What Red River College is doing to Promote Sustainability

By: Celeen George

People are paying attention to the climate crisis — climate strikes are happening around the world.

Red River College is taking steps to be more sustainable. The college’s sustainability office is working to promote mindfulness of environmental impact for their students, faculty and environment.  

The sustainability office at the Notre Dame Campus encourages awareness for the college community with their events and resources. 

NDC’s new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre was designed to be three times more energy-efficient than the EDC and prioritizes natural light. / RRC SUSTAINABILITY

Sara MacArthur, Director of Sustainability for Red River College runs the show.

“Our role is to enhance sustainability in all ways. We work to encourage, promote, introduce new sustainability ideas and celebrate sustainability throughout the college,” said MacArthur.

MacArthur’s four-person team put it the Hall It program which encourages students to gather their waste and distribute it to compost, recycling and landfill.and they are also encouraging staff to use electronic documents to reduce paper waste.

Whitney Crooks is the Resource Reduction Specialist, a position created in 2017. Crooks is responsible for plug load energy reduction and paper reduction. 

Crooks has been working with mechanical engineering technology instructors focusing on reducing paper waste. They’ve noticed a 28 per cent reduction in paper use because of digital integration in the classroom.

“This is what our students wanted. Students do want more of that digital way to work with their instructor, hand in assignments, and get information and we’re trying to support that,” said Crooks. 

Jamie Stephen, first year collision repair and refinishing student, says she finds it difficult to be green in her program. She believes she can do her best to preserve the environment on campus, including working indoors, reducing emissions and being aware outside of the workspace. 

“When you’re in a trade, it is kind of hard to do that,” Stephen said. 

The NDC Farmers’ Market welcomed back Jaya’s Preserves for a second year. / RRC SUSTAINABILITY

The Sustainability Office hosted a Farmers’ Market that extended through the halls of the Notre Dame Campus on September 20.

The market had local vendors selling local produce, natural soaps and homemade jewelry. 

Keep up with the Sustainability Office’s events at https://www.rrc.ca/redgreen/news/.