News

Bike to Work Day – Friday, June 23, 2017

June 20, 2017 • Written by

It is Bike Week – a week to celebrate all cycling in Winnipeg no matter how or why you ride.  To cap it off, everyone is encouraged to ride to work on Friday for Bike to Work Day.

Pit Stops will be set up around the City to offer repairs, treats and activities to cyclists on their way to work. For the first time, Red River College is participating in Bike to Work Day by hosting a Pit Stop and offering escorted group bike rides to campus.

RRC Bike to Work Day Pit Stop – 6:30-9AM

Join us on the northside of the Omand’s Creek Footbridge (see map) on your way to cycling to work. Come by on your way to work to fuel up and join in the fun.

  • Coffee, water and breakfast treats
  • Tools and expertise to help with minor on-the-go repairs and maintenance
  • Music and fun activities
  • Bike Raffle tickets for sale
  • Information on the College’s new Transportation Plan

Bike to Work Day Bike Buddy Group Rides

Whether you are a novice cyclist who would like to ride with experienced riders or you just want to join a group ride, we have recruited some of the College’s veteran commuters to lead group rides to campus. Below is a list of group rides you can join on Friday morning. If you would like to participate in one, please register so we have an idea of how many people to expect. These rides will go at a comfortable pace to accommodate less-experienced cyclists.

Group Ride: RRC Bike to Work Day Pit Stop to NDC
Experienced cyclists will be leading group rides from the RRC Pit Stop to NDC at the following times (travel time is expected to be about 25 minutes).

​​

Departure: 8AM
Arrival: 8:25AM
Leader: Tyler Steiner (below)
Departure: 8:15AM
Arrival: 8:40AM
Leader: Patrick Griffith (below)
Departure: 8:30AM
Arrival: 8:55AM
Leader: Leslie Ternowetsky
Tyler Steiner pictured here will lead a group ride to NDC from the Pit Stop Patrick will be leading a Bike to Work Day Group Ride from the Pit Stop to NDC Leslie Ternowetsky pictured here will be hosting a ride to NDC from the Bike to Work Day Pit Stop

Please meet your bike buddy escort at the RRC Pit Stop (northside of the Omand’s Creek footbridge (see map above) 5 minutes before schedule departure time. Register here.

Group Ride: Northeast Winnipeg to EDC

Jody Gillis pictured here will be leading a ride from Sugar Point to EDC.

Jody will be leading a ride to EDC.

Meet Jody (right) at Sugar Point (the northside of the active transportation bridge at Chief Peguis Trail and the Northeast Pioneers Greenway). The meeting point and route are mapped below.

Route: Sugar Point to the Exchange District Campus

Leaving at 7:40AM, Arriving at EDC at 8:20AM

 

 

Register here (note: if you would like to join in further down the route, please make note of that in your registration)

Honeybees – Part 2

June 15, 2017 • Written by

Sara MacArthur gets to know the NDC bees.

They’re back! And there are more!! Due to the overwhelming success of last year’s partnership with Beeproject Apiaries, we’re pleased to announce that our honeybee friends are once again spending their summer working away on Red River College rooftops. Just like last year, three hives have been installed on the 4th floor patio at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGI). We’ve also added three hives on the roof of Building A at the Notre Dame Campus.

Honeybees are vital to food production and are a fantastic way to engage around sustainability issues that happen ‘in our own backyards’. We have an exciting summer planned to give students, staff and faculty an opportunity to learn more about the amazing world of honeybees… and to enjoy some delicious honey, of course! Here’s how you can get involved:

Visit the hives – A hive visit at the Notre Dame Campus will be scheduled for late June. Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first served basis. (Check out one of last year’s hive visits here.)

Jar of Bijou Urban Honey.

Bijou Urban Honey.

Help name our NDC honey – Our PGI honey is named “Bijou” after the park just south of PGI where many of our rooftop honeybees foraged for nectar, but also because the honey is like a jewel – elegant and delicate. Our NDC honey, however, is currently nameless. In the coming weeks we’ll be holding a contest to find the honey name that best represents our geography, culture, and identity. Rebel Honey? Brookside Delight? We want your ideas!

