May 2015

Commuter Challenge: Alternatives to Driving

May 29, 2015 • Written by

Events for the Environment

The first week of June is full of events that remind us to respect the environment. It all starts off with Canadian Environment Week (May 31-June 6) and the week-long, Canada-wide, sustainable transportation competition called the Commuter Challenge. Also, World Environment Day takes place on June 5, which is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment.

RRC’s Past Success in the Commuter Challenge

Red River College has fared well in the Commuter Challenge in past years, and is currently seeking more registrants to go for gold. Suggested methods of transportation include: transit, carpooling, telecommuting, walking, and biking. Click here to sign up for the Commuter Challenge.

Read more about RRC’s success here: Commuter Challenge: Another RRC success story (June, 2014).

Selected Library Resources

Below are a selection of Library resources to get you in an environmentally friendly mood, that will make you realize the impact your driving has on the environment and develop awareness of sustainable fuel and car designs.

Carbon Nation (DVD)
Carbon nation

A documentary movie about climate change solutions. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how solutions to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues.




Algae: Fuel of the Future (streaming video)

Algae: fuel of the futureThis documentary reveals the global search underway to develop a renewable energy source from algae. The film explores the groundbreaking research being done by the National Research Council in Halifax, Nova Scotia and explains why algae fuel isn’t that far-fetched. It could be a commercially viable option since the crude oil we currently use was created by algae a few million years ago.

Towards Sustainable Road Transport (book)

Towards sustainable road transportIncreasing pressure on global reserves of petroleum at a time of growing demand for personal transport in developing countries, together with concerns over atmospheric pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, are leading to a requirement for more sustainable forms of road transport. Major improvements in the efficiency of all types of road vehicles are called for, along with the use of fuels derived from alternative sources, or entirely new fuels. Towards Sustainable Road Transport first describes the evolution of vehicle designs and propulsion technologies over the past two centuries, before looking forward to possible new forms of energy to substitute for petroleum. The book also discusses the political and socio-economic drivers for change,investigates barriers to their broad implementation, and outlines the state-of-the-art of candidate power sources, advanced vehicle design, and associated infrastructure. The comprehensive technical information supplied by an expert author team ensures that Towards Sustainable Road Transport will provide readers with a clear understanding of the ongoing progress in this field and the challenges still to be faced.

Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability (e-book)

Two billion carsIn Two Billion Cars, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America’s love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. America is still the leading emissions culprit, and what is especially worrying is that developing nations are becoming car-centric cultures as well. The authors explain how we arrived in this dangerous state, and also what we can do about it. Sperling and Gordon expose the roots of the problem– the resistant auto-industry, dysfunctional oil markets, short-sighted government policies, and unmotivated consumers. They zero in on reforming our gas-guzzling culture, expanding the search for low-carbon fuels, environment-friendly innovations in transportation planning, and more.

Environment Equation (book)

The environment equationAmericans currently make up 5% of the world’s population, yet create 50% of the world’s waste. But what if there were a way that we could eliminate some of that waste, and the other harmful effects we have on the environment? There is. This full color guide uses pluses and minuses to calculate the damage we do when we make poor choices – and the good we do when we make green choices. You will add and subtract from the size of your carbon footprint, measured in pounds of carbon dioxide. This is a green manifesto that anyone can live by. Delivered in a fun, readable way, it’s perfect for those who care about issues such as global warming, pollution, and sustainability. After adding and subtracting your way through the book, you will be inspired to live green every day in every way.

Bike to Work Guide: Save Gas, Go Green, Get Fit (e-book)

Bike to work guideBiking to work can save someone loads of money and lots of calories–all the while, the earth, too. But bike-commuting isn’t always easy–there are many things a rider needs to know to get to work on time, safely, and happily. Expert bikers Roni Sarig and Paul Dorn teach potential bikers the tips and tricks to traveling to and from work. From buying the right bike, to fueling the body, to road safety, this all-inclusive primer will get bikers on the road in no time. Whether someone is buying a first bike or is a bicycle enthusiast, this book will teach how to: buy the right equipment; pick a route; weather-proof the ride; maintain the bike; follow traffic laws and ride safely; and enjoy the experience! Like a roadmap for the future, this guide teaches bikers how to make a difference in their bodies, wallets, and communities–and get to work–today.

Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (e-book)

Cartoon introduction to climate changeClimate change is no laughing matter, but maybe it should be. The topic is so critical that everyone, from students to policy-makers to voters, need a quick and easy guide to the basics. The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change entertains as it educates, delivering a unique and enjoyable presentation of mind-blowing facts and critical concepts.
“Stand-up economist” Yoram Bauman and award-winning illustrator Grady Klein have created the funniest overview of climate science, predictions, and policy that you will ever read. You will giggle, but you will ll also learn about everything from Milankovitch cycles to carbon taxes.

e² transport (DVD)

e2 transportThis series examines sustainable transportation alternatives with potentially far-reaching effects. Explores real solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges, presented with a combination of storytelling, cinematography and an original music score. Narrated by Brad Pitt. Includes six episodes: 1. London: the price of traffic; 2. Paris: vélo liberté; 3. Food miles; 4. Seoul: the stream of consciousness; 5. Portland: a sense of place; 6. Aviation: the limited sky.

Community Engagement Service Learning

May 25, 2015 • Written by

In this blog post we look at resources for Engaging in the Community. Learning in the community has been part of RRC’s mandate of applied learning for decades, and is now part of the College’s new College-wide learning outcomes. However, up to now, the activities have not have been articulated by a consistent definition and coordinated across programs and schools.

The goal of Community Engagement Service Learning is to provide graduates, with the skills and tools they need to successfully engage in the community, to build positive relationships, broaden learning, enhance their personal and social responsibility for sustainable practices and demonstrate strong intercultural skills.

For more information on Community Engagement Service Learning, look to the AIR Web site.

If you wish to learn more, you may also check out the following eBook resources…


ciommand to communityFrom Command to Community: A New Approach to Leadership Education in Colleges and Universities (eBook)

The essays in this volume address the idea of leadership education through civic engagement. They delineate a new approach to leadership education reflecting important cultural trends driven by technology, globalization, and demographic shifts; look at some of the best leadership education programs nationwide; and offer “next steps” on how to transform higher education more broadly. –Google Books


community conversationsCommunity Conversations: Mobilizing the Ideas, Skills, and Passion of Community Organizations, Governments, Businesses, and People (eBook) 

Communities around the world are entering a new era of community building. Whether improving economic conditions and reducing poverty, re-energizing citizens and social programs, reducing crime, or revitalizing a troubled neighborhood, they are engaging people from all sectors as never before to work together as equals to improve their quality of life.

At the heart of this engagement are community conversations, in which common goals are embraced by a diverse array of people with different backgrounds and needs, and influencers are drawn from multiple sectors, including community organizations, the various levels of government, and businesses big and small.

Full of informative and inspiring examples of collaboration, “Community Conversations” captures the essence of creating such conversations and offers ten practical techniques to host conversations in your community.


community engagementCommunity Engagement, Organization, and Development for Public Health Practice (eBook)

In this practical text, public health students and practitioners will learn the fundamentals of applying community engagement, organization, and development principles to create successful community public health campaigns. Emphasizing nontraditional approaches and partnerships, and the need to readjust traditional strategies, it discusses organization and development methods optimal for public health practice, including public health ethics, faith-based initiatives in community health, community assessment and measurement methods, coalition building, frameworks for developing health policy, and more. This textbook addresses work in at-risk and diverse communities, and stresses the impact of urban change on the community engagement, organization, and development process. It also discusses the methodologies and theoretical frameworks underlying successful community organizing and development. The multidisciplinary public health scholars and practitioners contributing to this work identify the skills required to both analyze the health and health care delivery challenges of underserved communities, and to understand the social, cultural, environmental, and economic determinants of health and illness. The book includes a wealth of practical approaches and case studies drawn from the authors’ real-life experiences in developing successful community health campaigns. PowerPoint slides and case study exercises for each chapter accompany the text for instructor’s use Key Features: .; Disseminates the fundamentals of applying community engagement, organization, and development principles to community public health campaigns; Provides real-life examples of methods and strategies used in engaging, organizing, and empowering community residents … –Google books


understanding service learningUnderstanding Service-learning and Community Engagement : Crossing Boundaries Through Research (eBook)

