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
Spring is here, and Wednesday, April 22nd is Earth Day! We invite you to celebrate “Earth Month” with us for the month of April. During this unusual time, we encourage you to connect with nature and enjoy the health and wellness benefits related to this.
Participate in Earth Month with Mission Zero by sending us your photos to show us how you are connecting with nature while at home! On Earth Day, we will compile these photos into a collage to share with the Sheridan Community to show our unified connection with nature!
Here’s some ideas to get you thinking- we’ll share some more throughout the month on our social media too:
Email your photos to email@example.com, or tag/message us on Facebook (Sheridan Mission Zero) or Twitter (@mssnzero) to share with us how you are connecting with nature this month! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SheridanStayStrong! Please submit your photos by Friday, April 17th.
Do you want to take climate action? A good start is to know your individual environmental impact!
One way to do this is to calculate your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by your individual activities, expressed in tonnes released per year. Carbon footprint calculators are useful tools that can help you understand your impact and take personal action for climate. Try calculating your footprint here! Our Mission Zero volunteers calculated theirs and challenged themselves to take action to reduce their footprint:
As we approach Earth Hour (Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 p.m.) and Earth Month (April – Earth Day is April 22nd), we will be sharing daily tips on social media to give you ideas for how you can reduce your carbon footprint, stay healthy, and keep climate action in mind as you are social distancing.
Follow us on Twitter (@mssnzero) and Facebook (Sheridan Mission Zero) to check out our daily tips, and share with us what you are doing to take climate action! Tag us and use the hashtag #MissionZero so we can come together for climate action – from our homes!
Last week, our Robbie shows why sorting waste is essential for everyone. This week, Robbie wants to talk about single-use plastics.
In this short video, Robbie provides tips on how to reduce waste from single use plastics. Hope you’ll enjoy it. Don’t forget to share it with your colleagues and students!
You can learn more about our waste bin program here.
In this short video, Robbie shows why sorting waste is essential for everyone. Hope you’ll enjoy it. Don’t forget to share it with your colleagues and students!
You can learn more about our waste bin program here.
HMC’s first ever Zero Waste Festival is taking place on Tuesday, March 24th! It will be held at Creativity Commons in B Wing from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is a free event. Everyone in the Sheridan community is welcome to join.
The Zero Waste Festival aims to promote to our community the different ways to reduce waste in our daily lives. This event offers the following activities:
• Free Clothing Market
The Clothing Market will feature gently used clothing donated by students, faculty, and staff. Clothing will be available for free to participants during the festival.
We are collecting clothing donations until March 20. Only clean items in good conditions are acceptable. If you would like to support the Clothing Market, you can find out the donation bin locations on our website.
• Eco-entrepreneurs Speakers
During the Festival between 12 to 1 p.m., a panel of three special guest speakers will join us on a discussion panel to share their experiences in starting their innovative initiatives, from creating a new organization to advocate for sustainable fashion to opening a shop selling package-free goods to volunteering to help others to fix broken household items. Audience will have an opportunity to join the conversation and get inspired!
• Repair Café
Bring your broken household items to get help for fixing while learning how to do the repair yourselves. We will have fixers available for small appliances, electronics, computers and clothing.
• Zero Food Waste Booth
This booth will feature Zero Waste tips for grocery shopping, meal prepping and eating out! You will also learn how to reduce food waste and learn plant-based root-to-stem cooking recipes.
• Bike Hub / Upcycled Crafting
At this booth, our Bike Hub staff will show you how to fix a bike and answer any questions about Sheridan’s bike programs. An upcycled craft section will be available for you to create card holders and jewelry using old bike tubes!
• Sustainable Student Creations
Throughout the festival venue, sustainable lighting props will be displayed. This includes lamps made from unwanted waste. We want to showcase zero waste and sustainable work created by our environmentally-minded students.
• Games and Others
A few sustainability-related board games will be available for participants to play. As well, our new animation videos, “Our Dumpster Diver’s Tips”, and other Zero Waste tips will be shared through the screens around the venue.
The HMC Zero Waste Festival is offered by Mission Zero in collaboration with Sheridan Student Union. We would like to thank Green Team for their wonderful leadership and contribution as part of the Organizing Committee for the event.
For more information about the Festival, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.