Power Down for Earth Hour and Win!

March 9, 2018 • Written by

We're powering down for Earth Hour. Are you?

Join us in shining a light on climate change for Earth Hour 2018. Millions of people around the world will power down their lights and electronics for one hour on Saturday, March 24 from 8:30 – 9:30PM local time.

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 lighting? Powering down lights and electronics when possible can save a lot of money!

Pledge to Power Down and Win

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 year, all staff, students and faculty who pledge will be entered to win a Earth Hour Prize pack: Enjoy a candlelit game night with friends or family with a gift certificate to a A Muse N Games, locally-made candles and some delicious organic snacks.

Take the pledge now




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Are you 18-30? Looking to Start a Green Career? Join us!

March 7, 2018 • Written by

Canada Green Corps logoAre you a youth interested in starting a career in the sustainability sector, but having a hard time getting a foot in the door? If so, this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for!

The United Nations Association of Canada’s (UNA-Canada) Canada Green Corps program connects un- and underemployed youth with employers in the green sector. Participating employers receive a subsidy to hire youth who bring their talents to the table and gain meaningful work experience, gain new skills, and make valuable connections to help kick start their green careers.

Here at the Sustainability Office we’re excited to be participating in the Canada Green Corps program. The Resource Reduction Assistant will play an essential role in establishing baseline data and developing programs and strategies that engage staff and students in campus sustainability. Over a six month term, the work will focus mostly on plug load energy and paper reduction interventions, however there will also be waste reduction and diversion components and an opportunity to work on other sustainability issues at the College. This position provides an exciting opportunity to be part of the planning and creation of sustainability programming at a large institution named one of Canada’s greenest employers. Read more about the position here.

Read More →

Please don’t leave the light on this holiday break

December 20, 2017 • Written by
Photo of someone pulling the cord to turn off a light

Don’t forget to shutdown all unnecessary lights and electronics before you leave for the break.

The winter break is fast approaching and we’re making a list and checking it twice – our seasonal shutdown checklist that is. With the College being closed for 10 days, we’re asking for your help to clean up and shut down before you leave for the holidays.

Over the break, the College’s major building systems will run in “Un-Occupied Mode”, which means lower temperatures and, in most cases, minimal ventilation.  This will reduce our energy consumption, and our environmental footprint, while the College is shutdown. We can increase that impact by everyone doing their part to ensure unnecessary lights and electrical equipment are shut down.

So, before you dash away into the night, please go over the checklist below to help save energy and reduce our collective footprint at the College this holiday season.




Remove perishables and clean fridges
Collect, bag and dispose all garbage by December 21

Box with a checkmark TURN OFF ELECTRONICS

Televisions/Digital Displays
AV Equipment, including Projectors
Power bars
NOTE: Printers should be left ON, they’ll go into energy saving mode on their own.


Electronics items use standby (or phantom) power even when you aren’t using them, so where possible unplug these items.

Fridges (turn the temperature up on fridges that can’t be unplugged)
Space heaters
Coffee makers
Toasters/Toaster Ovens
Water Coolers

Box with a checkmarkTURN OFF LIGHTS

Meeting Rooms
Common Areas


  • Lab equipment: Together with your colleagues identify equipment that can be safely turned off, unplugged, or placed in standby mode over the break.
  • Do a department walk-through to ensure valuables are secured; lock cabinets.
  • Activate alarms if applicable before you leave.
  • Set yourself a reminder in your calendar or on your phone (or even on a sticky note on the door) to remember to do your season shutdown checklist before you leave.
  • Set yourself a reminder for when you return from holidays to plug needed items in or turn them on.
  • Use this checklist for whenever you’ll be away for an extended period of time (long weekends, vacation, term breaks). When you book the time off in your calendar, add a reminder to do this as well with a link to this blogpost.
  • Don’t forget to water plants and feed and water vermicomposting worms!

Energy and paper reduction are consistently listed as sustainability priorities by RRC staff, prompting the recent addition of a Resource Reduction Specialist (Whitney Crooks) to the Sustainability Office. Whitney is looking forward to working with all of you in the new year on identifying opportunities for reducing paper and plug load energy use on campus. Until then, have a safe and happy holiday!

BRAVO AWARD | Sustainability Leadership Award Nomination

December 1, 2017 • Written by

Do you know of an outstanding colleague or team who demonstrates leadership in environmental, social and/or economic sustainability here at RRC? We sure do, and we are calling on YOU to take a look around and nominate someone who goes above and beyond to show their commitment to enhancing the College’s culture of sustainability.

Whether it’s through research and education, everyday activities, initiatives and events, or advancing and integrating sustainability in College governance and operations, we want to highlight and celebrate this work!

Please visit our microsite to learn more about the values, strategies and programs here at the Office of Sustainability, and check out the 2017 winner!

Hurry, you have until December 20th to submit your nomination for the BRAVO Sustainability Leadership Award, get started here!

E-WASTE DRIVE | Accepting items from home and work all week*!

November 24, 2017 • Written by

Heavy materials weighing you down? Now is the time to get rid of all of that pesky e-waste!

On average, RRC recycles the weight of 14 Manitoba bison in electronic waste every year!This year, let’s strengthen the herd and securely dispose of our e-waste in an environmentally responsible manner. RRC is holding an e-waste drive to collect and recycle old, broken and unwanted electronic waste (batteries as well!) throughout the week of December 4-8.

Notre Dame Campus:
Drop off e-waste at Shipping and Receiving (B183) Monday to Friday. Please note Shipping & Receiving closes daily from 12:00-12:45PM. Collection closes on Friday at noon.

