A Food Lover’s Guide To Biomedical Waste – Talkin’ Trash, September 2016

(all apologies to cilantro…not!!!)

While I would not necessarily classify myself as a so-called “foodie”, I would say that a fair share of the enjoyment I get in life comes from partaking in some of the finer aspects of eating. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon that in the midst of enjoying a preparation of edibles I am simultaneously fondly recalling the pleasures of meals past, and the excitement of meals planned.

However, there is one aspect of food to which my enjoyment does not extend: cilantro. It’s horrid, vile, disgusting and, if I had my druthers, a) cilantro would be classified as biomedical waste and b) more people would use the word druthers.


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Oh, it’s on! Smart Commute Week

With school back in session and summer vacations turning into ever-distant memories, that morning commute is starting to look crunchy … almost as crunchy as the evening commute. Luckily there’s this here event called Smart Commute Week (Sept 19-25, 2016) to get us to find a more sustainable way to travel, like walking, cycling, talking public transport, or carpooling all or part of the way to work. It’s almost like we planned it.

Through the Smart Commute network (UHN is a member, check if yours is too), we have access to a whole slew of resources to help us make the switch – including the Smart Commute Tool and the Emergency Ride Home program that makes it easy to get home quickly in the event of an emergency (thus the name).

Take the survey – win prizes! (Smart Commute members only) 


New this year, we’re asking everyone at UHN and any Smart Commute member site to take a short survey – 6 questions. We want to hear from everyone – cyclists, walkers, drivers and more! Everyone who completes the survey will have a chance to win one of two $500 VIA Rail vouchers. Your train of thought can get you on a real live train. Sweet!

Twitter Scavenger Hunt!
You can also join a twitter photo scavenger hunt with daily prizes! Follow @SmartCommuteTO to find out more! Usually it’s a daily “Tweet a photo and tag” situation. (while you’re following, we also like to tweet from @UHNTalkinTrash).



Click the pic to learn more about Smart Commute Week


P.S. More excellent news on the transportation front…

Have a Presto Card? Save 50% off Bike Share!


PRESTO card holders are now eligible to receive 50% off a Bike Share Annual Membership! That’s a $45 savings! Find out more and sign up here.

Grizzlies, Mountains, and Sustainability! Reporting from the CHES Conference

Grizzlies, mountains, and sustainability! Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society (CHES) annual conference, hosted in beautiful Vancouver. The theme of this years conference was sustainability in healthcare. This theme refers to both systemic sustainability and environmental sustainability, with the goal to preserve health care services as well as the natural environment so that you’ll be able to get a timely appointment for your tennis elbow injury suffered during a round of frisbee golf and so that grizzlies can continue to survive in their natural habitat.

UHN had great Continue reading

Waste-Free Rules for Back-To-School

Though it feels more like a tropical rainforest than Toronto in September, the infamous “Back To School” season is upon us. Whether you are a student yourself, have school-age kids, or haven’t been to a class in decades, September feels like a time to get serious.

Unless you unplug and hide in a cave, you will be bombarded with back-to-school ads. These ads demand you get the latest, greatest, biggest, best of everything … even things that don’t seem remotely connected to school.

Extrememly odd choice of "back-to-school" sale essentials. image credit: onlysimchas.com

Extrememly odd choice of “back-to-school” sale essentials.
image credit: onlysimchas.com


Say you want to be prepared, but don’t want to Continue reading

Data Analysis For Facility Planning – TGH Chillers

Data is critical to facility planning.  With data organizations can plan for the long term, they can make decisions based on facts, and they can weigh options against one another.  I would say there are three criteria for useful data: availability, reliability, and clarity.  All three are necessary; if you have data but can’t access it then it’s not useful; if you have unreliable data then it’s not useful; and if you have reliable data but it’s a convoluted mess then it will be very difficult to discern anything meaningful (i.e. not useful). Continue reading

Faster, Higher, Stronger…and Cleaner Commuting – Talkin’ Trash, August 2016

Like many fellow Canadians, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks watching athletes from around the world perform amazing physical feats as part of the Rio Olympic Games.

Unlike most fellow Canadians, however, I was probably the only one thinking of how I could capture the energy and excitement of the Games to write about sustainable transportation. Sure, there were probably a couple of high-school physics teachers figuring out how Andre De Grasse’s silver and bronze medal dashes, at speeds that would get him a ticket on my street, could be used to explain things like velocity, acceleration and power…but how could I relate his running to the importance of clean commuting?  And Allison Beveridge, Laura Brown, Jasmin Glaesser, Kristi Lay, and Georgia Simmerling peddling their way to bronze in cycling’s team track pursuit…what does that have to do with active transportation?


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You are ahead by a century

On August 20th, one of the most quintessentially Canadian and legendary bands will perform their very last concert ever. Gord Downie, lead singer of  The Tragically Hip  (or The Hip, as they’re known) was diagnosed last December with Glioblastoma, a particularly nasty type of of brain cancer. Rather than go gentle into that good night, Gord decided to spend his time doing the thing he loves most … performing for his fans.

Gord Downie of The Hip. Image credit: Scott Gardner / The Hamilton Spectator

Gord Downie of The Hip. Image credit: Scott Gardner / The Hamilton Spectator

I was lucky enough to Continue reading