So who won? (the Interhospital Challenge, that is)

As we stare down Black Friday (now a thing in Canada too), lots of people are gearing up for some serious sales. Those serious sales can turn into serious spending, consumption and a whole lotta waste. What a perfect time to talk about our Waste Reduction Week Interhospital Challenge🙂.

The King/Queen of all Reusable Mugs! The Silver Stein of Sustainability! The Interhospital Winners trophy.

The Royal Highness of Reusable Mugs! The Silver Stein of Sustainability! The Interhospital Winner’s trophy!

This was a great competition way back in October (like Canadian Thanksgiving). The goal was simple: get as many people as possible to play the WRW Quiz, and by playing, they’d learn a little something about those 3R’s on the way. With SickKids, University Health Network, and Sinai Health Systems all on board, we had to balance for size. The winner would be the one with the greatest proportion of votes to its number of staff.

So who won? Drumroll please…

The WRW Olympic Podium! Sinai Health Systems won the gold, University Health Network won silver and SickKids won bronze. Balancing on the blue bins was not as easy as it looked! (L-R: Veng Chhin, Lisa Vanlint, Tracey Clatworthy, Brenda O'Connor, Craig Urekar, Elisabeth Perlikowski)

The WRW Olympic Podium! Sinai Health Systems won the gold, University Health Network won silver and SickKids won bronze. (L-R: Veng Chhin, Lisa Vanlint, Tracey Clatworthy, Brenda O’Connor, Craig Urekar, Elisabeth Perlikowski)

The WRW Olympic style Podium was constructed entirely of blue bins (naturally). These were not as easy to balance on as you’d think, so the photoshoot was quick. Congratulations to Sinai Health Systems who won the gold! Tracey and Brenda represented Sinai … note Tracey holding the Royal Highness of Reusable Mugs, the trophy for this event.  Veng and I represented UHN for the silver (and don’t we look swish in the new Radiation Medicine Green Team Vests!). Craig and Elisabeth represented SickKids’ for the bronze and were lucky to stand on firm ground.

By the numbers, we had well over a thousand people take the challenge! Check out how your site did. I’ve coloured the Sinai sites in reds, UHN sites in blues,  and SickKids in greens. Note, this pie chart (mmm, pie) is raw numbers, not proportional. Because UHN is so very huge, we would have needed even more players to grab the gold  (something to strive for in 2017!).

pie-chart-results

There were lots of great questions on reducing, reusing and recycling, but what did we learn from your answers?

REDUCE:

Over 80% of you maintain & repair instead of replacing, for things like clothes & appliances. Almost as many choose fewer but better-made things that last longer (take that, Black Friday!).

REUSE:

You are awesome at the litterless lunchables, with 94% of you using reusable food containers! Reusable mugs could use a boost, coming dead last after bags, water bottles and cutlery. That may change when people find out most coffee shops give discounts for lugging a mug. Starbucks and Tim Horton’s give 10 cents, Second Cup gives 20 cents and Jimmy’s Coffee gives 25 cents! Feel free to post your favorite coffee shop’s discount in the comments.

Click the pic to see which vendors at UHN that give discounts for reusables (intranet only)

Click the pic to see which vendors at UHN that give discounts for reusables (intranet only)

RECYCLE:

Glad to see everyone recycled well, with all answers hovering between 88-97%! The protip is that there are no universal rules for recycling. Rules can change from city to city and building to building so pay attention to the signs and labels where you are (e.g. coffee cups are recyclable at UHN but trash in City of Toronto collection) Here’s inside scoop for UHN (intranet only) and for Toronto.

Recycling for EarthWeek

Recycling for EarthWeek

COMPOST:

This category was great at home but needs help at work. The key is having more compost bins at work … stay tuned with the new Waste-Free Ontario Act.

SPECIAL RECYCLING: 

At 91%, you know about special recycling for batteries! Granted, you need a little help with the CFL’s. Only 55% take them to hazardous waste depots … very key as those energy-saving curly lights contain poisonous mercury. (try LEDs instead).

These babies need to go to Household Hazardous Waste depots (click pic for locations)

These babies need to go to Household Hazardous Waste depots (click pic for locations)

So we had a lot of fun and plan to do it again next year. Give us a shout if you want your site to join in 2017. If you’re not in healthcare, you can start up your own (the more challenges, the merrier).

 

That's All, Folks!

That’s All, Folks!

 

 

 

 

Baby, it’s cold (and slippery) outside

winter-driving

Last Friday was paradise for November, and pretty perfect for biking to work. Then the seasons changed overnight, making Friday a fantastic but faint memory.  No matter if you travel by foot, car, bike, bus or buffalo, the rules change with the weather.

Luckily, we got your back on this and have a lunch-time webinar you can check out for the low price of free. Why not have a worry-free winter commute for whatever way you get to work?

When: Wednesday, November 23, 1-1:45 pm,

Where: Click here to register for the smartcommute webinar

winter-signup

Best of, all you don’t have to travel anywhere to join in.🙂

Ride safe,

Lisa

P.S. We also have an online version of the cycling handbook that has some winter tips.

And here’s the best walking tip from our penguin friends…

Tips from the penguins on how to walk on snow and ice. Click the pic for the full graphic from the Boston Globe

Tips from the penguins on how to walk on snow and ice. Click the pic for the interactive graphic from the Boston Globe.

 

The (orange) elephant in the room at HealthAchieve

This Monday-Wednesday morning, I had the privilege to attend HealthAchieve, the OHA’s crown jewel of healthcare conferences. This is where the brightest minds across the province meet and mingle over speakers and sessions, exhibits and events. The theme this year was “learn, share, evolve”, a lofty yet fitting goal for this kind of thing.

Overshadowing everything was the hair-raising, nail-biting, breath-holding US election. It framed every conversation. Some of the speakers were from south of the border and joked on Monday and Tuesday that if things didn’t go well, would we mind terribly if they just stayed with us? It was a surefire way to get the crowd to smile and laugh … a safe gag since there couldn’t ever possibly be a need.

High Power Poses vs Low Power Poses

High Power Poses vs Low Power Poses

Amy Cuddy opened the session on Monday with Continue reading

We Can Be Heroes (for more than 1 day)

Apologies for playing with the perfection of Bowie’s lyrics, but we’d like to show our gratitude to some of UHN’s unsung heroes … the amazing people in Environmental Services!

Here’s why:

Bickle Staff show their green side. Click the pic to play the video.

The people in Continue reading

Show Me The (Waste Of) Money – Talkin’ Trash, October 2016

First A Contest

In celebration of Waste Reduction Week, which runs from October 17-23 this year, UHN has challenged the SickKids and Sinai Health Systems to an Interhospital Challenge – take the quick quiz before October 30 and help your hospital prove it’s a waste reduction champion.

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Blog

Money talks.  Sure, we don’t always listen to it, and sometimes even when we do pay attention, we don’t really understand what it’s saying…but undoubtedly, the murmur of money is all around us.

canadian_dollar_-_reverse

Continue reading