(Hospital) Food For Thought

This past Monday I had the pleasure of participating in “Food on the Public Plate: Lessons from Canada, US and Denmark”, an event put on by Nourish and hosted by the MaRS Solutions Lab.

It was a chance to share the work UHN’s Energy & Environment Team has done looking into local food at UHN, assessing hospital readiness for climate change’s impact on food, as well as some of the existing and planned gardens we have.

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Listen…do you want to know a (hazardous waste disposal) secret? – Talkin’ Trash, July 2018

(apologies to Dr. M and practitioners of the Dental Sciences everywhere…it’s not you, it’s me…really)

In general, when it comes to knowing and not knowing stuff, most people would rather be in the know…however, there are more than a few things that…well, nobody really needs to know about…if you know what I mean.

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Random Thoughts and Observations of a Re-cycled Cyclist

So, it was about a year ago that I started, after a 10-ish year hiatus, cycling to work again (aka re-cycling?)…and while I’m still not at the point of cycling around town for day-to-day living (I’m more of a walker) or hopping on a bike when travelling (aside from the occasional beach ride to get ice-cream), I have over the past few months collected a number of random thoughts and observations:

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It’s a Great Time to be an Energy Saving Sports Fan In Toronto – Talkin’ Trash, April 2018

(apologies to Argonaut, Rock, Wolfpack and sports fanatics everywhere)

According to a random GoogleTM search (because, you know…the internet never lies), the average “top” ice hockey slap shot contains around 163 joules of energy.  Which (because, you know…energy is energy is energy) is the same as around 0.0454 watt-hours.  And because nobody, even long time energy type people, really knows exactly what a watt-hour is, is enough to keep one of those high-falutin’, energy efficient LED tubes we’ve put in all-over UHN going for around 9 seconds.

Put another way, that means accidently leaving just one of those high-falutin’ lights on overnight is the same as wasting over 5,000 Auston Matthews slap shots…Which. Can. Not. Be. Allowed. To. Happen (because, you know…if the Leafs are gonna go deep, we need more Auston).

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Once Upon A Time – Talkin’ Trash, New Year 2018

One of the benefits of getting older (aside from the abundance of reading glasses in a seemingly endless variety of styles and colours…not!) is that if one pays enough attention along the way, one just might learn something.  And one thing I’ve learned while studiously avoiding eye contact with the reading glass displays that seem to inhabit every single checkout line in the city…is that stories are important.

Stories are how we express ourselves, how we learn, how we relate to others, how we empathize and share…all bundled up in a package that, at a minimum, hopefully entertains, but at its best inspires and motivates.  And the beauty of stories is that even tales of ordinary people trying to do mostly ordinary (though sometimes amazing) things under mostly ordinary (though sometimes extraordinary) circumstances can make the world a better place.

Like a stand-up comedian telling of his everyday ups-and-downs in a way that can be simultaneously funny and poignant… sometimes without a single word being uttered…

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Do you need a bag with that? – Talkin’ Trash, October 2017

UHN produces a lot of waste – over 45,000 pounds a day. Recycling and waste reduction are good for the environment, good for our health and save UHN money, so it’s worth it to get comfortable with your organization’s recycling, composting & waste reduction programs and, even better, take our Waste Reduction Week Interhospital Challenge.

A Can In the Bluebox Is Worth Two…

The thing about clichés is that we’ve used them so often that they’ve lost their meaning. Not mention that clichés often contradict each other…like “the early bird gets the worm” and “good things come to those who wait”,  and sometimes they can mask serious issues…sure, the early bird gets the worm is meant to be a good thing…unless you’re the worm.  And don’t get me started about “out of sight, out of mind”.

Too late…you got me started. But first…a bit of animal recycling (Editors note: in the spirit of good ol’ behind covering, please note that no animals were recycled during production of this newsletter. Instead, their images are being used to demonstrate equivalent weights because what the heck does a tonne of garbage look like anyway?).

 

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I Want To Ride My Bicycle (To Work): A Back To School Mid Year’s Resolution

For many, myself included, the first week of September is marked by the dreaded (or celebrated – depends on your perspective, I guess) “back to school”. But for me this year I’ve decided to mark the week with a new tradition…the Mid Year’s Resolution.  You see, a funny thing happened to me this summer; for the first time in around 10 years, I started regularly cycling to work again…and with the return to school I’ve decided that I’m going to stick with it.

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