On this wonderful week of Waste Reduction across Ontario, we here at UHN celebrated by challenging our staff, and especially our green team, to share actions and ideas that cut waste down to a teeny-tiny size. They could email us, facebook or tweet, like UHN Volunteer services did below.


We lured staff with nothing more than the promise of (really nice) waste-reducing goodies from Grassroots. Speaking of which, congratulations to (drumroll please) … David Hewitt, at Toronto Rehab Outpatient Clinics! And these are the goodies he gets.


What a floodgate we opened! We were overwhelmed (in a good way) with 187 fantastic, spectacular and replicable ideas. We’re going to need several future blog posts to share the ooey-gooey-green goodness.For now, lets focus on the poetic genius side (since it’s awesome!).

Meredith from Emergency Medicine Research resuscitated waste reduction very elegantly…

waste not want not
live by less is more
pedal oneself to-and-fro
close the lights and door

revive an aging canvas
repaint renew repair
inhale-exhale fresh air

(re)create beautiful things
use stuff already had
lime wash patience elbow grease
with what is made, be proud and glad

-Meredith Kuipers

Ann at Toronto Western’s Intensive Care Unit not only wrote an amazing ode to the blue bin in our last post, she can never refuse a rhyme:

Refuse the Refuse

Guardians of the Galaxy, Stewards of the Earth,
Our charge is to reduce, recycle and rebirth.
Those goods we are a makin’ are takin’ all the hues
And turnin’ what is lush and leafy into, Refuse.

Our consumption is explosive, can we waste a day?
For generations to bear a cost, we have yet to defray.

The Pitcher’s Thistle is under threat, the Piping Plover too,
To save the dunes, their habitat, is up to me and you.
Our labour will bear fruit ‘neath this lavish Canopy,
With larks and lakes and lilies singing, mellifluous harmony.

– Ann Masterson

Tim from the Ambulatory Clinics at PMCF worked with his boys to get the point across, (and tweeted them). Way to get the next generation started on the right (low-carbon) foot(print), Tim!

A poem by:
Shepherd (4), Joaquin (8), Daddy (not too old!)

From Blue and Green Eyes

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Love Mother Nature
Because she loves you

Recycling is blue
Compost is green
Here at the UHN
we’re keeping things clean

I’m writing this poem
not because daddy said so
but because I planted a tree
and I want to see it grow

I’m his big brother
The Anti-Litter Bug
If you pick up someone else’s garbage
I’ll give you a hug

I know it’s not yours
I know it might smell
let’s add it to our chores
and like Daddy, carry some Purell

Recycle all you can
Reuse again and again
Reduce your waste
and we’ll have a #wastefreeUHN

-Shepherd & Joaquin and a little help from their dad, Tim Burke


Cara from Toronto Rehab created Haikus in every eco-flavour, and tweeted them …

when you leave a room
remember to turn off lights
do your part, be green.

coffee in your mug
saves you some cents at starbucks
green and saves money

my carbon footprint
lessened by walking to work
feels good to be green

when you bring your lunch
use washable utensils
less waste all around

do try not to print
or read from a scanned copy
or print on both sides

-Cara Kwok


Tammy from TGH Psychiatry analysed her lunch-time ways and expressed them in Haiku…

bringing lunch to work,
reusable container –
no more paper bags!

-Tammy Cadue

Veronica at Volunteer Resources volunteered ideas in verse…

As a member of UHN’s Green Team
All the waste I see makes me want to scream!
I encourage everyone to love where they stay,
By reducing, reusing, and recycling every day!

My tumbler carries my water,
My mug for my brew,
My Tupperware for my lunch,
I do my part, do you?

A #WastefreeUHN is easier than you think,
Just think twice before you drink!
As for your lunch, why not bring it from home?
You’ll save some money, and ditch the foam!

-Veronica Deally

And I even tried an olde fashioned Limerick…

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who threw so much trash that they trucked it
Though this went on for days
He saw light and changed ways
Now adores his beloved blue bucket

-Lisa Vanlint

What did you think I’d rhyme with Nantucket?

Poeticly #WasteFreeUHN forever,