Take the Commuter Challenge June 4-10

May 24, 2017 • Written by
RRC accepting the Commuter Challenge Award in 2016.

RRC accepting the Commuter Challenge Award in 2016.


It’s that time of year again: dust off the old bike, lace up those walking shoes, or download all of S Town for bus binge listening. Every year, 20,000 people across Canada take on the Commuter Challenge and walk, run, cycle, bus, carpool, and telecommute to reduce their carbon footprint for one week in June.

The Commuter Challenge is also a friendly competition, and it is a point of pride that Red River College has won GOLD in our workplace category for the last two years – let’s make it three!

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Register here
  2. Use sustainable transportation to get to and/or from work at least one day during the week of June 4-10
  3. Participate in one of our events throughout the week
  4. Log your daily commute
  5. Be entered to win great prizes!

Early Bird Prize: RRC employees who register for the Commuter Challenge by May 31 will be entered to win a prize.

RRC Commuter Challenge Events

The Sustainability Office wants to help you take on this challenge and keep you motivated to succeed. Here are some we’re doing that:

Rendering of bike repair stand

Bike Repair Stand

Bike Repair Workshops
End of trip bike repair stations are popping up at many locations to help cyclists make minor repairs to get you home again (you may even find two of them at RRC soon). But what are all those tools for and how do you use them? Come find out at one of our bike repair workshops.

Wednesday, May 31 | 12-1PM | EDC & NDC
(exact locations to be determined)
Register here.

**The NDC workshop is currently full, but we are working on planning a second workshop. You can still register for the waitlist and/or to hear about future workshops.**

Commuter Welcome Stations
We will be welcoming our sustainable commuters to work in the morning with free treats and infused water to help you start your day. Stations will be set up to help you register for the Commuter Challenge and log your commute.

Monday, June 4 | NDC Bus Loop | 7:30–9AM
Tuesday, June 5 | Roblin Atrium | 7:30-9AM

Custom Bike Raffle
Upgrade your bike or get a new custom bike. We will be selling raffle tickets to win a custom bike from Natural Cycle throughout Commuter Challenge.

Tickets are 1 for $2, or 3 for $5 and can be purchased at any of the above events, or at the Sustainability Office (NDC, C519).

Tickets will be on sale Monday, May 29 until noon Friday, June 23.The winning ticket will be announced in All Staff News the week of June 26, 2017.

Please note: the value of the prize will depend on the number of tickets purchased.

Sustainable Transportation Resources

Red River College offers a 60% subsidized monthly bus pass for staff at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses. Find out more here.

Navigo – Plan your Winnipeg Transit trip
Selkirk Transit

Free Weekday Bus Pass for 5 Downtown Commuters
Green Action Centre & The Downtown Biz are teaming up during Commuter Challenge on the #Busisbetter campaign to get even more people taking public transit during the week. They are offering five weekday transit passes for RRC employees who work at one of the downtown campuses and who normally drive to work.

All you need to do is register for the Commuter Challenge, agree to take the bus for that week, and complete a survey about your transit experience. The first five eligible people who contact Whitney Crooks will receive a free transit pass!

Bikes on racks at NDC

Bike racks at NDC

Active Transportation
Bike racks are located around campus for your convenience. Downtown staff can park their bikes with peace of mind in our secure bike lock up inside the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. Register for the bike program in the Campus Living Office (Room 106, Massey Building) between 8:30 – 4:30.

Winnipeg Bike Map (or come by the Sustainability Office to pick up a copy)

Earth Day Recap

April 25, 2017 • Written by
RRC staff at the Phoenix Recycling Facility

Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Phoenix Recycling

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Earth Day Celebrations last week! Your energy and support helped to make the week a great success!

Here are some of the highlights from the week:

6 staff and faculty attended the Behind-the-Scenes tour of Phoenix Recycling and got a closer look at where the 100 tonnes of recycling we create annually goes.

157 people came to our Fair Trade Café where they got to enjoy delicious fairtrade brownies made by ACC students

Fairtrade brownies made by ACC students were served at the Fair Trade cafe during Earth Day Celebrations.

ACC students baked fairtrade brownies for the Fair Trade Café.

and help crowd source the fairtrade teas that will soon be available on campus. After sampling eight different fairtrade teas, each person voted for their favourite. The top 3 teas were: Golden ChaiMoroccan Mint, and Honeybush. Stay tuned for information on our efforts to become a Fair Trade Campus.

1,473 lbs of e-waste from work and home was collected for recycling.

34 people attended the 7th Annual State of Sustainability (in person and virtually) to learn about what progress we have made in the last year and what sustainability initiatives are coming down the pipe. One highlight: due to the success of the pilot conducted during Waste Reduction Week in October, a

Attendees at the 7th Annual State of Sustainability

7th Annual State of Sustainability.

permanent collection bin for pen and marker recycling as well as for plastic shopping bags will be installed this year. The link to the full presentation will be made available shortly.

