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

September 4, 2018

It’s that time again. The leaves are starting to turn, the air is crisp, and pumpkin everything has begun. Fall is quickly approaching, and so is our third annual RRC Farmers’ Market!

On Friday, September 14th, the Library Hallway will be transformed into a festive fall market full of local goodies open to all RRC staff, faculty, students and the public. Not only do we have a great line up of new and returning vendors, but this will be the first chance to purchase our very own 2018 RRC Creekside and Bijou honey.

 

When: Friday, September 14th – 11:00 am – 1:30 pm

Where: Library Hallway – Notre Dame Campus (2055 Notre Dame Avenue)

 

So, check out the vendors below, start making your lists, hit the ATM and get your re-usable bags ready!

Read More →

What’s that buzz?… it’s the BEES!

June 28, 2018

The bees are back at RRC! 

Welcome back our busy, buzzy little buddies to both NDC and PGI campus rooftops. For the third year in a row, we have partnered with Beeproject Apiaries to install three hives on the 4th floor patio at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, and for the second year, three hives on the roof of Building A at the Notre Dame Campus.

Bee hives on NDC Building A rooftop

Urban beekeeping is an important movement to promote biodiversity within cities and provide valuable educational and engagement opportunities for people to connect to nature and our local food system. Not only that, bees are an essential element to enable and sustain healthy food production.

Did you know, bee’s are the only insect in the world that make food that humans can eat? One out of every three bites of food we eat is a result of pollinators like honey bees, and crops like blueberries and cherries are 90% dependent on pollination.

Three hives are once again installed at PGI

On your next lunch break, take a walk around the NDC campus and check out our healthy, diverse and beautifully landscaped campus, maintained using only 100% biopesticides!). RRC is busy at work developing a pollinator garden on the NDC grounds to keep these bees and other native pollinators going and our environment flourishing. Stay tuned for updates as the site progresses. Read More →

We’re #1.. FOUR years in a row!

June 26, 2018

Well, that’s a wrap! We rolled through June full speed, blasting through our many successful Bike Week events, finishing in FIRST PLACE in this years Commuter Challenge, for the fourth year in a row.

The RRC Sustainability Office and Mayor Brian Bowman on his Pit Stop visit.

That’s right, Red River College received the Commuter Challenge first place award for highest participation in our workplace category (500-999 employees), coming in at a total of 24% of our workplace. Because of your collective efforts to commute 16,914.67 kms sustainably, RRC staff and faculty….

Burned 151,742.26 calories!

Saved 1,192.59 Litres of fuel!

Avoided 2,255.56 kgs of Co2!

We learned that the highest number of RRC employees use transit, followed by cycling. Thank you to all who participated, we hope you continue to reap the environmental, physical, mental and financial benefits that active and sustainable transportation has to offer. Check out the Commuter Challenge results to see how Manitoba did as a whole, and how RRC compares within our City. Read More →

Bike Week Inspiration with Breanna Sawatzky!

June 20, 2018

As you may know, this week is Bike Week, and what better time to dust off that bike and take it for a ride. So, with a ton of great events going on all week, lets get moving!

Not only is biking a great way to reduce your personal carbon emissions, but it has many other benefits on your physical health and mental wellbeing.

Our office sat down with Breanna Sawatzky, the College’s Mental Health Coordinator to discuss sustainable transportation.  Her role consists of many important facets such as drop-in counselling as well as training and education. Below Breanna answers some questions about her experience biking to work, and how it can positively affect your mental health.

Q: Tell me about yourself and your transportation strategies in the past?

A: I live in St. James and have a family of four, with one car. In the past, we would convoy together when we all worked downtown. When I started at the college, my husband and I would take turns either busing or taking the car, without really finding a method that worked better than the other. Our home is about 7km away from the campus so in reality it isn’t that far. Read More →

Bike to Work Day and Bike Week Events – June 18-24, 2018!

June 12, 2018

Start your week with off cinnamon buns and end it with ice cream! Here’s how:

Gear up for Bike Week Winnipeg, held throughout the City June 18 -24 to celebrate just that – people riding bikes! Start Bike Week off right with Bike to Work Day, Monday, June 18, hosting over 70 pit stop locations.

Can’t make it to all 70? We understand. But make sure to stop by RRC’s very own pit stop location being held again for the second year in a row. Check out lasts year’s event and mark your map, as this is a stop you do not want to miss (think cinnamon buns)!

 

We will keep the wheel turning and roll into the afternoon with a Cyclist Meet Up to mix and mingle with fellow staff and faculty, cyclists or not, and let us know what YOU would like to see RRC do to enable and promote cycling and sustainable commuting here on campus.

