Actually, don’t skip the dishes

plastic bottless.pngIf you don’t know already, you should learn that microplastics are becoming part of our food systems right down to all our soils and growing media. Our addiction to take-out containers means we are unable to avoid consuming plastic microfibres even when Continue reading

Travel, Recycle, Save Lives

Do you love adventure travel? I mean real travel, the kind that gets you muddy and off the beaten path in the developing world. Well, then you should consider Not Just Tourists. This organization collects medical supplies from UHN and other partners, packs them into suitcases, and sends them with travelers (such as yourself) to remote clinics in need. The organization is 100% volunteer based and has been Continue reading

Win-win: Michener Institute saves money while saving the environment

Michener
In 2018, the Facilities team at the St. Patrick campus of the Michener Institute of Education at UHN found a way to save money while also reducing the building’s use of chemicals, water, and energy. The building’s cooling system was not operating at maximum efficiency due to heavy scaling of calcium phosphate in the condenser. This scaling led to an increase in energy and water usage in the summer of 2017, and it also required regular acid cleaning. As you might imagine, this type of cleaning comes with both monetary and environmental costs.

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Meet the Intern!

For those that haven’t met me yet, I’m Sinthusha, the new sustainability co-op working with Lisa Vanlint! I’m pursuing a double major at the University of Waterloo in Science and Business. When I agreed to this job, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into but I was wrong, very, very, very wrong, in the best possible way 🙂 In the two months I’ve been here, I’ve done so much more and learned so much.


Thank you Kelvin Chan Tung and Blair Gage for remembering to shut the sash of their lab’s fume hood! This saves so much energy! (like, more than a house)

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UHN’s CEAL Lab Installs New Lighting System

An innovative new LED lighting system has been installed at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s CEAL lab (Challenging Environment Assessment Lab). Researchers in this lab conduct world class experiments to advance knowledge in mobility, aging, accessibility, design safety, and much more. The lab itself is a unique space with high ceilings located in the basement of TRI’s University Centre. Feel free to read more about the exciting research conducted at CEAL and throughout TRI at this link.

Before taking a deeper dive into the project, here are some quick energy savings numbers:

  • Electricity Savings: 88,000 kWh
  • Cost Savings: $12,300
  • Payback: 1.8 years
  • Additional benefits: Reliability

The before and after photos below demonstrate how LED lights can improve performance while saving energy at the same time.

Before and after

Left hand picture shows original fluorescent lighting, right hand picture shows new LED lighting

Background:

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New to the Green Wall of Fame … the DMOH Green Squad!

DMOH-wCaptionIn a world that sometimes seems a little hard and cold (definitely cold this week), it’s heartening to see a group come together and do some good. We are thrilled to add just such a group to our Green Wall of Fame. Congratulations to the Continue reading

TWH Winter Free Cooling

Canada is usually associated with our long cold winter.  To take advantage of the cold weather, we go out for skating, skiing, snowshoe hiking, ice fishing, snowmobiling, etc., tons of fun activities.  Is there anything we can do at hospitals to make full use of the winter?  Actually there is.  Our hospitals have much essential medical equipment that requires cooling year around.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one example.  It relies on deep cooling to maintain super-conductors inside to generate extremely strong magnetic field and radio waves to do very detailed scanning of patients.  The temperature required is so low for super-conductors that they are submerged in liquid helium, which is about -270 °C (-454 °F).

twh free cooling 1 mri

Figure 1: Typical MRI Scanner Cutaway

A typical MRI scanner uses Continue reading