And finally, the icing on the Earth Day cake is that for the 7th year in a row, Red River College was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers!

Earth Day Celebrations at RRC

April 7, 2017 • Written by

Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day – a worldwide event to celebrate our planetary home and to show our support for a healthy, sustainable environment. At the RRC Sustainability Office, we think that this celebration is so momentous that we’re stretching our Earth Day Celebrations over an entire week! Join us!

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Phoenix Recycling Facility

Piles of aluminum cans ready for recycling

Phoenix Recycling Facility

Tuesday, April 18th | 10:30AM – 12:30PM

RRC sends approximately 100 tonnes of materials for recycling annually – but where does it go? Find out what happens to your Pepsi bottle or why you can’t recycle Tim Hortons coffee cups by joining us for a fascinating tour of Phoenix Recycling (the facility that processes all of RRC’s recyclables). Snacks and transportation provided (from NDC and EDC).

Space is limited, please register here.

Fair Trade Café (and e-Waste Drive*)

Wednesday April 19th | 9:30AM – 11:30AM | NDC Library Hallway

Students posing at a Fair Trade Campus Week event in 2016.

We’re working our way to becoming Manitoba’s first Fair Trade Campus.

Free fairtrade coffee, tea, and treats!

Have your say! To become Manitoba’s first Fair Trade Campus, we need your help selecting fairtrade teas to serve on campus. Sample a variety of ethically-sourced teas, vote for your favourite, and enter to win a prize!

Volunteers will also be on hand to accept your e-waste from home or work for recycling*. A list of acceptable items can be found here. If you’re not sure if something is acceptable, contact us to find out.

­­­­7th Annual State of Sustainability

Friday April 21st | 12PM – 1PM | eTV Studio (GM22, North Gym Hallway)

It’s been a busy year! Come for (a free) lunch and learn about the College’s sustainability achievements over the past year. You’ll also be the first to hear about exciting projects coming down the pipe.

­e-Waste Drive* from Home and Work

Piles of electronic waste ready to be picked up for recycling.

E-Waste ready for recycling

ALL WEEK | Shipping and Receiving at NDC and Roblin Centre

Springtime means spring cleaning. Now’s the time to securely dispose of electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. Allowable items include: computers and computer equipment, printers, stereos, speakers, cellphones, microwave ovens (for a complete list click here, or contact us).

Please note: College assets must be accepted by someone at Shipping and Receiving to ensure they’re disposed of properly.

* Please ensure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment that may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.

Some other events you may find interesting include:

The Greenspace Horticulture Plant Sale and BBQ is on Thursday, April 20 from 11am – 1pm.

The Downtown BIZ is hosting a Downtown clean up: Team Up to Green Up on Friday, April 21. Sign up as a team to help clean up downtown and win prizes!

FortWhyte Alive has a full day of family activities planned for Earth Day on Sunday, April 23. Admissions is free all day.

Help RRC Shine a Light on Climate Change

March 17, 2017 • Written by
We are tracking our pledges on this large image which includes RRC buildings with lit windows. Every pledge will darken a window and bring us closer to our goal.

Pledge to power down for Earth Hour and turn off one of these 250 lights. Progress will be updated daily (click on the image to pledge).

Earth Hour will occur this year on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 – 9:30PM local time. Every year millions of people from around the world power down their lights and electronics for one hour and shine a light on climate change. This year, we plan to participate in a few ways and we hope you will join us.

We’re powering down for Earth Hour…

Red River College is powering down for Earth Hour and we need your help. Non-essential lights will be turned off during the hour, and we ask that before you leave for the weekend you shut down your computers, unplug unnecessary electronics and turn off your lights.

Did you know that the College spends about $555,935 annually powering products plugged into AC outlets and lights? Turning off and unplugging lights and electronics when possible can save a lot of money!

…Are you?

Because Earth Hour is on the weekend, we can make a bigger impact if members of our college community pledge to power down at home.

This is not only a great way to show your support for a global initiative that is working to mitigate climate change, it is also a great way to reflect on our dependence on electricity and to find fun things to do without it! Some ideas of things you can do include:

  • Play board games by candlelight
  • Organize a candlelit (or no light) walk in your neighbourhood
  • Go stargazing
  • Host a sing-a-long
  • Invite friends for a candlelit potluck

Our goal is to have 250 RRC staff, students and instructors pledge to turn off lights, unplug and turn off non-essential electrical equipment for Earth Hour.

Pledge to participate today! Watch the tracker (above) or in the NDC Library Hallway as well on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we progress towards our goal!


