Earlier this year, we asked you to nominate a peer or colleague whose contributions, big or small, show they are passionate about making a positive impact on the environment and their community.
You delivered! We’re excited to introduce you to the first-ever group of Sheridan Mission Zero Heroes. Read on to learn what makes these 15 honourees deserving of such a title:
David Bradley, Electrical Technologist, FAST
David was a driving force behind the renewable energy course for the electrical program in FAST. He was involved with many of the design ideas for the renewable energy program and received a research grant for a proposal for a Smart and Green Irrigation Monitoring System. He’s set up a Tesla power wall display in the electrical lab as well as chargers for electric vehicles. David designed a solar panel system so students can get real time readings for how much power can be stored from the panels when placed out in the sun.
Georg Feil, Professor, FAST
Georg teaches in the School of Applied Computing and has volunteered as a Repair Café Fixer since the program launched at Sheridan in 2014. With an engineering background and 40 years of do-it-yourself fixing experience, he’s brought life back to many broken household items such as laptops, a microwave oven, cell phones , a paper shredder and more. His efforts help others and contribute to changing the throwaway mindset of society.
Lorina Harvey, student, Interior Decorating
Lorina was part of the dedicated group of Sheridan Community Garden volunteers who in 2020 grew vegetables including beets, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, zucchini, beans and Swiss chard for donation. The harvests assisted people in need through the Kerr Street Mission in Oakville and Brampton Regeneration Outreach in Brampton.
Lydia Novak, Career Counsellor, Student Affairs
Lydia, a member of Sheridan’s Green Team, has a love for the environment and her surroundings that’s evident in many ways. During a trip to Malaysia, she participated in the start of an ocean clean-up initiative where a group of scuba divers helped remove debris and garbage that was entangled in the coral reef. Spending time outdoors hiking and mountain climbing, she often forages for delicious tree and oyster mushrooms. Lydia is the recipient of the Individual Excellence Award for the Green Office At-Home Pilot Program in Integrated Learning Services.
Nathan Nettleton, Facilities Project Technologist, Facilities Services
Nathan is an avid cyclist who rides between campuses for work, even making the trip from Davis to HMC to Trafalgar in the same day. At the Sheridan Bike Hub at HMC, he lends a helping hand and encourages others to take up cycling.
Noel Quinn, Professor, FHASS
Noel developed a sustainability course at Sheridan to help with environmental awareness. He took students for tours on campus to see the sustainability measures implemented at Sheridan and introduced them to the idea of sustainable food sources. He’s published work on different aspects of ecology and environmental science and inspired one student to become a volunteer member of the Mission Zero Club.
Sara Varasteh, student, Marketing
Sara volunteers her time at the Sheridan Bike Hub at HMC, engaging with new students about the hub and what it offers. She made the switch from single-use plastic to a reusable bottle, which is just one example of how she leads by example.
Shamsa Kassim, Project Technician, Facilities Management
Shamsa is dedicated to creating positive changes at Sheridan and home. She often volunteers at and attends Mission Zero events such as campus cleanups, office cleanups, the Repair Café and Bike Hub events. She’s always finding ways to incorporate sustainability into her day-to-day life to reduce her carbon footprint.
Stan Weisbeker, Professor, Magna School for the Skilled Trades
Stan is a renewable energy tinkerer who loves to squeeze every joule out of a sunny day with the solar panels installed at his home. During the pandemic, when his electrical skilled trades course Introduction to Renewable Energy had to be delivered remotely, he built a renewable energy lab inside his home to provide his students with a more immersive experience to learn important concepts. Stan continually reminds and teaches his students that electricians of today and tomorrow need to be well-versed in renewable energy practices and approaches his classes with passion and enthusiasm.
Susan Montgomery, Career Centre Employer Liaison, Career-Integrated Learning
Susan’s commitment to sustainability and the environment has encouraged colleagues to join Sheridan’s Green team. In the office environment, she educates and informs others about how their actions have an impact on the environment whether it’s printing unnecessarily, discarding items that could be donated, and using the recycling bin properly. She’s deeply dedicated to the Sheridan Community Garden project, generously lending her tips and tricks for gardening and in turn, boosting the confidence of others to get involved.