Participate in a honey extraction workshop – Held at both campuses in late August, take part in the simplicity and beauty of the honey extraction process.

Purchase our honey at the RRC Farmers Market in September – Last year’s honey sold out in 40 minutes. Doubling our hives means doubling our honey yield, so we promise there will be more to go around this season.

To ensure you don’t miss a beat on any of the updates we’ve got coming down the pipe, we encourage you to follow the Sustainability Office on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

We hope you’re buzzing with excitement like we are!

Get Inspired – RRC Commuter Profiles Part 2

June 9, 2017 • Written by

The Commuter Challenge is winding down but our commitment to helping you green your commute is ongoing. Whether you participated in the Commuter Challenge or not this year (you can still register until Friday, June 16) we are here to continue to support and inspire you to choose sustainable transportation whenever possible. One way we can do this is by sharing the stories of your fellow RRC colleagues who are a wealth of experience and inspiration and happy to share it! Below is part 2 of our RRC Commuter Profiles to help get you inspired – click here for Part 1.

If you would like to share your own sustainable commuting experience, please send us a note.


Debbie D (AKA The Debbie) with her dog.

“The Debbie” with her dog.

What is your name? Debbie Donato (aka The Debbie)
Which campus do you work out of? Both NDC and EDC
How do you typically commute to work?
Carpool (2 people)
How far is your commute one way? 3.7 km/4.5 km
What do you like about your commute?
With proper attire and planning, it is short enough to walk.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute? Build it into your routine, instead of looking at it as an option. If sustainable commute = time consuming, pair your commute with another task if possible (like drafting your Cheers for Peers messages J).


Stick figure riding a bicycle.What is your name? Chris Harrington
Which campus do you work out of? NDC
How do you typically commute to work? Bicycle
How far is your commute one way? 7.5 km
What do you like about your commute?
Fresh air, exercise, minimal environmental impact, inexpensive, great way to start and end the work day
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?
If you are thinking about bike commuting, talk to someone you know who does and obtain a good safe route.  There a lots of good routes available to every corner of the city.  There is no need to ride on busy, dangerous streets.  Be safe and be visible.  Wear a helmet and bright clothing.  Use lights when it’s cloudy or dark.  Have a bell.  Obey the rules of the road.  Then, get out there and give it a try.  You’ll be amazed at how it will improve your day.


Matthew Brett and his bike

Matthew Brett

What is your name? Matthew Brett
Which campus do you work out of? NDC and the new ACE Project Space on McDermot.
How do you typically commute to work?
I either bus or bike.
How far is your commute one way?
My bike ride to NDC varies between 8 and 9.5km depending on the route and takes just over 30 minutes at a leisurely pace.
What do you like about your commute? 
Biking to work is a really pleasant way to start and finish the day, and I like that I’m contributing in a small and visible way to changing our transit infrastructure in the city.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute? Get an Eco-Pass and take the bus instead of driving if your life permits. You save lots of money and don’t have the stress of driving in traffic.

For cyclists, I’d have a few tips: First, have a cycling buddy or two. Biking is best when shared. I bike to and from work with a friend who works close to the College. Having someone to bike with is a lot like having a gym buddy. It helps insure that you’ll bike to work rather than bussing or driving. I feel safer on the road when there’s two of us. It also just makes the ride more pleasant because you have someone to share the ride with.

Second, have a pannier to store your schoolbag and work materials instead of having them on your back. This prevents having a sweaty back and makes the ride much more comfortable. I have two waterproof 20L Blackburn panniers (pictured).

Third, wear layers. Having a pannier allows you to wear layers and store them easily. Weather can be unpredictable in Winnipeg, so being able to easily put on, take off and store gloves or a windbreaker is a great help.

Fourth, have a small repair kit in your pannier at all times. I have a kit that fits in my hand, and it includes a tire pump, spare tires, tire patches, a simple wrench, glue and other basic repair essentials. Having a simple repair kit like this for city-cycling can save you from a frustrating walk.

