commuter Challenge is a national event that brings attention to the significance of transportation emissions on our environment, and highlights the physical and mental benefits of active transportation. This challenge gives you the opportunity to try something new, reduce your personal carbon footprint, get some physical activity, fresh air, and save money! In addition, there are a ton of great prizes waiting to be won. To celebrate, we are hosting some events next week that you wont want to miss:

Transportation Welcome Table

We will be welcoming all our NDC sustainable commuters with cinnamon buns, fresh fruit and coffee! Sign-up for Commuter Challenge will also be available here.

Tuesday, June 4 | 7:30am – 9:30 am | NDC Bus Loop

Transportation Welcome Table

We will be welcoming all our EDC sustainable commuters with cinnamon buns, fresh fruit and coffee! Sign-up for Commuter Challenge will also be available here.

Wednesday, June 5 | 7:30am – 9:30 am | Roblin Centre Atrium

Bike Tire Repair 101

Want to learn how to fix a flat tire roadside? Join our session hosted by Daniel Enns to learn how! Sign up to secure your spot here.

Thursday, June 6 | 12pm – 1pm | D-E-F Courtyard (change of location weather permitting)

How do i do it?

Here at Red River College, we have been working hard to ensure that you have all the tools you need to arrive sustainably. To make sustainable transportation as easy as can be, we compiled a small list of phone and desktop apps to help you plan your trip with ease: Read More →