Bike Lockers – rent yours today!

October 15, 2017 • Written by

We’re happy to tell you that bike lockers are now available for rent at the Notre Dame Campus. Seventeen bike lockers have been installed in high traffic locations around campus. The lockers have access doors on both ends and hold two bikes each – adding a total of 34 bike parking spots on campus. These lockers are ideal for regular bike commuters who want a place to lock their bike, bag and helmet in a secure place protected from the elements.

Rental Details:

  • Lockers cost $10/month, beginning on the first Monday of every month until the last Friday of the month. However during this kick off period, lockers rented in October will be valid until the end of November.
  • Personal locks aren’t permitted. You’ll be given a College-issued key for your locker.
  • Rentals are done in person at the Print Shoppe.
  • More info can be found here.

About the bike locker designs: In addition to improving end-of-trip facilities for cyclists, we wanted to give these big grey boxes (formerly known as our herd of elephants) a splashy makeover to animate our campus. We came up with the idea of showcasing prominent Winnipeg landmarks and the distance to travel to them by bike from campus. Our talented designer Marc executed this vision perfectly. We’re particularly fond of the FortWhyte Alive! design… What’s your fave? We still have some more lockers to complete. If you have a suggestion for a notable landmark you’d think should adorn one of our bike lockers, email us!

These bike lockers are part of RRC’s Transportation Plan. We’re committed to continuing to provide flexible, equitable and sustainable commuting options for students, staff and faculty. Find out more here.

Happy cycling.

RRC named a Finalist for Sustainability Award

October 13, 2017 • Written by

Red River College has been named as a finalist for the 2017 AASHE Sustainability Awards. Our Pitch In redesign project – Branding our Waste: Creating College-Specific Recycling Signage through Collaboration – earned us this honour in the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award category for outstanding achievements in sustainability.

“We are excited to recognize Red River College for their high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “The innovation and leadership demonstrated by these finalists is inspirational.”

Students performing a waste audit in the greenhouse holding a garbage bag full of Tim Hortons cups.

Environmental Engineering Technology Students performed waste audits to test the effectiveness of the initial redesign

The College launched Pitch In, our comprehensive hallway waste and recycling program, in 2011. The concept behind “Pitch In” is two-pronged: it shows students and staff where to “pitch” their waste and recyclables and also reminds us that the program can only be successful if we all “pitch in” and do our part.

In an ongoing effort to improve this program, and to make signage more accessible to our users, we decided to redesign the Pitch In signs last year. In keeping in line with the brand, invited our College community to “pitch in” on every step of the redesign process to make truly College-specific signs.

New Pitch In Sign with photos of actual items found on campus to help sort waste more effectively

New Pitch In Sign Design


The new Pitch In signs will be launched at NDC and Roblin Centre later this fall. They are the result of direct input from approximately 150 stakeholders as well as data from two student-led waste audits which sorted through approximately 95kg (209lbs) of waste. The most notable difference is the shift from a text-based sign to an image-based one, which includes photos of actual items found on campus to make sorting easier.

Professional photographer taking a photo of a disposable coffee cup.

“Garbage photo shoot” – photos of items found on campus were used in the new Pitch In signs.


This approach, which not only engaged stakeholders across the College but also includes photos of actual College-specific items is a unique approach to recycling signage. We even went so far as to have a “garbage photo shoot” with Marketing of items which were collected on campus! Read more about the project here.

AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. Their prestigious annual awards recognize sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. By raising the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research, the awards program helps to disseminate innovations and inspire continued progress toward sustainability.

Winners will be announced during the opening ceremony at the AASHE Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas this Sunday. Finalists’ entries were judged on overall impact, innovation, stakeholder involvement, clarity and other criteria specific to each category.

Wish us luck!

Go on RRC, give GoManitoba a try

September 25, 2017 • Written by

Here’s the deal… we know that 60% of staff and 50% of students are concerned about the environmental impacts of commuting. We also know that many staff want flexibility in their commuting options throughout the year and that 25% of students prefer to carpool to campus. For these reasons, and many more, Red River College is excited to introduce GoManitoba to students, staff and faculty.

