On Green Procurement and Others …My 12 weeks at UHN’s Energy and Environment dept.

Hi, it’s Evelyn again! It’s my final week here at UHN doing my Practicum placement and my 12-weeks just seemed to pass by like a blur. I thank all my uber-efficient and green teammates for all their help and enlightenment on the green initiatives that UHN is currently doing. I have focused much of my time on possible Green Procurement initiatives and within the limited time I had, here are some of the things I learned… Continue reading

Triple Bottom Line is Oh So Fine

You may know it as the 3P’s: people, planet, profit. Or you may know it as the Triple Bottom Line: social, ecological and financial. Either way, these 3 pillars of sustainability make the accounting ledger cover more than just the red or the black.

Triple Bottom Line  image credit: greenbly.com

image credit: greenbly.com

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Back-to-School Blow Out! …Need it or Not?

Whether you have little ones lining up for the yellow bus, are a student yourself, or haven’t been to a class in decades, September feels like teachers/pencils/books time. As a universal truth, you will be bombarded with back-to-school ads (just try to ignore dreaded ear-worm from a certain office supplies store: “‌it’s the Most, Wonderful Time of the Year“). These ads demand you get the latest, greatest, biggest, best of everything … even things that don’t seem remotely connected to school.

Back to school (2)

Say you want to be prepared, but don’t want to sacrifice a truckload of carbon to get Sophie, Ethan and Arya set up for straight A’s … what do you do? Continue reading

Treasuring Trash, the Second Chapter

One person’s trash is another one’s treasure … a pretty fair comment if you pass any of the gazillion yard sales each summer weekend. Some things on offer are questionable at best (hello Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer), though I did score a snazzy backpack-style picnic basket. It brims with promises of bikerides and strolls followed by al fresco wine and cheese, all local/organic of course. The family that sold the picnic basket had those very same dreams, but after years of anticipation and neglect, they realized it needed a new home to be used and loved. With that, the picnic basket’s second chapter began.

All things deserve a second chapter (and people do too, but that’s a whole other article). There are the obvious environmental savings; not piling on the ol’ landfill (some predict Toronto’s will be full by 2026), not wasting fuel to haul it there in the first place, not having to mine/harvest/produce as many virgin materials to make new things … and you probably know a bunch more 3-R friendly reasons. There are pages and pinterest boards all dedicated to cleverly, creatively repurposing the old to become something new and exciting (loving this guitar bookcase, MUCH better than listening to me play an actual guitar).

reuse-broken-junk-old-things-17-300x300

image credit: SnappyPixels.com 43 Ways to Reuse

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Adeline, our new Food Project Coordinator

That's me at the Eastdale Collegiate Institute's new rooftop garden

That’s me at the Eastdale Collegiate Institute’s new rooftop garden

Hello everyone,

My name is Adeline [pronounced “Adleen”] and I was very excited to join the Energy & Environment team a few weeks ago as Food Project Coordinator. What does energy and environment have to do with food, you ask? Well… quite a lot actually. We serve more than 1,300,000 meals every year across our 7 sites. If we consider the full supply chain, the food we choose, the way it is produced and the distance it travels… all of it has a major impact on our environment and energy use. That’s why we want to Continue reading

At UHN, Re-Using Is Going To The Worms

UHN is a big place.  Scratch that…UHN is a very big place.  So big that last time I bothered to count, which was back before Toronto Rehab was welcomed to the family, I estimated that we used around 80 million “things” a year.  So…combine a very big place with a lot of things being used, and it’s quite likely that at some point, somebody is going to be getting rid of the exact same thing that somebody else is looking for.

Fortunately, since 2008 UHN has had its Virtual Swap Room, an on-line message board where somebodies looking for things can connect with other somebodies looking to get rid of still good things…think of it as Kijiji-lite for UHN. Continue reading

Second-Hand, Top-Shelf Style

purveyor4-241x225Put your money where your mouth is…one of my favourite expressions to walk the talk, be the change you seek in the world, and generally get epic stuff done.

Often at we search high and low to look for some bright spots in the world…those rare individuals that take our free-range message to heart and incorporate it into the very fibre of their being. Sometimes in the search, we miss what’s in front of our faces. Specifically, in a cubicle right around the corner where we found a fellow Infrastructure colleagues doing just that.

Janet Hall has the lucky task of Continue reading