We continue to speed into the week with multiple Ask the Expert Workshops with a chance to try out our new repair stations (yes, that’s what those are). Read More →

And then there were four! Welcome Kale, RRC’s new Resource Reduction Assistant

June 8, 2018

Hi there! My name is Kale Kostick and I am happy to share that I have joined the Red River College Sustainability team as the Resource Reduction Assistant for a six-month term. Through the UNA Canada Green Corps program, I was selected to assist Laura, Whitney, and Sara in their efforts to improve the sustainability of all Red River campuses. Mainly, Whitney, the Resource Reduction Specialist, and myself will be working on an energy planning and implementation framework that prioritizes energy reduction projects on campus and engages both staff and students in more energy efficient operations. In addition, we will be continuing work to reduce the amount of paper on campus through interactive strategies.
My fascination with sustainability evolved from a little bit of nurture and a little bit of nature – pun intended. Growing up in a home that was ever so conscious of purchasing and disposal practices, I inherently adapted these processes into my day to day life. I took this insight around the globe with me as I embarked on many backpacking travels throughout the years. This led me to become increasingly aware of the degradation that the planet faces at a macro scale, and the growing necessity to create more environments that facilitate a sustainable lifestyle. Read More →

Introducing Pen, Battery and Bag Recycling on Campus!

April 27, 2018

RRC’s New ReBin

Much of what we do in the Sustainability Office starts with what we hear from staff and students. One recent survey showed that 63% of staff and faculty want to see non-standard recycling options on campus. You spoke. We listened.

After conducting a successful pilot project in 2016, we’re pleased to launch ReBin. Available to all staff and students, the ReBin accepts pens, batteries and plastic bags for recycling and repurposing.

 

 


All used writing instruments – pens, markers, mechanical pencils, highlighters- deposited in the “Pens & Markers” receptacle will be recycled through the Staples program. Plastics from these instruments are sorted by type and melted down to be reused in the creation of other plastic products, such as lawn chairs, flower pots, playgrounds, picnic tables and more!


Let’s reduce our risk of contaminating our soils and waterways with toxic chemicals by keeping batteries out of the landfill. Deposit small household batteries in the “Batteries” receptacle, where they will be consolidated and responsibly recycled by our partners at Call2Recycle.

If you have a large quantity of end of life batteries at home, or industrial batteries to dispose of, check out the list of battery drop off locations throughout Winnipeg.


I think we can all admit that plastic bags are one of those items we tend to collect, intentionally or not. Don’t we all have a drawer or cupboard shelf of stockpiled bags? Of course, refusing plastic and choosing reusable is your best bet. But with this program you’ll also have the opportunity to purge your plastic by depositing them in the ReBin.

In partnership with MMSM (Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba), Winnipeg Harvest and the RRC Students Association, all plastic bags collected will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest’s Bag It Forward Program which supplies emergency food kits to more than 64,000 Manitobans monthly. Any bags that can’t be reused will be recycled at a local facility.


Make sure to look for these new bins in the hallway outside the NDC Campus Store and in the Library, and outside the Campus Store at the Roblin Centre campus.

This is a posi+ive change we can all get behind!

Groundskeeper wins Sustainability Leadership Award. Let’s (compost) pile on the accolades.

April 13, 2018

Congratulations to Brady Barron for receiving this year’s BRAVO Award for Sustainability Leadership. This award is a recognition of his dedication, innovation and commitment to sustainability here at RRC.

Figure 1 - Brady monitors the temperature of the compost pile at NDC

Figure 1 – Brady monitors the temperature of the compost pile at NDC

Brady has been a valued part of the College community for nearly 10 years, first as a graduate of the Greenspace Management Program (2012) and then as a Groundskeeper at the Notre Dame Campus. Brady’s up at the crack of dawn tending to the College’s grounds and parking lots in rain, sleet and snow. Throughout his work, Brady maintains a keen eye for sustainability, often going above and beyond.

Brady plays a vital role in the College’s pre-consumer compost program. Since 2002, fruit and vegetable food scraps from the cafeteria kitchens and coffee grounds from our NDC Tim Hortons locations are collected daily and transported by the Grounds crew to compost piles located at the back of the campus. This program has kept an average of 34 tonnes of food waste from the landfill every year, diverting a record 48 tonnes in 2017. In addition, approximately 2 tonnes of yard waste is collected annually from the College grounds and added to the compost pile, ensuring the proper balance of carbon to nitrogen. In addition to that, Brady monitors the temperature, moisture and density of the pile to make sure conditions are just right to create a safe, nutrient rich compost. Mixing the pile every 3 weeks until done, he then proceeds to screen the material and finally using it for landscaping and in flower beds throughout campus.

Figure 2 - Total organic waste diverted from landfill from NDC campus 2015-2018

Figure 2 – Total organic waste diverted from landfill from NDC campus 2015-2018

Composting is an important part of a sustainable campus, as it reduces the amount of organic waste going to the landfill turning it into a rich, nutrient dense, valuable product that we use here on our grounds and gardens in landscaping. By composting, we are not only reducing our costs in waste hauling and turning our waste into a usable product, but we are also showing our commitment to sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing hazardous leachate production at the City landfill. Through Brady’s dedication, RRC operates a safe, healthy and successful pre-consumer compost program, with hopes of expansion in the future.