There is an increasing proliferation of service-learning courses in colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally, and research in the field has seen significant growth in diverse geographic areas in the past decade. Membership organizations now exist to convene scholars and practitioners across the globe. Chapters in this volume are based on presentations given at the 2010 annual conference of the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement held in Indianapolis, IN. The conference theme “International Perspectives: Crossing Boundaries through Research” was chosen to highlight ways in which research crosses all kinds of boundaries: disciplinary boundaries, cultural boundaries, and national boundaries. Although service-learning is valued as an active learning strategy across the globe, little is known about the ways that service-learning is similar or different in varied contexts. Understanding service-learning and community engagement from cross-cultural and cross disciplinary perspectives will improve both research and practice. Together, these chapters represent the diversity, complexity, and creativity evident by scholars and practitioners in this field of study. –Google Books

Culinary Resource – In season now, FiddleHeads

May 22, 2015 • Written by

As increasing awareness of what we eat and where our food comes from becomes mainstream, we seek to grasp back that connection to our food sources. This connection had previously been evaporating in the wake of big brand grocery stores and, increasing lists of unpronounceable food additives showing up on food packaging.

While many people may not be in a practical position to start a hobby farm to feed themselves. Foraging for food is accessible to anyone. Foraging allows us to supplement our groceries with seasonal treats from nature, and reconnect with where our food comes from.

One of the most overlooked, and very first foraging goodies that pop up in spring are Fiddleheads. –Image Pixabay repository for public domain images

One of the most overlooked, and very first foraging goodies that pop up in spring are Fiddleheads. (Image: Pixabay repository for public domain images)

Many locals in Manitoba have childhood memories of picking Saskatoon berries, rhubarb, or wild strawberries with family members when they were growing up. What many Manitobians do not realize is that edibles in the Manitoba wilderness go far beyond the typical staples we tend to seek out.

Popular on the East Coast of Canada Fiddleheads are the beginnings of a growing Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia stuthiopteris). They are easy to identify as they look like the coiled head of violin, only bright green. Fiddleheads grow abundantly wild in Manitoba. The taste is a combination similar to that of asparagus and artichoke, with fresh earthy undertones.

Fiddleheads are in season in Manitoba from the middle of May to the first or second week of June depending on the weather. If you are looking to go out and bag yourself some Fiddleheads, Savour Winnipeg is offering Fantastic Forest Forage Experiences that will show you the ropes on finding these wild edible treats. If you are not interested in crawling around in the forest, you can pick up Fiddleheads at local Winnipeg markets, or try a Farmers Market in your area.

pemmicanWhen you are ready to prepare your Fiddleheads stop by the Roblin Centre John and Bonnie Buhler Library and seek out the book From Pemmican to Poutine: A Journey through Canada’s Culinary History. This book featured in our Local Culinary Inspiration blog holds a section dedicated to the culinary use of Fiddleheads. As with any wild food be sure to review the Government of Canada Safety Tips for proper guidelines when preparing Fiddleheads. Happy foraging! Spring has sprung!





Local Culinary Inspiration

May 7, 2015 • Written by

It is the time of year where every Manitoba foodie or culinary enthusiast is looking forward to the local growing season. Regardless of if you are a current culinary student, thinking about becoming a student at The Paterson Global Foods Institute or you are a student at any of our Red River Campuses, we encourage you to visit the John and Bonnie Buhler Library at the Roblin Centre to gain some inspiration for your summer culinary training, or adventures.

