Hello! I’m Reetu Gobardhan- new UHN employee and this month’s Guest Blogger. I work for Energy and Environment and chances are, I’ve already met you or I’ve emailed you or I’ve bummed directions around the hospital from you. But how did I get to be a part of UHN’s Energy and Environment? Flashback 6 months…

With a BSc in Environmental Science in one hand and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Assessment and Remediation in the other, I was on the hunt for a job. One late night, I spotted an internship for UHN’s Energy and Environment and I applied. I had all but forgotten about the application when I got the phone call that started it all…

I had an interview, to my surprise. A few days after (December 23rd 2010), I received ‘shocking’ news- they wanted to hire ME?! This shall remain the Christmas present that will never be topped. As the New Year started, Energy and Environment had a new girl- the Eco Intern aka Waste Ambassador.

Being the intern, I was already being introduced to the many facets of Energy and Environment. I have learnt a great deal from being involved in projects such as the ‘UHN Styrofoam Phase-Out,’ waste audits, researching green product alternatives, and many other waste reduction initiatives and programs. There are so many things that I learned and that list keeps growing with each passing day. I have also learned an important aspect of Energy and Environment- not only do they help UHN be good to the environment, but they also save the organization money. That’s something many don’t know. Close to $150,000 a year across UHN is saved by recycling alone- by simply being able to sort your garbage into the correct bins.

From the relentless efforts of Ed Rubinstein (Manager of Energy and Environment) and Kady Cowan (Energy Steward), there are now many staff who care about how their day-to-day hospital activities affect the environment and are well-informed about how they can help. On the topic of my coworkers, as anyone who has met them will tell you, they are down-to-earth and helpful. I enjoy coming to work and seeing them everyday. Not only is it part of their job to care for the environment but in reality, they live by the same principles they teach- recycle properly, do your part in energy conservation, and overall, be a steward for the environment. They have influenced me to be an even bigger supporter and promoter of environmental initiatives and programs. Without a doubt, their hard work has encouraged many to do their little part in protecting the environment.

With the end of the internship nearing, I was offered a contract to stay with Energy and Environment a while longer. I was no longer an intern, but a part of UHN. Ed and Kady will never really know just how grateful I am for this opportunity (Thank you).

In closing, as this is my forum at this moment, there is one message that I’d like to relay to all of you reading this blog- please take the time and sort your garbage into the correct bins and know that we need your support!