Congratulations Brady on this well deserved award. The College is lucky to have you!

Earth Week Celebrations 2018

April 5, 2018

Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day – a worldwide event to celebrate our planetary home and to show our support for a healthy, sustainable environment. At the RRC Sustainability Office, we think that one day is just not enough to celebrate our Earth, so we’re hosting Earth Week Celebrations April 16-23! Find out the details below.


e-Waste Drive* from Home and Work

A photo of a bacti-cinerator dropped off for recycling

Drop off your e-waste (including old bacti-cinerators) for recycling

Monday, April 16th to Friday April 20th (noon) | Shipping and Receiving at NDC and Roblin Centre

Springtime means spring cleaning. Now’s the time to securely dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Allowable items include: computers and computer equipment, printers, stereos, speakers, cellphones, microwave ovens (for a complete list click here, or contact us).

Please note: College assets must be accepted by someone at Shipping and Receiving to ensure they’re disposed of properly.

* Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment that may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.


Earth Hour pledge that says "Do Right Save Light"Watt’s your FootPRINT?

Wednesday, April 18th | 11AM – 1PM | NDC Library Hallway | Refreshments Provided

The Resource Reduction Specialist, is hard at work developing strategies to help the College reduce paper and plug-load energy consumption. But it can’t happen without your help! Drop by our first consultation session to learn more about where we are, what are plans are going forward, and share your ideas.


­­­­8th Annual State of Sustainability over background of trees8th Annual State of Sustainability

Friday, April 20th | 12PM – 1PM | eTV Studio (GM22, North Gym Hallway) | Lunch Provided

It has been another exciting year at the Sustainability Office! Come to find what we’ve been up to this year and what’s in store for the future.

Can’t make it? Stream it live?


­Blue snowflake with the word "postponed!" written overtop is dark blueI ❤ My Bike Day

With Winter hanging on longer than anticipated, we’ve decided to postpone this event until we all thaw out and it starts to finally feel like Spring.

Stay tuned for for the new date and details soon!


Other events happening around RRC during Earth Week:

I Be-Leaf in Protecting Mother Earth

Thursday, April 19th | 12PM – 2PM | Library Hallway

Did you know, the New Zealand Government has acknowledged a river as a living entity and a park as having Human Rights?  Let’s jump on board and Be-Leaf in our abilities to help Mother Earth!

Students in the Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment and Transition will be offering staff and students the opportunity to plan how to help Mother Earth.  Participants will write their idea on a paper leaf and attach it to the APCET idea tree.

The tree will stay up in the hallway until Friday April 20th.  When the foliage is removed and recorded, it will be forwarded to the RRC All-Staff News and the RRC newspaper; The Projector.


RRC Greenspace Horticulture Plant Sale and BBQ

Thursday, April 19th | 11AM – 1PM | Greenhouse Complex. NDC Campus

There will be trees, shrubs, perennials, prairies, tropicals, desk gardens, succulent gardens, terrariums, edibles and annual plants for sale. Cash only please – we cannot take debit or credit cards. Please bring your own boxes and bags to transport plants.


RRC Library Earth Day Resources

The Library has pulled together some great resources for Earth Day to help you learn more and take action on various sustainability issues.


Some other events you may find interesting include:

The Downtown BIZ is hosting a Downtown clean up: Team Up to Green Up on Monday, April 23. Sign up as a team to help clean up downtown and win prizes!

FortWhyte Alive has a full day of family activities planned for Earth Day on Sunday, April 22. Admissions is free all day.

Earth Hour a Success – What’s Next?

March 28, 2018

Earth Hour pledges hanging in library hallway

On Saturday, March 24 we joined millions of people around the world in powering down lights and non-essential electronics for Earth Hour 2018 from 8:30-9:30 PM.

And we couldn’t have done it without your help! Many of our RRC community helped by ensuring that lights were turned off, computers were shut down, and unnecessary electronics were powered down and unplugged before the weekend. Not only that:

106 RRC staff, faculty and students
pledged to participate in Earth Hour at home!

Lindsay with some of the prize pack, including a board game and a bag of organic popcorn

Earth Hour Prize Pack Winner – Lindsay

Thank you to everyone who participated for continuing to show your support for sustainability and for climate action. And congratulations to Lindsay who won the draw for an Earth Hour prize pack.

One way RRC is taking action to reduce our environmental impact is to engage staff, faculty and students in reducing plug load energy consumption.

Stay tuned for announcements coming soon on how you can learn more about what we are planning and how you can share your ideas for reducing energy consumption at the College.