Todd Barsanti, Professor, FAAD
Todd was trained by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore as part of the Climate Reality Project and has given climate talks within and outside Sheridan for the past eight years. He spoke at Sheridan’s Climate Action Rally in the fall of 2019 and inspired many students to speak up and get involved. Todd’s commitment to the climate cause and impact on students makes him an admirable sustainability leader and role model.
Varoon Balliram, Operating Engineer, Facilities Services
Varoon has been ditching his car to ride from Davis Campus to HMC to reduce greenhouse gases and his carbon footprint. Every trip counts!
Vicki Tran, Cycling Coordinator, Office for Sustainability
Vicki is always finding ways to educate people on sustainability and is mindful of her relationship with the Earth. Her work has resulted in two bike hubs at HMC and Davis, made successful with her cheerfulness, work ethic and helpful attitude. She walks the talk about sustainable transportation– she bikes everywhere! Her positivity and encouragement have brought success to events like Tour de Sheridan and Bike to Campus Days.
Volodymyr Voytenko, Professor, FAST
Volodymyr was the first person to rent a bike when the rental program opened at the HMC Bike Hub. Since then, he’s brought bikes in to learn how to fix them and continue to ride. He’s often commuted to different campuses by bike and in his first summer of riding he covered nearly 500 kilometres.
Wai Chu Cheng, Coordinator, Office for Sustainability
Wai Chu motivates people to be live ‘green’. She’s educated our community about implementing sustainable practices including the proper sorting of waste so recyclable and organic items aren’t destined for the landfill. Wai Chu co-founded the longest-running Repair Café in Canada and brought the initiative to Sheridan. Many students, faculty and staff have been a part of these community-building events that aim to extend the life of broken items and educate participants.
Keep an eye out on Sheridan’s social media channels for special features of each honouree.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination to make this inaugural My Mission Zero Hero campaign a success.
Learn about Sheridan’s Mission Zero efforts here.
Who do you admire for their sustainable and ‘green’ contributions to the Sheridan community and beyond? Who is the person at Sheridan who inspires you to make a difference for the environment?
If an employee or student comes to mind, we encourage you to put their name forward as “My Mission Zero Hero” – a Sheridan Green Team-organized campaign aimed at celebrating Sheridan people whose contributions, big or small, show they are passionate in making positive change for the environment and their community.
Submissions, which include a short written and photo component, will be curated and shared on Sheridan’s social media channels and other digital platforms from February to April. All heroes will be recognized in honour of Earth Day on April 22, 2021.
About Mission Zero
Mission Zero is Sheridan’s framework for institution-wide sustainability initiatives. It is an ambitious mandate to re-envision the College’s energy future, make significant reductions in its institutional footprint, and meet breakthrough performance targets. It is guided by the institution’s Office for Sustainability and represents operational and cultural goals, driven by Sheridan’s Sustainability Policy. Mission Zero embodies the journey toward transformational systemic change and accelerates the creation of a campus-wide sustainability culture.
Nominate a Hero
Click here to nominate your Mission Zero Hero. Please fill out the form by Friday, February 12.
If you have a question about this campaign, please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this campaign!
Do you care about the environment? Do you want to contribute to Sheridan’s sustainability initiatives? Be a Mission Zero Volunteer this year. We Need You!
Help us become a greener community! As a Mission Zero volunteer, you will help the Office for Sustainability promote Mission Zero, educate the Sheridan community on waste reduction, and support our local communities on initiatives such as climate actions.
As a volunteer, you will also have the opportunity to develop your communication and leadership skills while meeting new people! Your hours will also be counted towards your Co-Curricular Record (CCR). We will hold an orientation at the start of the semester to help you get familiar with Mission Zero.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering during the Winter semester will move to an online format. At the volunteer orientation session, you will learn about Mission Zero to help us spread the word about our initiatives remotely.
If you are interested to get involved, fill out a volunteer form or contact us at email@example.com!
You’re invited to join the Sheridan Bike Hub for a series of virtual workshops. Check out the events below!
Route Planning and Riding on the Road
Learn about route planning, how to position yourself when riding on the road, making left turns, and ways to navigate with other users.
Date: Thursday, November 5 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Fall and Winter Cycling
Riding throughout the fall and winter is a new experience. Learn about the gear you need and maintenance tips to keep you riding smoothly.
Date: Wednesday, November 11 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Learn about basic safety rules, how to signal, use a helmet and bike lights, make the most of your bike and more.