GoManitoba is a province-wide commuting platform that matches you with carpool partners (drivers and/or riders) who live and work/ attend campus near you. The system also gives you transit options, walking and cycling routes, and matches you with commuting buddies. Students and staff have the option of matching with everyone on the GoManitoba site, or you can choose to limit your search to College-specific users/ ** Use your Red River College ( email address to ensure you get connected with RRC peers.

Registering and navigating the site is just a simple as creating and using your Facebook account, but if you need some help you can refer to this handy GoManitoba How to Guide.

Cutest air freshener I ever did see. Thanks Green Action Centre!

The free app can be download to your smartphone, tablet or desktop. GoManitoba works best when a critical mass of people sign on, so encourage your friends, family and colleagues to join. To sweeten the deal, the Sustainability Office is offering a $200 Commuter Care Package to one lucky Rebel who registers before November 30th. Green Action Centre, the provincial coordinator for this program, is also offering some ‘early adopter’ prizes for the first 5,000 registrants to the site.

Happy commuting everyone.

Launching GoManitoba is another way the College is promoting sustainable commuting to campus. Learn more about our plans and priorities by checking out our Transportation Plan.

Fair Trade Campus Week 2017

September 21, 2017 • Written by

Poster promoting Fair Trade Campus Week Sept 25-29. Poster. Photo of someone holding freshly-picked coffee beansFair Trade Campus Week will be September 25-29 this year. As with years past, we have some fun activities planned.

When you purchase a fairtrade product, you are ensuring that farmers and workers in developing countries that helped bring that product to market are receiving adequate compensation for their hard work, that they have safe working conditions, and that environmental standards were met in its production.

Red River College is proud to be participating in Fair Trade Campus Week. Here’s how you can get involved:

Show How You Support Fair Trade and Win!

Photo of student with their Fair Trade coffee holding a sign that says "I Support a Fair Deal"

Show how you support Fair Trade and be entered to win!

During Fair Trade Campus Week, get caught with a certified fairtrade product on Campus and be entered to win free coffee for a month*! We will be popping up all week at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses catching you in the act of supporting Fair Trade and entering you for our prize draw.

Never in the right place at the right time? Don’t worry! You can also share with us how you support Fair Trade on social media and be entered to win. Simply:

  1. Take a photo or video demonstrating your Fair Trade commitment.
  2. Post it on social media using the hashtag #FTCampus
  3. Make sure you tag us (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Fair Trade Fair

Thursday, September 28 | 11AM – 1PM | Library Hallway, Notre Dame Campus

An ACC student holding a tray of Fair Trade baking.

ACC Students will be handing out Fair Trade Banana Rum Biscotti at the Fair Trade Fair.

Our office has partnered with the ACC International Baking Students again to bring you a free Fair Trade treat: Banana Rum Biscotti dipped in chocolate made with fairtrade sugar, bananas (donated by Discovery Organics) and dark chocolate (donated by Camino). See the full list of ingredients here.

And what’s biscotti without coffee or tea? De Luca’s will also be there sampling their fairtrade coffee and we will sampling the fairtrade Numi teas that are now available on campus.

We are also excited to have Ten Thousand Villages selling their beautiful fairtrade products. Start your holiday shopping early, or pick up something for yourself.

Read More →

Farmers’ Market – here’s our line-up

September 7, 2017 • Written by

Red River College’s 2nd annual Farmers’ Market is being held on Friday, September 15th from 11am – 1:30pm in the Library Hallway… and we hope to see you there!

Our local line-up includes:

Wafflelicious – Savour one of these waffles and you’ll swear you’re sitting in a café in Brussels.

Gold Bone Broth – Bison bone broth and chicken bone broth is a delicious way to fill your body with all kinds of goodness like protein, calcium, antioxidants and amino acids. Plus it’s delicious.

Pod4design – Warm tired and sore muscles with these naturally made therapy bags. I can tell you that the Peppa Pig Therapy Bag I got for my 3-year old at last year’s market is a hit.

Hearts & Roots – Farm fresh, organic veggies. Need we say more?

The Stak Co.- Colourful packets of pulses and legumes to make delicious soups, burritos and chilis. Ole!

Nosh on This – Pamela whips up delicious sweet and savoury baking. Bet you’d never know it was vegan and gluten-free. This means you can eat twice as much, right?