Read More →

Red Goes ‘Reel Green’

March 7, 2017 • Written by

The RRC Sustainability Office is sponsoring a table at Reel Green 2017 on March 16 and we want to bring you! Enter to win pair of tickets to this popular event by:

  1. Red River College Students can Win Tickets to Reel Green 2017 with the RRC Sustainability OfficeSubscribing to the Red Goes Green Sustainability Blog
  2. Liking Sustainability @ RRC on Facebook*
  3. Following RRCGoesGreen on Twitter*
  4. Following RRCGoesGreen on Instagram*

You will receive one entry for each of the above actions completed before midnight on Monday, March 13, 2017 (so you can enter up to 4 times). Prize draw will occur and winners will be notified on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

*Tickets will be awarded to Red River College staff or students only. Once you like or follow us on social media, please email or message us with your name and department so we can ensure you are entered in the draw.

Reel Green is Manitoba Eco-Network’s annual fundraising gala. This year’s event will be hosted by CBC’s Terry MacLeod and will feature a series of inspiring short films celebrating our natural environment and those working to protect it as well as the awarding of the prestigious annual Anne Lindsey Protecting Our Earth Awards. In addition, there will be some fun eco-themed prizes and auctions and a green carpet where everyone can show off their “second hand glamour”.

Event details:
Thursday, March 16
Doors at 6:30 pm, Program at 7:00
The MET, 281 Donald St, Winnipeg MB
Tickets: $50 in advance, $60 at the door (all tickets include a $25 tax receipt)

Proceeds support environmental education and action on climate change, water conservation, youth leadership, organic lawn care and more.

Challenge Received and Achieved, Jack Frost!

March 1, 2017 • Written by

The RRC Ice Rebels had a great time getting outside for the Jack Frost Challenge February 12-18. The challenge was to get outside and skate, cross-country ski, run, snowshoe, cycle and walk a total of 130km. We’re proud to announce that RRC’s very first Jack Frost Challenge team – the RRC Ice Rebels – crushed that goal early in the week and went on to travel a combined total of 247 KMs over the week!! Out of the 114 teams registered across Manitoba, we finished in 19th place, which we think is pretty amazing for our first try!

Here are our reflections on the week:

Dave on his fat bike at Global Fat Bike Day at The Forks in 2016

Dave at Global Fat Bike Day in 2016

I enjoyed being a part of the Jack Frost Challenge!  It was a fun way to meet likeminded people.  Also, through social media, it helped motivate friends and family to get out and get active.

The weather really presented a challenge for skiing [that] week.  With temperatures well above normal we lost significant amounts of snow during the week.  Needless to say this had an extremely detrimental effect on the trail conditions within the Winnipeg region.  Waxing for classic skiing when the weather is warm and the trails are icy and deteriorating is very difficult.  Each day brought slightly different conditions and different challenges.  On Saturday we switched over to skate skiing to make the best use of the remaining snow.  Hats off to the groomer at Windsor Park Nordic Centre for keeping the trails in good condition despite the soaring temperatures.

In previous years at the end of February I have gone down to Hayward, Wisconsin to compete in the American Birkebeiner 50 km ski race.  The “Birkie” is the largest ski race in North America with an attendance of roughly 10,000 skiers.  This year I am not attending…which is fortunate for me, but not for the organizers, since they are being forced to very likely cancel this year’s race at the last minute due to these unseasonably warm temperatures.  In fact, they received 25 mm of rain yesterday, which essentially destroyed the remainder of the 50 km of trail they have been trying so hard to protect these past few weeks.  Very sad.  Climate change and global warming are having a significant negative effect on the sport of cross country skiing and other winter sports throughout the world.  Go Green…so we can keep our winter wonderlands. Read More →

RRC Ice Rebels take on Jack Frost

February 9, 2017 • Written by

The groundhogs have predicted (at least) 6 more weeks of winter, but we’re Manitobans so instead of retreating to our warm beds, we will embrace winter while it lasts!

Bougeons en Hiver: The Jack Frost Challenge is a weeklong challenge every February where people across Manitoba sign up to skate, cross-country ski, run, snowshoe, cycle and walk a total of 130km, either as a team or (for the hardcore) as an individual.

This year, we have signed up a team – the RRC Ice Rebels – and we’re ready to take on winter from February 12-18. Below, meet our teammates and find out how we plan to meet this challenge head on! Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for updates throughout the week.

If you’d like to join our team, contact Whitney for more information. Or, start your own team and let us know your team name so we can trash talk cheer you on! And don’t forget – if you’re participating in the Get Movin’ Challenge this month you can count your Jack Frost Challenge activities towards your daily 7,000 step count and double your chances to win great prizes! Read More →

RRC Waste Reduction Week Wrap Up

November 18, 2016 • Written by

The dust has settled from RRC Waste Reduction Week which was held October 24-28 and once again, we had a very successful event thanks to all of you! Below is a summary of the week.

Special Waste Depots/E-Waste Drive

We were very excited to partner with MMSM and Winnipeg Harvest this year as part of their Bag it Forward program. Over the week, we collected 286 plastic bags which will be used to deliver Winnipeg Harvest’s emergency food kits. Due to a great deal of interest, we are working on creating a permanent collection for the Bag it Forward program at RRC.

In the meantime, drop off gently-used plastic bags at our office (C519, NDC) from now until December 1. We will drop off all the collected bags to Winnipeg Harvest on December 2. If you have plastic bags but can’t make it to our office, contact Whitney to arrange something.

180 used writing instruments were collected for recycling

180 used writing instruments were collected for recycling

We also collected 180 used writing instruments (pens, markers, highlighters, and mechanical pencils) which will be dropped off at Staples for recycling as part of their partnership with Terracycle. Many of you expressed an interest in making this a permanent program. We heard you loud and clear and are working on it. Stay tuned!

Finally, about 2,262 kg of e-waste was collected for recycling, including 200 kg of used batteries. Many of your asked what happens to these items. Read More →


October 21, 2016 • Written by
Piles of electronic waste ready to be picked up for recycling.

Piles of electronic waste ready to be picked up for recycling.

Did you know that at the Brady Road Landfill, methane gas is captured and burned thereby reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 21,700 passenger vehicles off the road?

Did you know that Winnipeg Harvest uses approximately 1 million plastic bags to deliver emergency food kits each year?

Did you know that you can bring used writing instruments to Staples locations to be recycled as part of their partnership with Terracycle?

October 24-28, 2016 is RRC Waste Reduction Week and we have several activities planned which will give you opportunities to learn more, be inspired, and take action (including a draw for a $500 gift certificate to a local bike shop)!

Wednesday, October 26 | 2PM – 3PM
The Brady Road Resource Management Facility is more than a landfill. The City of Winnipeg is undertaking some exciting initiatives aimed at reducing the waste we send to the landfill, and of mitigating the environmental and social impacts of the site. The tour will include seeing the new 4R depot, the methane capture and flare project, the leaf and yard waste compost pads, and the biosolids pilot composting project.

Space is limited for this tour, so sign up now!

Wednesday, October 26 | 11AM – 1PM | Library Hallway, NDC
Thursday, October 27 | 11AM – 1PM | Roblin Atrium, EDC
Friday, October 28 | 11AM – 1PM | Library Hallway, NDC
Volunteers will be on hand to accept your e-waste at the Special Waste Depots (see below). When you bring e-waste, batteries, plastic bags, and/or used writing instruments to the depots during these times, receive a ballot to be entered to win a $550 gift certificate for a new bike, courtesy of Powerland and Woodcock Cycle Works.

We are also redesigning our Hallway Pitch In signs and want your help! Come by to give us your feedback on the new designs and be entered to win free coffee for a month!

Monday, October 24 until Friday, October 28 (noon)
Shipping & Receiving, Notre Dame Campus and Roblin Centre
Powerland has partnered with us to collect and recycle old, broken and unwanted electronic waste throughout the week.  A list of acceptable items can be found here.

Please note: RRC equipment can be brought in, but must be accepted by someone at Shipping & Receiving to ensure they are disposed of properly.

* Please take steps to make sure that private data is removed prior to dropping off personal equipment which may contain confidential information. Red River College and Powerland do not accept liability for data or any other digital content left on your device.

Monday, October 24 until Friday, October 28 (noon)
Library Hallway (NDC) and Roblin Atrium (EDC)
Drop off these special items for recycling throughout the week:

  • Batteries: Please cover battery connectors with tape.
  • Plastic Bags: We will be collecting gently-used plastic bags as part of Bag it Forward, bags are given to Winnipeg Harvest and are used to deliver food kits.
  • Writing Instruments: Drop off used and broken writing instruments (pens, markers, mechanical pencils and highlighters) and they will be taken to a Staples location for recycling.

Special Waste Depots are supported by our partners: Powerland, MMSM and Winnipeg Harvest.

We will be sending out tips and tricks all week, as well as reminders about our RRC Waste Reduction Week events, so make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sustainability Office attends big, really big, sustainability conference

October 20, 2016 • Written by
Sara & Whitney

Sara and Whitney — waiting to catch the LRT to the airport. For all you baseball fans, that’s Camden Yards in the background.

Last week, Sara and Whitney (RRC’s Sustainability Office) left family and pumpkin pie meals at home and spent four days in Charm City to attend North America’s largest sustainability conference for higher education. More than 1800 of our post-secondary counterparts, faculty, students, administrators (and even a few College Presidents) descended onto Baltimore to gain lessons and tools, be inspired to advance sustainability initiatives at their own institutions, and form important relationships in a rapidly growing post-secondary sustainability network. Read More →

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