Date: Tuesday, November 17 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Learn about the type of brake on your bike, when to replace your cable, how to adjust your brakes and more.
Date: Thursday, November 19 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
You can register for any of these workshops by emailing Vicki at SheridanBikeHub@sheridancollege.ca or contacting her via phone at 905-459-7533 ext.1534.
The Sheridan Bike Hub is accessible virtually Tuesdays to Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Appointment-only basic repairs are offered at the Davis Bike Hub, which is located at Portable 7 by M-Wing. Please contact Vicki to discuss having a repair done.
Sheridan is pleased to release the 2020 Sustainability Report, which showcases our progress towards our energy and waste goals as well as other sustainability initiatives. Learn about Sheridan’s green building features, district energy system, alternative transportation programs, gardens, and more!
Click to view the report:
We are pleased to share that the Green Office At-home Pilot Program that took place during the week of July 6 to 10 was a great success. We would like to thank all the three departments who accepted our invitation to participate. A special thanks to Career Education for being the first department to take on the challenge!
The pilot program aimed to encourage staff and faculty in different departments to challenge each other to strive for more sustainable practices while working at home. We have also collected valuable feedback to improve the program. Overall, each participating department/office as a team scored in the moderately to highly developed range level of standing.
Below are the recipients of the three awards:
1. Individual Excellence Award – Highest individual score in each department:
- Donna Walsh (Library & Learning Services, 44/46 points)
- Samy Abd El-Sayed (Information Technology, 44/46 points)
- Lydia Khoo (Career Education, 42/46 points)
Special mentions (achieved above 40 points):
- Jenny Reile (Library & Learning Services)
- Judith MacKinnon (Career Education)
- Jacqueline Manes (Information Technology)
- Susan Montgomery (Career Education)
- Marcie Matsubuchi (Information Technology)
2. Department Participation Award – Highest participation by department:
Library & Learning Services, all campuses (72% response rate)
3. Department Excellence Award – Highest average score by department:
IT Department, Trafalgar C139 (with an average score of 39.5 points amongst respondents).
Prizes and Recognition
- The three Individual Excellence Award winners will receive Mission Zero t-shirts. We will be in contact when we return to campus in the Fall.
- All participants will receive Mission Zero tote bags when we return to campus. Each department’s Captain Zero will be contacted to arrange this.
- The Certificates of Awards in digital format will be emailed to your Captain Zeros this week.
We congratulate everyone on your positive green practices and hope that more fellow colleagues and departments will be inspired to take sustainable actions every day.
The pilot program was created by the Office for Sustainability in consultation with the Green Team.
Stay tuned for the next phase of the Green Office Program. In the meantime, it you are interested in assessing how green your home office is, you are welcome to try out the Green Checklist yourself!
In June, we encouraged everyone to explore biodiversity, and we shared some facts about native plants. Now, learn about what you don’t want to see in gardens and natural areas- invasive species!
Invasive plants are undesirable because they put local biodiversity at risk, negatively affecting native plants, wildlife, and their habitats. They do so by out competing native plants and altering natural areas because:
- They are usually the first plants growing leaves after the winter and the last plants with green leaves in the fall.
- They can thrive in poor or dry soil.
- They can grow faster than other plants, which means they can get more sunlight and nutrients.
- They spread very quickly and easily.
As a result, it is important to control their spread as much as possible. They also interfere with agriculture and forest regeneration, and often force costly restoration efforts due to their rapid spread (for more information, check out Ontario Invasive Plant Council).
Follow us to learn more!
Did you know that despite its name, Canada Thistle is actually from Europe? Or that Garlic Mustard is considered one of Ontario’s most aggressive forest invaders, displacing native wildflowers like trilliums? This month, follow along on Twitter and Facebook to learn about invasive plants that can be found in gardens, neighbourhoods, and natural areas. We’ll share some facts and photos of common ones like Canada Thistle, Garlic Mustard, and Common Buckthorn (see photos below), which we have come across in our Wildflower and Medicine Wheel gardens at the Trafalgar campus.
Photos from left to right: Canada Thistle, Garlic Mustard, Common Buckthorn (photos by: Alison Feist; Credit Valley Conservation; and Andreea Bosorogan).
You can also help track these species so that the province can control their spread and be aware of where they have been spotted at EDDMapS Ontario– Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System.