Cze By Tania – If a beard was ever to be described as lustrous it would be thanks to Cze’s beard oil. Hair and body products, too! Did we mention Tania’s a former grad?

Prairie Quinoa – Did you know that in Bolivia and Peru there are more than 6,000 varieties of quinoa? Closer to home, engineer turned farmer Percy Philips grows amber quinoa on his farm near Portage la Prairie.

Assiniboine Community College Baking Program – Chef Barb and her students are back at it. This time they’re bringing streusel cake, bread and jams. Delish!

RRC Sustainability Office – The three hours a year when the Sustainability Office becomes a Market Vendor. We’ll be there selling our Bijou and Creekside honeys. Jars are $10 each.

Come hungry. Come with a reusable bag. Come with a full wallet. Come with your co-workers. We look forward to seeing you!


Cutting Paper Use. Slashing Energy Consumption – A fresh sustainability focus for Fall

August 28, 2017 • Written by

We’ve got some exciting news to share. Sustainability is growing from two… to three. This Fall a Resource Reduction Specialist will join the Sustainability Office to bring a focused and dedicated effort to campus paper reduction and plug load energy reduction. Staff and students consistently rank these topics as top sustainability priorities. In the most recent staff survey (Feb-Mar, 2017) staff cited paper reduction and energy reduction as their top two sustainability priorities.

Staff rank campus sustainability priorities

These results aren’t surprising considering the significant financial and environmental impacts that come with them. Chew on this:

  • The amount of electricity consumed at College-owned campuses is enough to power the RM of Headingley for nearly two years.
  • As a college we use 14 million sheets of paper every year. Stacking our annual paper use is taller than putting the One World Trade Centre (1,776 feet) on top of the Burj Khalifa (2,717).

These numbers are big and somewhat daunting… but we’re up to the challenge!

The Resource Reduction Specialist position is being filled by Whitney Crooks, our current Sustainability Coordinator, on a two-year basis. (Whitney’s current position will be backfilled through a competition.) “I’m very excited about this opportunity. We know that there’s a great culture of sustainability at the College. I’m continually amazed at the support for sustainability and the great energy and ideas generated from students and staff. I’m committed to working collaboratively with all College stakeholders to addressing paper and energy reduction at the College.”

So stay tuned. The consultation process will begin in late Fall and we hope you’ll be a part of it!

Introducing… Creekside Honey

August 17, 2017 • Written by

Creekside Honey: NDC’s very own private label honey. Don’t worry, our Marketing Department will make a much nicer label .

You submitted (98 honey names) and you voted (an astounding 6,794 times) and we finally have a resolution to our NDC honey-naming contest.

A huge congratulations goes out to Bettina Allen for coming up with Creekside Honey. This honey is aptly named because, in Bettina’s words, Omand’s Creek runs along the edge of the college grounds and through Brookside Cemetery. It is home to a variety of wild plants, flowers and wildlife and likely a popular place for the RRC bees to collect pollen.

Mark your calendar! Creekside Honey, along with our Bijou Honey, will be sold at RRC’s 2nd annual Farmers’ Market on Friday, September 15th. Since we’ve doubled our hives from last year, our honey yield has increased substantially, so there will be much more to go around.

Congratulations also to our finalists Rob Buisson (Bad to the Drone), Shaun Scrymgeour (Born to Bee Wild), Lynn Gibson (Campus Buzz), Dave Wozny (Notre Dame Nectar), Mark Hoddenbagh (Rebelicious).

Thank you to everyone who participated in this fun summer contest. It sure did create a buzz on campus!

Honey, here’s your shortlist

August 7, 2017 • Written by

Our bees (and our Leslie) on Building A.

We received a whopping 98 submissions in our contest to name the Notre Dame Campus honey.

The honey names and descriptions were then passed on to our judges (Gord ‘Guardian of the Grounds’ McLeod, Riva ‘Penchant for Puns’ Harrison, and Darryl ‘Actual Apiarist’ Oshanyk) to develop our shortlist. It was a difficult task to pare the list down from 98 to 6 submissions, but our judges were up for this challenge.

Without further ado, our shortlist is….