Finally, have charged bike lights in your pannier at all times. I always have charged bike lights at my disposal, and they come in handy on evenings where you end up at work late or during those early spring and late fall evenings. I don’t always wear bright clothing but the lights certainly make me feel safer on the road, and they only cost a few bucks.

Red River College launches Transportation Plan

June 1, 2017 • Written by

Whether you walk, bike, drive, bus, or even scooter, commuting to campus is something thousands of Red River College staff, faculty and students do every day. For this reason we’re excited to launch the first phase of Red River College’s Transportation Plan. This is the first time the College has taken an integrated and long-range approach to how transportation programs and services are delivered.

The Transportation Plan, Phase 1 is rooted in the College’s strategic goal of Fostering Sustainable Growth as the plan addresses the social, economic and the environmental pillars of sustainability.

Transportation emissions account for approximately 30% of Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions. As an institution committed to sustainability, we take our responsibility to reduce our environmental impacts seriously. The plan contains a variety of actions to promote alternative transportation commute modes and to create more flexibility in commuting decisions. Some actions include:

    • Installing bike lockers at the Notre Dame Campus to give students and staff a weather-protected and secure place to park their bikes;
    • Adding air and repair stations at our two main campuses for students, staff and the broader community to conduct basic bike maintenance;
    • Introducing flexible parking options for staff;
    • Promoting carpool matches and active transportation “buddies” through the soon-to-be unveiled GoManitoba.

Feedback from students and staff has been instrumental in shaping this plan. We’re engaging the college community as we roll out Phase 1 and will continue to seek student and staff input as we shape future transportation initiatives. We want to hear from you!

Staff are invited to attend a lunch and learn (or watch online) on Thursday, June 8th from 12pm – 1pm in eTV Studio, NDC to learn more about this exciting initiative.

Happy travels. 🙂

The Transportation Plan is collaborative initiative of  Parking Services, Ancillary Services and the Sustainability Office.

Get Inspired – RRC Commuter Profiles Part 1

May 31, 2017 • Written by

The Commuter Challenge is around the corner, and we thought some of you might be looking for inspiration to take the leap and try a more sustainable commute, like cycling! Well, look no further than your fellow RRC colleagues who are a wealth of experience and inspiration and happy to share it! Below are some RRC Commuter Profiles to help get you inspired.

Part 2 can be found here. If you would like to share your own sustainable commuting experience, please send us a note.

Also, don’t forget to register for the Commuter Challenge.


Photo of Cassidy Dzama

Cassidy Dzama

What is your name? Cassidy Dzama
Which campus do you work out of? Notre Dame Campus
How do you typically commute to work? Bike
How far is your commute one way? 5km
What do you like about your commute?
Exercise, scenery, fresh air, freedom.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?
It’s not just commuting to work like you would in a vehicle. You have to pack a bag with work clothes and a tool kit (spare tube, patch kit etc.). Wear slightly less clothing than you would if you were walking outside as you build up heat pretty fast. Start with a few commutes a week, and build up from it. Scout new ways to get to work and plan it out. I use Strava (mobile app) to keep track of my commutes. Find out which routes are faster. Buy some good road tires if you feel biking is something for you. Bike lights are a must for spring and fall as it gets hard to be seen during those times. Don’t let the poor conditions stop you is probably the most important tip. You rarely get the tail wind that pushes you to your destination, always plan to bike against it!


Photo of Lisa Case

Lisa Case

What is your name? Lisa Case
Which campus do you work out of? Exchange District Campus
How do you typically commute to work? I cycle to work. I have a city commuter bike (with fenders) for spring/summer/fall and a fatbike for commuting in the winter. On days when it is not feasible to cycle, I walk.
How far is your commute one way? 2.5km
What do you like about your commute?
Most of it is on a bike route and dedicated walking/cycling path and I get to cycle through the Forks on my way to work. I love riding along the river in the morning and just enjoy nature. I will go out of my way to stay on bike paths because it’s more quiet