Or drop it off at one of our drop off tables:
Wednesday, December 6 | 10:30AM-12:30PM | Library Hallway
Friday, December 8 | 9:30AM – 11:30AM | Library Hallway

Exchange District Campus:
Drop off e-waste at Shipping and Receiving (W101) Monday to Friday. Please note Shipping & Receiving closes daily from 12:00-12:45PM. Collection closes on Friday at noon.

A list of acceptable items can be found here. If you’re not sure if something is acceptable, contact us to find out. Can’t make the e-waste drive? Items can also be dropped off at the multiple City of Winnipeg 4R Depot locations anytime.

*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 ensure 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.

Welcome Laura! RRC’s new Sustainability Coordinator

November 17, 2017 • Written by

The Sustainability Office has grown from two to three! We’re excited to introduce Laura Hnatiuk as RRC’s new Sustainability Coordinator while (former Sustainability Coordinator) Whitney Crooks takes on the role as Resource Reduction Specialist for the next two years.

Learn more about Laura in her own words.

Laura Hnatiuk

Hello RRC! My name is Laura Hnatiuk and I am beyond excited to take on the role as Sustainability Coordinator. I look forward to engaging with students, faculty and staff to deliver and expand top notch waste, recycling and other sustainability programs and events on campus. So… who am I?!

Since a youngster in diapers, I’ve always had a fascination with nature. You could often find me gazing at the sky, picking at leaves, poking at bugs and collecting many, many rocks. Growing up, my fascination developed into a passion to protect and maintain the integrity of our earth and its valuable resources.

To no surprise, I went on to get my Bachelors in Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba, focusing on biodiversity and conservation. After spending some time away in the Rocky Mountains, I returned to Winnipeg full of fresh mountain air, to pursue my career in environmental sustainability.

It became very evident to me that my ambition lies within public outreach and institutional sustainability, working towards the development and expansion of sustainability programs and initiatives to provide the access and resources needed to build a strong culture of sustainability, and promote behavioral change that can be carried forward into everyday life.

I have since worked to integrate sustainability programs and initiatives within both the public and private sector, most recently coming from Green Manitoba as the Organic Waste Program Coordinator. There my role was to coordinate the development and delivery of the Manitoba Composts Program, Schools Compost! Program, and expansion of various organic waste diversion initiatives, projects and funding opportunities throughout Manitoba. Before that, I had a great opportunity at MTS, where I established an Environmental Management System and worked to integrate waste, recycling and other sustainability programs across the telecommunications industry in Manitoba.

On my own time, I’m active in both the local environmental community and the gym (you can find me at Bootcamp!). I enjoy volunteering in many different fields of interest, particularly local arts and culture, as well as all things food! In addition to that, Farmers Markets and yoga take up much of my free time.

I am confident that RRC will continue to build its reputation as a leader in sustainability and am thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of the team! Please feel free to contact me anytime with comments, questions, concerns or ideas. I can be reached at,  204 632 2144 or drop by C519 (baking is always welcome).

We’re having a Pop-Up Market!!

November 16, 2017 • Written by

Snow is flying, streets are slippery, gingerbread lattes are being served… holidays are right around the corner. The Sustainability Office and Students’ Association have partnered to bring holiday cheer and reduce your holiday stress by holding our first ever Loving Local Holiday Pop-Up Market at the Notre Dame (Nov. 29) and Exchange District Campuses (Nov. 30). We’ve assembled a stellar lineup of 20+ small local businesses and individual artisans to give you a one-stop-shop for all your holiday shopping. We’ll even have an eco-gift wrapping station on hand to wrap your lovely local gifts in a sustainable manner. This service is free, but we’ll be gladly accepting donations for the Students’ Association Food Bank

Our loving local line-up includes:

Erin Edwards – Paper crafts and cards for a lovely personal touch.  

Blissful Minds – Bath bombs, soaps and scrubs to give the gift of relaxation.

Queenston Crafts – Upcycled wool sweater mittens made with love by RRC’s very own Lynn Gibson.

Cooks Creek Kimchi – The ancient Korean superfood made right here in Manitoba. 

Brie’s Botanicals – Vegan and ethically sourced aromatherapy products including air fresheners, yoga mat cleaners, multipurpose cleaners and more.

Prairie Girl Candles – Small batch, hand poured Manitoba beeswax candles to set the holiday mood.

Bee Boyzz Honey – Liquid, creamed and flavoured honeys make a sweet gift.

Sarah Neville Studios – Adorable greeting cards and illustrations.

Cupcakes by Design – Beautifully made cupcakes, cake pops and imperial cookies.

Daydreamer Handcrafted Creations – Hand forged, custom-made fire pokers. Perfect for lake-goers and ‘mallow roasters.

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. Plus they’re RRC grads!

More Than Pyjamas – Handmade sleepwear and loungewear to keep you cozy on chilly winter nights.

Pod4design – Warm up and and soothe tired muscles with these naturally made therapy bags.

Fresh Emblem – Adorable wood, laser-etched car fresheners.

Elleanne Baking – Homebaked cookies, sandwiches, brownies & squares.

The Stak Co.- Colourful packets of pulses and legumes to make delicious soups, burritos and chilis. Perfect for a holiday potluck.

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

Leda & Spark – The dynamic duo of Nadine and Caitlin make handmade jewelry.

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 – all made by RRC grad Tania Czemerynski.

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.

Note to marker-goes: We cannot guarantee our wrapping will look as adorable as these little packages.

Embracing the Stone – Hand forged, one of a kind jewelry made from sterling silver, fossils, turquoise and other exotic, precious materials.


RRC Sustainability Office – Your last chance to pick up Bijou and Creekside honeys this year. 

Volunteers needed! Are you a holiday elf with a flair for creativity? We’d love for you to lend a hand at the eco gift wrapping station (at both campuses). Contact us for more information.

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.