Honey Name Description Submitted by
Bad to the Drone A George Thorogood Song is now in your head. Rob Buisson
Born to Bee Wild Many species of bees have recently faced extinction, one of the reasons behind this being excessive use of pesticides. Most of these bees were born to be wild. It’s always important for us to think about our environment and everything living within it, especially when it affects life on this planet so profoundly! Shaun Scrymgeour
Campus Buzz The name illustrates the fact that the bees are on Campus, and also includes the word buzz, which is the noise bees make. The name also refers to the details, scoop or lowdown on what’s going on at the College. Lynn Gibson
Creekside Honey Omand’s Creek runs along the edge of the college grounds and through Brookside Cemetery. It is home to a variety of wild plants, flowers and wildlife and likely a popular place for the RRC bees to collect pollen. Bettina Allen
Notre Dame Nectar Notre Dame, obviously because of the location, and nectar as the essential sugar component of honey. Dave Wozny
Rebelicious Honey We are the “Rebels” and the honey will be “delicious”. Mark Hoddenbagh

All students and staff are now invited to vote for their favourite honey name through the online poll below. Voting will end on Wednesday August 16th at 4pm and our winning honey will be announced on Thursday, August 17th.

The creative minds who came up with the 6 short-listed honey names will each receive one jar of our Notre Dame Honey, with the winning submission receiving four jars (2 of the PGI honey and 2 of the NDC honey). Sweet deal!

This honey-naming contest is one of many events we’re holding this summer to promote our partnership with Beeproject Apriaries and the 6 hives we have dotting the rooftops of our college campuses. We’re still gearing up for a honey extraction workshop and Farmers’ Market, so there’s plenty more time to get involved with this project.

Happy voting!

Which name for the Notre Dame Campus honey is the sweetest?

  • Creekside Honey (50%, 3,405 Votes)
  • Campus Buzz (34%, 2,324 Votes)
  • Bad to the Drone (5%, 310 Votes)
  • Notre Dame Nectar (4%, 269 Votes)
  • Born to Bee Wild (4%, 253 Votes)
  • Rebelicious Honey (3%, 233 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,794

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Honey, what’s your name?

July 18, 2017 • Written by

Chris from Beeproject Apiaries talks to RRC staff on the Building A rooftop.

Oh Bijou honey, would a honey by any other name taste so sweet? We think so. The problem is… it doesn’t have a name.

As you might know, RRC has partnered with Beeproject Apiaries again this summer to install hives on campus. Last year, three hives were installed our of PGI rooftop. The end product of that partnership was a delicious yield of Bijou Urban Honey. The honey was named Bijou after the park just south of our PGI building, where the bees foraged for nectar, and also because the honey was delicate and jewel-like (‘un bijou’).

This year, the PGI hives (and the Bijou honey) are back. In addition to that, three hives have been installed on the rooftop of Building A at the Notre Dame Campus (see photos here)…. and we need your help.

We’re looking for staff and students with a flair for creativity to help us name the Notre Dame Campus honey. So far, Rebel Honey and Brookside Delight are the only names we’ve come up with, and we think you can do better than that. 😉

Here’s how the contest works:

Enter Complete the attached form outlining your honey name, along with a brief description of why you think it’s fitting. Tip: Take inspiration from geography, history, comedy, an apiary… just be downright creative. Entries will be accepted until Friday, July 28th at 12pm.

All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of RRC judges who have been carefully curated for their knowledge of communications (particularly puns), natural landscapes and, of course, bees. The shortlist will be revealed on social media and though all staff news on August 8th.

Vote The college community will be able to vote among the shortlisted names from August 8th- August 16th. All shortlisted submissions will receive a free jar of RRC honey.

Win On August 28th the person who comes up with the winning NDC honey name will be profiled on the Sustainability Office’s social media (here, here and here), receive 4 free jars of RRC honey… and, of course, sweet bragging rights.

Buy All students and staff can purchase both the PGI and NDC honey at RRC’s 2nd annual Farmer’s Market scheduled for early September.

Bee fun. Bee creative. Bee-lieve that the winning honey name is somewhere deep inside of you!


We’re Number 1 – Again!

July 12, 2017 • Written by
Our Commuter Challenge award held up in front of the RRC bus stop at NDC

We won GOLD in our workplace category – again!

It is official – Red River College won GOLD in our workplace category in the 2017 Commuter Challenge – for the 3rd year in a row!