Check out the Manitoba Farmers Market Association to find hours and dates for a Farmer’s Market near you. Be sure to know what is in season to effectively plan a dish or menu that will showcase the freshest local items. Not sure what is in season? Check out the Harvest Guide brought to you by the St. Norbert Farmers Market.

Then visit the  John and Bonnie Buhler Library at the Roblin Centre for books and DVD’s that will detail techniques and inspiration for your culinary creations. We suggest some of the following:


prairie feastPrairie feast : a writer’s journey home for dinner / Amy Jo Ehman

A year of eating locally results in a gastronomical journey through prairie food festivals, local food traditions and the infamous community dinners. A humorous, light-hearted chronicle of the writer’s love affair with good food, prairie traditions and flavours from her childhood with recipes peppered throughout. Fueled by nostalgia and her taste buds, she set out to rediscover the flavours of her childhood – the flavours of natural, local, farm-fresh prairie food. When she vowed to serve only locally produced food at her own dinner table for one year, the pursuit took on a life of its own. Beautiful photographs enhance Amy Jo’s mouth-watering menus, recipes and her adventures in the pursuit of home grown prairie food. –Google Books


feastA feast for all seasons : traditional native people’s cuisine / Andrew George and Robert Gairns

Traditional North American Native peoples’ cuisine has existed for centuries, but its central tenet of respecting nature and its bounty have never been as timely as they are now. Andrew George Jr. of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in Canada is a well-respected aboriginal chef and instructor who has spent the last twenty-five years promoting the traditions of First Nations food. In A Feast for All Seasons, written with Robert Gairns, he has compiled aboriginal recipes that feature ingredients from the land, sea, and sky, elements of an enduring cuisine that illustrate respect for the environment and its creatures and an acknowledgment of the spiritual power that food can have in our lives. –Google Books


modern native feastsModern native feasts : healthy, innovative, sustainable cuisine / Andrew George Jr.

Native American cuisine comes of age in this elegant, contemporary collection that reinterprets and updates traditional Native recipes with modern, healthy twists. Andrew George Jr. was head chef for aboriginal foods at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; his imaginative menus reflect the diverse new culinary landscape while being mindful of an ages-old reverence for the land and sea, reflecting the growing interest in a niche cuisine that is rapidly moving into the mainstream to become the “next big thing” among food trends. Andrew also works actively at making Native foods healthier and more nutritious, given that Native peoples suffer from diabetes at twice the rates of non-Natives; his recipes are lighter, less caloric, and include Asian touches… – Google Books


borealThe boreal gourmet : adventures in northern cooking / Michele Genest ; photographs by Cathie Archbould

“Bring me moose meat! You will not be sorry!” So says Whitehorse author and cook Michele Genest to the hunters in her circle. Wild is wonderful when it comes to Genest’s creative treatments for northern viands, with exciting ideas such as moose cooked in Yukon-brewed espresso stout and finished with chocolate, lime and cilantro, Arctic char marinated in grappa and then hot-smoked, or roasted spruce grouse draped in a sour cream and Madeira sauce. As much culinary adventure story as cookbook, The Boreal Gourmet combines a portrait of northern life with an exploration of wild or “country” foods in gourmet recipes for the home cook. These recipes are inspired by a diversity of countries, traditions and kitchens, and spring from a love affair with the indigenous foods that flourish in the boreal forests and river valleys of the Yukon… –Google books


pemmicanFrom pemmican to poutine : a journey through Canada’s culinary history / Suman Roy & Brooke Ali. Author :Roy, Suman

Canadian cuisine is distinctive. From Pemmican to Poutine: A Culinary Journey through Canada’s History from Coast to Coast represents the unique and diverse food culture and history of Canadian cuisine. Through recipes, history, and legendary stories, this book will shine a much-needed spotlight and deliciousness on Canadian cuisine and brings it to the forefront for food lovers around the world.—Google Books


If you are taking the summer off and would rather relax than spend the day in the kitchen. Then let Red River do the cooking for you. Be sure to check out Jane’s Restaurant Summer hours plan a visit for lunch or dinner to treat yourself, and support the experience of fellow students.