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