It’s a wrap!

After an amazing eight months, I am sad to say my co-op term with the Energy and Environment department has come to an end. My time here has been more than anything I could have imagined. It made me realize how important it is to not only be informed, but also educate the ones around you on what day to day steps can be taken to preserve the environment and reduce energy usage.

Over the course of 8 months, I spent a lot of time on a range of projects. The shut the sash/door initiative was a huge one! By ensuring fume hoods and freezer lab doors within PMCRT & KDT were being shut when not in use, we were able to encourage good energy saving behaviour. Labs were also incentivized by having the chance of winning monthly pizza lunches if they have 100% compliance! This program had a bit of growth in the past few months as now the externally facing lab doors are also being tracked as it not only saves energy, but ensures the labs are following safe lab protocol.

My most favourite part of this co-op would definitely be helping run the Earth Week booths at all the UHN sites for 2019. Earth week was a very fun and interactive time to help advocate and promote various changes in our day to day activities that can be implemented, both at home and at the UHN, geared toward reaching the goal of sustainability. Believe it or not, when you are taking the most sustainable pathway, it usually tends to be the decision that is most beneficial for the people, the planet and your finances! Earth week was an absolute blast as we were able to generate lots of buzz, interest and have a lot of good discussions. Many green team members stepped up and helped educate their colleagues about common misconceptions, what role they could take on to helping the environment & combating climate change, and anyone who interacted with the booth walked away with free seeds for their garden!

I also got the opportunity to educate various UHN staff on the new waste/recycling rules that have come to be as a result of a contract change! I enjoyed interacting with various department, whether it be research, in clinical units, or housekeeping, and getting them up to date on what’s going on! Feel free to test yourself on the rules using this interactive quiz – TGH and PMCRT Quiz or TWH, PMH, TRI Quiz – or you can reach out to green@uhn.ca if you would like us to come in and educate your staff on the changes through a quick presentation.

All good things come to an end, as such my co-op. I would like to give a huge shout out to my team. You guys are doing an amazing job at truly bringing planet centered care to the UHN, and I am so thankful to have worked with such a talented bunch. Special shout outs to Lisa for being an amazing mentor and changing my perspective on how I can also make a difference by playing my part in helping the planet. And that’s a wrap!

Shut the Sash: The Power of Pizza

Armit Dhinsa - the sash man

Armit – the sash man

Hi, my name is Armit Dhinsa; I am a co-op student from Waterloo who has been leading the Shut the Sash program from January 2016. For those of you in research at UHN, you have probably seen me wandering around the lab spaces for some time now, wondering how I magically appear out of nowhere almost everyday. It is all the the Shut the Sash campaign, a major energy saving behavior change program in Research.

The importance of Shutting the Sash was new to me when I joined. As a biology student who uses fume hoods regularly at school, the extremely high energy usage of the Fume hood was completely unknown to me. Continue reading