It is important that we maintain biodiversity so that local ecosystems can continue to thrive and contribute to the wellbeing of humans and the planet. Ensuring we remove invasive plants can help native plants thrive and support important processes, like attracting pollinators (who work hard to fertilize our food), which contributes to earth’s natural processes!
Connect with us on social media or firstname.lastname@example.org to share what you’ve been able to identify this summer!
As the weather gets warmer, many are getting outside more and are reconnecting with nature while enjoying its health and wellness benefits.
While outside, a great way to connect with nature is to learn more about its biodiversity in local neighbourhoods and nearby natural areas. Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth, as all species are interconnected and help contribute to the stability and health of ecosystems. For example, bees are important to biodiversity because they pollinate (or fertilize) flowers and fruits. So, they are essential to the food we eat as well as the plant life found in ecosystems (See Canadian Wildlife Federation for more facts). It is valuable to become more familiar with pollinators (such as bees), native plants, and wildlife, as they are all important to sustaining the health of the planet.
Do you know why native wildflowers are attractive to Monarch Butterfly and Bumble Bees? Which grass can store carbon dioxide and thus help fight climate change? For the month of June, we’ll be helping everyone explore biodiversity by sharing some interesting facts (on Facebook and Twitter) about native wildflowers, grasses, and wildlife in Canada.
There are also many ways to help protect and support biodiversity locally:
1. Try planting native wildflowers at home: This will support pollinators, provide habitat to animals, and create a beautiful view. Wildflowers and grasses attract pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, and insects, and there are many native plant species to choose from (check out Sheridan’s Wildflower Garden and Medicine Wheel Garden) that will thrive in conditions suited to different spaces.
2. Celebrate biodiversity through joining the conversation around themed days this month:
- June 8th is World Oceans Day: Share with others the importance of biodiversity in oceans and water bodies, and how waste negatively affects marine and plant life. Do your part by reducing single use plastics, and consider participating in future shoreline cleanups once they resume.
- June 22nd-28th is National Pollinator Week: Help support pollinators by planting native wildflowers, or observe pollinators in greenspaces during a walk. Join the conversation using #pollinatorweek and learn from others about pollinators.
Connect with us through social media or email@example.com to let us know how you’re exploring biodiversity this month, and what you’ve been able to identify!
As it is time for Spring cleaning, we can also take the time to reflect upon our habits around waste. For instance, we can rethink our material consumption around buying new items that we do not necessarily need such as clothing. We can also consider other ways in which we generate excess waste in our lives, such as single use items like water bottles.
This month, Mission Zero will be raising awareness around waste reduction and sharing tips for our “Take Action on Waste” initiative.
How can we start moving to a more sustainable path while at home? Whether it be collecting your e-waste, or simply learning how to better sort your waste at home, here are some tips for Taking Action on Waste this month:
- Gathering e-waste: Collect your old electronics and plan to bring them to an e-waste location in your municipality once they have reopened. Find locations and more information about this on Electronics Recycling in Ontario’s Website. Or, bring e-waste to a community waste drop off event or location in your municipality (Click for more information on these in Halton Region, Peel Region, and Toronto) once they have resumed with accepting special waste.
- Setting aside clothing: organize your gently used unwanted clothing and plan to donate them to a community dropbox in your municipality once they have reopened. Look for clothing and textile donation information on your municipality’s website or diabetes.ca for updates on their clothing donation droboxes.
- Eliminating food waste: Find new ways to reduce food waste such as freezing leftovers, finding recipes that use food scraps, and storing food correctly. Share your own tips and learn from others about eliminating food waste here.
- Sorting waste: Check out your municipality’s website for waste information to ensure you are placing all waste in the correct bins.
And, we invite you to participate in our social media polls throughout the month to see how everyone else has been Taking Action on Waste this May!
Thank you to everyone who celebrated Earth Month with Mission Zero! We have received many photos responding to our invite and submitted their photos. Here is our “Earth Day 2020 Collage” that you, the Sheridan Community, helped create for Earth Day:
It is wonderful to see the many different ways that we can stay connected with nature during these times, and it is beneficial for our health and wellness to continue spending time with nature. Let’s celebrate nature not just for Earth Day, but every day.
In the coming months, we will share ideas and tips around sustainable actions so you can help protect nature. Don’t forget, you can stay updated with Mission Zero through Facebook and Twitter. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org