How do you measure up?

The online world is chock full of quizzes to figure out things like which Game of Thrones character you are or what your favorite colour says about you. These are fun, but do they really tell us anything (other than Brienne of Tarth, and that turquoise = balance & creativity)? How about a quiz with a bigger picture in mind?


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

Enter the Inter-hospital Challenge for Waste Reduction Week. Before we get to that, let’s look at Waste Reduction Week (WRW), held across Canada, October 16 – 22. It encourages us to conserve natural resources through the 3R’s: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle … not Rubbish, Ruin & Restrict. Yes, I love my Thesaurus :).

Behold the CN Tower light up blue and green (like the planet we all know and love) on Monday to kick-off Waste Reduction Week in Canada. Each day has a theme. Day 1 will focus on the Circular Economy, then go to Textiles Tuesday with a massive pop-up clothing swap at Nathan Phillips Square. For a peek at the rest of the week, Wednesday celebrates innovators & champs, Thursday focuses on plastics, Friday is food waste, and the weekend features Swap/Share/Repair.

Back to the nail-biting, second annual Inter-hospital Challenge between University Health Network, SickKids,  Sinai Health System, and new to the table is Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. If you work or volunteer at any of the above location, let’s play!


The challenge is easy … 2 minutes to answer a 7 question quiz, and find out how green you are: The site with the greatest participation rate will win the top prize. There are also individual prizes at each site. The quiz is open from Oct 16 – 29, giving an extra week to celebrate. Last year had over a thousand entries. How about we double that?

Earn extra credit by getting caught “green-handed.” Send in a picture of you and/or your colleagues practicing the 3R’s: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. You may pose with your reusable coffee-mugs, hug your blue bin … feel free to get creative. E-mail your photos to or tweet #WasteFreeUHN.

Not at UHN/SickKids/Sinai/Sunnybrook? No problem. For toolkits (school, business or municipality) and events across Canada, see the tremendous resources at by our friends at the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO).

And I’ll leave you with some good brain food on the subject: “The Story of Stuff:

May this be the year we all get our stuff together.

How did you get here?

Not a big philosophical question, but a very literal one: how did you get here? Unless you live at work (lighthouse keepers, that’s you), you must have traveled somehow. Because no city, especially not Toronto, has roads with room for an infinite number of cars, hopefully that journey was sustainable … think carpooling, transit, biking, walking, telecommuting, anything but an SOV. If yes or no, we have an event for you … Smart Commute Month! on now til Oct 6.

To help make this city flow, our friends at Smart Commute are trying to find out the nitty gritty details of how we go (or don’t go). The more that answer the survey, the better. Ask any researcher, and they’ll tell you about the need for statistically significant data … not just the opinions of 3 people in the same spin class. Luckily, there are already over 3,500 respondents across Toronto, but we could use way more. There’s a special honour for the workplace that responds the most (pretty please, let that be us!). The survey is open till October 6.

They will make it worth your while, with 2 prizes of VIA Rail vouchers worth $300 each!!! And yes, the train is definitely a good way to go.


Beyond the survey, they have a few Webinars you can catch for the low price of free. Webinars are by definition, a type of telecommuting, so you’re really walking the talk (or clicking on the talk) with these. Click the links to register:

Smart Commute Month will culminate in a celebration of sustainable commuting with Best Commute Day TO! On this day, we encourage commuters to walk, cycle, take transit or carpool to work. They can join the conversation by snapping and sharing a photo of their commute @SmartCommuteTO.


Safe (and sustainable) travels to you.

Key Links

Link to the survey

Full contest details

Webinars: Carpooling/car sharing  and  All about Presto

Smart Commute Tool

Hey food-lover, you’ll dig Toronto’s brand new holiday

What massive event is happening in September? If you said “Back-To-School”, nope! It’s Toronto’s very first Urban Ag Day on September 15th. The Ag is short for agriculture (not agoraphobia or agony, quite the opposite). The official proclamation day is surrounded by nine days of events celebrating urban-grown food and the people who grow it. From September 9-17, community gardeners, balcony growers and urban farm businesses will host events across the city.

How to dig in and celebrate at UHN?

Check out the following events at Continue reading

(don’t) Panic! at the BBQ – part 2

(don’t) Panic! at the BBQ – part 2

As promised in my last post, I’ll take you for a deep dive into our various waste streams (figuratively, not literally).

Most people know Continue reading

(don’t) Panic! at the BBQ


Have you ever had that awkward experience of being at a party with plates and leftovers in your hands, but you’re not sure where to take it? Is it garbage? Recycling? Green bin? Continue reading

Garden of Eatin’

Garden of Eatin’

What if you had a garden at work where you could grow fresh veggies (and eat them)?

What if that garden were raised in custom planters so that people in wheelchairs could tend them too?

What if I told you Continue reading

2 kids, 30 boxes and a clean desk drawer

2 kids, 30 boxes and a clean desk drawer

Picture it. You have an emergency message to jot down, so you grab the nearest pen … and it’s dry. So you Continue reading