Photo of Lisa Case cycling across a bridge in the winter

Lisa Case cycling in winter

and safe out of traffic. In winter I love being able to cycle to work along the Red River Mutual Trail on the river.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute? I would tell people to start slow. If you don’t have a bike, borrow or rent one to see if you’ll like it. Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need the first few times so you’ll enjoy the experience and not feel rushed and stressed when you get to work. You don’t need expensive gear/clothes to ride to work, just a good waterproof backpack (or pick up an inexpensive back pack rain cover from your local bike shop or MEC) in which you can pack your work clothes if you like. Many people I see just wear their regular work clothes while cycling. Because I was cycling to work year round we actually sold our second car as it was rarely being driven. My husband and I have never looked back. We do have to coordinate on days where I have an appointment that is just not convenient to cycle to, but my husband also cycle commutes three days a week so we make it work. If you really want to make it work you will find a way.

 


Photo of Matt Ferber

Matt Ferber

What is your name? Matthew Ferber
Which campus do you work out of? Notre Dame Campus
How do you typically commute to work? Bike year round. Occasionally drive
How far is your commute one way? 6km
What do you like about your commute?
Cycling keeps me active and surprisingly takes the exact same amount of time to get to work while me saving money. Cycling keeps me gloriously warm in the winter; no sitting still in a cold car or waiting for a bus that’s painfully late.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?
Wear a helmet if you cycle. Period. You probably don’t wear a seatbelt because you’re worried about your own skill as a driver.

I accidently got in shape by being too poor to afford a car and getting on a bike. Getting this incidental exercise also greatly helps me with my mood.

Cyclists are allowed on the road. Treat vehicles with respect while commanding your portion of the road and you’ll be treated with respect in turn.

I find vehicles are passing more closely than the 1 meter they’re supposed to I’m probably biking too close to the curb. Own your portion of the road while being respectful.


Photo of Patrick Griffith

Patrick Griffith

What is your name? Patrick Griffith
Which campus do you work out of? Notre Dame
How do you typically commute to work?
By bike as soon as the weather allows!
How far is your commute one way? 14 KM
What do you like about your commute?
Access to quiet streets and bike paths most of the way to the College. It’s a great way to de-stress after a busy day.
What tips/suggestions do you have for someone thinking about changing to a more sustainable commute?​ Find someone who regularly commutes and get some tips. Things like good routes, what to wear, how to manage baggage. Besides that, it’s always good to know how to fix a flat (it’s not hard…)

Take the Commuter Challenge June 4-10

May 24, 2017 • Written by

Click here to register for the Commuter Challenge

Time to dust off the old bike, lace up those walking shoes, or download all of S Town for bus binge listening and join 20,000 people across Canada taking on the Commuter Challenge. For one week in June, reduce your carbon footprint and walk, run, cycle, bus, carpool, and telecommute.

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!

RRC accepting the Commuter Challenge Award in 2016.

RRC accepting the Commuter Challenge Award in 2016.

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:

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.

Tuesday, June 5 | Roblin Atrium | 7:30-9AM
Wednesday, June 6 | NDC Bus Loop | 7:30–9AM **NEW DATE**

Custom Bike Raffle
Win a gift certificate from Natural Cycle and upgrade your existing bike or get a new custom bike.

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

Transit
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)

Creators of Gender and Sexual Diversity course win Sustainability Leadership Award

May 19, 2017 • Written by

A big congratulations goes out to Nora Sobel and Bradley West who accepted the inaugural Sustainability Leadership Award at Red River College’s RED Forum last week.

This award was created to shine a spotlight on the great sustainability work being done by faculty and staff throughout the College. Being recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 7 consecutive years doesn’t happen without dedication, innovation and commitment from our entire College community. The Sustainability Leadership Award is one way we’re recognizing staff and faculty who are putting sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Nora and Bradley accepting the Sustainability Leadership Award from RRC President Paul Vogt

Nora and Bradley from the Diversity and Intercultural Services department received this award for developing an online course to raise awareness about gender and sexual diversity issues among Red River College students, staff and faculty. Read More →

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 →