What Did 2017 Look Like for the Office of Campus Sustainability

Monday, January 08, 2018

uOttawa University Centre Garden

We were able to accomplish quite a bit last year to make our campus more sustainable! Take a look at some of the awesome things that happened, from transportation, to recycling, and more. Thank you, uOttawa students, staff, and community members, for helping us make our campus as green as it can be.

uOttawa 2017 recycling rates

Record Waste Diversion Rate

The University has reached a record waste diversion rate of 64.5%! That means that 64.5% of materials from the campus did not go to the landfill because we reused or recycled them. Thank you for recycling!

uOttawa Alternative Student Break waste Audit

Thank you, volunteers!

This year, our amazing volunteers contributed a collective 4,220 hours towards sustainability efforts on campus. Thank you to our Free Store volunteers, Muggy Mondays volunteers, and Community Service Learning volunteers, as well as those who helped out with other events. Your contributions are very valuable and appreciated. 

VéloGo at uOttawa

Introducing VeloGo bike sharing program on campus 

You may have seen these green and blue rentable bikes around the city, but now you can see them at the university too! VeloGo offers a great student deal on monthly bike rental, so you can get around easily and sustainably. 

uOttawa Facilties bike fleet

Facilities trades gas for helmets

With savings from reducing the amount of paper used for printing, Facilities purchased 6 bikes to share between employees who need to get around on campus quickly and in an environmentally conscious way. 

Single trip ride sharing service 

Parking and Sustainable Transportation launched a single trip ride-sharing service as part of their carpooling website, so that students can have access to safe and inexpensive rides to other cities.

new recycling signs at uOttawa

New recycling system, we can now compost cups

With the new recycling system introduced this fall, we can now compost disposable coffee cups rather than send them to the landfill. 

new Waste Signs at uOttawa

Garbage to landfill

We also made an important distinction in changing the “Garbage” bin sign to say “Landfill.” We hope that this rewording reminds people where the garbage is actually going, and the impact that it has.

Recycling old buildings at uOttawa

Recycling MacDonald to build STEM

Last year, the University started construction of the new STEM building which meant that we had to tear down the MacDonald Building and the Cube. We made sure to recycle as much of the building as possible. Although we won’t have the final number until next year, we estimate 90% of the buildings will be recycled.

New Muggy Mondays record

This fall, Muggy Mondays served a record number of 1,285 hot fair trade beverages on one semester. That adds up to 2,297 cups in the year 2017, and 2,297 fewer disposable cups in the landfill.

uOttawa King Edward Community Garden

More community garden spaces 

In 2017, we were able to open up new garden spaces and improve the existing space, to the tune of 3 spaces at the Leblanc gardens, 1 space at the UCU garden, and newly widened community plots at the King Edward garden.

New fence Mural at the uOttawa community garden

Community Garden mural by Stephen Shugar

This summer, artist Stephen Shugar painted a beautiful mural on the fence that lines the community gardens on King Edward that brightens up the neighborhood with brightly coloured images of birds and plants.

cone day 2017 at uOttawa

Free cone day success!

For Fair Trade Week in September, Food Services hosted a Free Cone Day with fair trade Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and gave away all of the ice cream they had in a short period of time.

Environmental Sustainability Policy

This Fall, the University of Ottawa approved a new sustainability policy for the campus. The policy is currently being translated and will be available to the public very soon. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to its creation.

Health promotions plant workshop at uOttawa's EnviroDay

Enivo Day

This year we celebrated another EnviroDay in September. There were more partner organizations than ever, with so many things to see and do, including a demonstration hydroponics display, a pop-up Free Store, a smoothie station powered by bicycle, and a houseplant workshop.

Greening the curroculum at uOttawa

Greening the Curriculum Conference

We were very honoured to present at the ‘Greening the Curriculum’ conference organized by the Faculty of Engineering.The conference highlighted a bunch of incredible green inventions from uOttawa Engineering students.

MSC certification conference at uOttawa

Marine Stewardship Council certification

On World Fisheries Day (November 21), the University of Ottawa achieved Marine Stewardship Council certification! This means that all the fish served on campus meets a set of science-based requirements for sustainable fishing.

uOttawa's first report on combating climate change

uOttawa published its first report on addressing global warming

The report analyzes how the University can do its part to fight climate change through teaching, research, and investments. This report demonstrates the importance of addressing global warming at the University of Ottawa and beyond.

The Fulcrum green edition

Environmental themed Fulcrum

This year, the university’s English language newspaper released their first ‘Green Thumbs Issue’ this fall to highlight sustainability on campus. The issue, which was released on October 16th, serves as a guide to being an environmentally conscious student.

uOttawa Dining Hall receives a Green Restaurant certification

24/7 Dining Hall Green Restaurant certification 

This certification means that the 24/7 Dining Hall meets the requirements of a Level 1 Certified Green Restaurant by recycling, composting, educating students, offering vegetarian and vegan options, and responsible energy and water consumption.

Jane's Walk at uOttawa

Jane’s walk at uOttawa

In the summer, there was a uOttawa campus sustainability tour through Jane’s Walk, which is an organization that offers free city tours with a focus on engaging people with the environment around them.

uOttawa ARC Building receives LEED GOLD certification

ARC recieved LEED certification

LEED is a building rating and certification system that ensures that how you build your building is done with the environment in mind. We choose to build a LEED building for the ARC to support a better planet and a better campus.

Community garden was added to the Gardens Ottawa database

Listed at number 24, our community gardens on King Edward Ave were also part of a Garden Tour around Ottawa as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.

UI GreenMetric ranking

The UI GreenMetric rates universities from all over the world based on setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and education. This year, uOttawa placed 5th in Canada, and were the 1st Canadian university in our category of campuses located in city centres.

Renovations at uOttawa

Retrofit at Roger Guindon saves energy and money

The updates at the Roger Guidon building will save 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity and $1 million each year. That’s enough to power 420 large homes with hot tubs!

Food donations at uOttawa

Program to donate unsold food to shelters

Food Services are piloting a project to donate the to-go food that goes unsold on campus to shelters. In addition to helping others, this will reduce the amount of food going to waste on campus, which will put us on the right track with Ontario’s new zero-waste plan to reduce the volume of food and organic wastes going to landfill.

~ kim wiens - engagement and volunteer coordinator

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