Not only that, we had a record year! We had our highest number of participants ever (191) and our highest participation rate ever (30.3%)! The number of people who registered and logged at least one trip increased 63% from last year!

This is a true testament to the commitment of the people of Red River College to sustainable commuting options, and to sustainability in general. Thank you to everyone who participated whether you did what you always do, or you tried something new just for the Challenge, we could not have done it without you!

Some highlights from the 2017 Commuter Challenge:

RRC Instructor Daniel Enns with a bike on a stand hosting the NDC bike repair workshop

NDC Bike Repair Workshop hosted by RRC Instructor Daniel Enns.

Bike Repair Workshops
Leading up to the Challenge, we organized two bike repair workshops for cyclists of all levels to increase their confidence in performing routine maintenance and simple repairs on the go. 27 people attended with many more interested, prompting a brainstorming session in our office about how to support more people to cycle to and from campus – stay tuned! A big shout out to Daniel Enns, an RRC Instructor who hosted the NDC workshop AND was the catalyst (and volunteer mechanic) for us to host our first-ever Bike to Work Day Pit Stop (see below).

Early Bird Prize
To help encourage registration, we held a prize draw from everyone who registered before May 31st for the Challenge (which was June 5-9). 123 people registered before this date, which represented 60% of total registrations. Congratulations to our winner Michelle Lodewyks who won a bike lock, an “I “heart” Sustainability” reusable water bottle, and a universal cup holster.

Transportation Plan boards on display at the Commuter Challenge Launch

Display on our Transportation Plan at the 2017 Commuter Challenge launch.

Launch Event
We were thrilled to host Green Action Centre for the official launch for the 2017 Commuter Challenge in Bijou Park beside the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute on June 1. The event was emceed by CBC’s Trevor Dineen and guests included The Honourable Cathy Cox, Minister of Sustainable Development; Councillor Brian Mayes, City of Winnipeg; and Paul Vogt, President of Red River College. This event also coincided with the launch of our Transportation Plan which we were able to showcase at the event.

Whitney and a cyclist sharing a funny moment at the commuter welcome station at NDC

Having fun at one of our Commuter Welcome Stations.

Inspiring Colleagues
Speaking with many of our commuters that week, whether at one of our commuter welcome stations or over email was a major highlight of this event. We heard many stories that inspired us and great ideas and questions that intrigued us. Some of you gave a new commute mode a try for the first time that week, and some just kept doing what you always do, and all of you inspired us. A few big shout outs:

  • To the people who shared their sustainable commuting stories (part 1 and part 2) to help motivate and inspire others (we would like to make this an ongoing feature, so if you would like to share your own commuting story, contact us): Patrick Griffith, Matthew Ferber, Lisa Case, Cassidy Dzama, Matthew Brett, Chris Harrington, and Debbie Donato
  • To the top commuters for the week in each of the categories below:
    • Bike: Greg Krenz (300KM); Mike Poitras (297KM); Daniel Enns (230KM)
    • Carpool: Danny Hutchinson (733KM); Sherrie Cooke (699KM); Heather Mauthe (500KM)
    • Transit: Joseph Noval (264KM); Tara Luchuck (240KM); Mariam Merasty (200km)

Bike to Work Day – The Commuter Challenge Epilogue

A couple of weeks after the Commuter Challenge was Bike Week – a week-long celebration of cycling in all forms for all reasons. The last day of this week (Friday, June 23) was Bike to Work Day where pit stops were set up all across the City with bike repair, treats, and prizes for commuters cycling to work. Thanks to the initiative of Daniel Enns, RRC hosted it’s first-ever pit stop for Bike to Work Day. With the help of many volunteers (listed below), we welcomed about 115 cyclists to our stop located at the north side of the Omand’s Creek footbridge with fresh cinnamon buns and other treats, coffee, water, music, repairs and maintenance and a prize draw courtesy of the Campus Store.

Thank you to the following volunteers for making the Pit Stop a great success: Daniel Enns, Todd Buchanan, Jody Gillis, Jim Voth, Tyler Steiner, Patrick Griffith, Leslie Ternowetsky (bike valet to the stars).

Check out the gallery below for photos from our Bike to Work Day Pit Stop: