As students with busy schedules, we often choose convenience over sustainability. This lifestyle can adversely impact the environment, especially in today’s changing climate.

How can we lead a sustainable lifestyle as busy students? Join us in this talk to learn the tips and tricks on how students can lead a sustainable or zero waste lifestyle for a better future!

Two students who are experts in the sustainable student lifestyle will share their experiences and perspectives. Representatives from the UW Sustainable Office will also be present to talk about the programs available for students who want to live sustainably and listen to your ideas!

There will be free refereshments and chance to win a prize generously donated by Zero Waste Bulk!

Agenda

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Speaker presentations

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Panel discussion/Q&A

Important note: Registration is required

Speakers

Kristen Regier

Kristen Regier is a Candidate for a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Honours Planning, at the University of Waterloo. She is also the co-owner of In Balance Co., a sustainable lifestyle blog that focuses on sustainability / zero-waste living for students. She began transitioning to a low-waste lifestyle in 2017, and is constantly looking for ways to further reduce her environmental impact while balancing the financial and social realities of student life. Kristen hopes to inspire others to start reducing their environmental impact by doing what they can, when they can.

If you’d like to learn more, visit her in-balance-co sustainable blog and instagram!

Andrew Rutland

Andrew is a fourth year Geography and Environmental Management student. His love of the natural world led him to start consciously adopting zero-waste habits in 2014 and he currently strives to live with as little a footprint as possible.

If you’d like to learn more, visit his instagram!

Transportation

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The university is easily accessible by GRT bus routes. If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

 

There are many voices out there that claim to help you reduce your carbon footprint. Project Neutral is one of the only practical tools that tells you your personal carbon footprint based on local data AND offers you actions you can take to reduce it. Our personal carbon footprint comes primarily from transportation, homes, and food. Decarbonizing our lifestyle is actually quite simple!

Transportation

For transportation, shrinking your carbon footprint is a two step process. The first stage involves reconsidering your travel needs. Some trips may be possible by active transportation such as biking.  Public transit may work for trips within your city. Have you tried carpooling or car-sharing for some journeys?

You’re out of office meetings can be offset by using teleconferencing tools. If a personal vehicle is still necessary, choosing the smallest electric vehicle that meets your requirements can help you achieve zero emissions for transportation. Here in Ontario, our electricity comes largely from a clean electricity grid which does not produce significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. As a consequence, emissions associated with driving an electric vehicle are negligible, especially if it is recharged during off-peak hours.

Homes

The major source of carbon emissions for homes is from heating the home and water. Start by improving the energy efficiency of the home through draft-proofing; adding insulation; upgrading lighting and appliances. Heat pumps with electric resistance heating backup can provide all our heating and cooling needs, even in our colder climate.

Then move on to reducing hot water demand through low flow shower heads and aerators on taps. Reep Green Solutions can help with energy efficiency and water conservation!

Food

Not all food is created equal. A plant-based diet has a smaller carbon footprint than an omnivore diet. One also can’t generally go wrong by choosing seasonal, local produce. Choose to eat less meat and choose plant-based proteins more often. Reducing food waste and using green bins or compost can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions set off when food is placed in landfills. We are lucky here in Southern Ontario to have access to tasty local food all year-round!

Bonus: Put your money and your voice where your values are

It may be surprising but your financial investments may in fact contribute significantly to your carbon footprint. Divesting from fossil fuels can provide a double whammy by reducing your personal climate impact while simultaneously defunding the fossil fuel industry. Money re-invested in renewable energy projects can provide competitive returns while leading to further decarbonisation.

Simple, isn’t it? Reduce your demand for energy in transportation and home heating, and switch as much as you can to electric. Eat a plant-based diet with local, seasonal produce. Divest from fossil fuels. That is all it takes to lead a near zero carbon lifestyle. Achievable? Absolutely. Easy? Maybe not without some government policy changes and incentives. So here is the last ingredient: let your political leaders know that climate change is a concern and that you would like to see more climate action. We CAN do it!

By: Heather McDiarmid

 

Photo Credit: Evie Shaffer, Unsplash

Learn more about Project Neutral and Reep

Project Neutral is known for its community-focused, carbon benchmarking and climate action tool. Project Neutral allows anyone to find out their carbon footprint in 5 minutes, based on real local data.

Diving into Waste 101

Date: | Thursday, December 13

Time | 5:30pm – 7:00pm

 

Note: This is an interactive event and you will need a phone/tablet/computer to participate!

Alicia Parkin, Customer Engagement and Outreach Coordinator, Reep Green Solutions

 

Alicia is passionate about teaching people how to find their carbon footprint, and what their next steps are for living a sustainable life. She is the In-Home Services & Customer Engagement Coordinator at Reep Green Solutions. One of her lead roles at Reep is to help launch the Project Neutral tool into the Waterloo Region and find like-minded community members to help connect others with this tool. Alicia has a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton University in Environmental Studies and a minor in Political Science.

 

Transportation

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail. It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St. If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Parking

You are welcome to use Schneider Ave or David Street parking. The Victoria Park Pavilion parking lot is also free to use and only a few minutes walk to the Reep House. Please do not park at the Schneider Haus or Mitchell St lots (click to enlarge map)

EVENT DETAILSphoto of food in bulk

Are you concerned with how much personal waste you’re producing, but unsure where to start? Or perhaps you’ve made some changes, but don’t know where to go from there? In this talk we’ll help put you on the path to less waste and give you the tools to make a good start, including how to do it locally. You may even save some money along the way!

 

Date/Time: Saturday, September 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: REEP House for Sustainable Living (20 Mill Street Kitchener, ON N2G)
Registration: $5-10

Agenda

Presentation: 1:30 p.m.

Q&A: 2:15 p.m.

Reep Open House: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Presenter: Amanda Baker

woman holding a container Amanda has lived in this Region for most of her life, and had always recycled, but she wanted to do more. After discovering the Zero Waste lifestyle, she quickly learned that there was much more that she could do to reduce what she sent to the landfill, and has been working towards that goal ever since. She now knows that making small changes as she moves toward a Zero Waste lifestyle can have a huge positive impact on the environment!

 

 

 

To learn more about BYOC & Zero Waste Waterloo Region please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/166776287366357/

https://www.instagram.com/byoclistwaterlooregion/

Or contact Amanda for more questions at [email protected]

Transportation

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail. It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St. If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Parking

You are welcome to use Schneider Ave or David Street parking. The Victoria Park Pavilion parking lot is also free to use and only a few minutes walk to the Reep House. Please do not park at the Schneider Haus or Mitchell St lots (click see map)

Registration

When considering energy solutions for your home, solar power is a popular option that is practical and requires very little space to operate in comparison to other forms of energy production. Solar panels emit no greenhouse gases, making them a great option when considering the influence that your actions, and energy use at home, have on your local and global environment.

A major concern that many homeowners have when it comes to Solar Power is the cost. Although initially expensive, the cost for solar panels have significantly reduces of the past few years. For example, in the last 10 years the average cost of a solar panel has fallen by 60%. This decrease in cost has made solar power a viable option and, over time, cheaper than retail electricity for most people.

Solar systems are also known for their ease of use, requiring little maintenance because they are stationary, making them easy to take care of. The most significant maintenance of solar panels are monthly inspections and cleaning them of any dust or debris.

Solar panels also have positive effects on the quality of your roof. Installing a solar panel system on your roof can increase the lifespan of your roof by decreasing the snow and hail that falls on the shingles, as well as reducing the impact that ultraviolet radiation has on your roof. Another beneficial aspect is that solar panels can cool your home during the summer, reducing the amount of energy used on cooling in the hotter months.

Keep in Mind

Current solar panel systems have lifespans of about 40 – 50 years, allowing for longtime use. When considering installing solar panels on your roof it is important to consult a roofing contractor on the current lifespan of the shingles on your roof. Replacement of roofing while a solar panel system is on your roof adds additional expenses.

Most residential roofs can handle the weight of solar panels, however roof strength is an important factor to consider when installing solar panels. Depending on your roof’s age, angle, and other factors, it may not be able to handle the extra constant weight that solar panels would impose. In this case, roofs are often reinforced to handle the extra weight.

Depending on the type of solar system chosen, space will also need to be used for the batteries, Inverter, Charge Regulator, and other components associated with your solar system. Depending on the set up of your home, the basement or garage are the most common places to house these components.

Solar Panels are a source of renewable energy that have been of growing popularity, especially for homeowners. There are many different options for having clean energy at the household level!

Who Can Help You?

Find out more about the benefits of installing Solar Panels in your home and what system works best for your needs and budget. We have another post on Solar Panels that discusses installation and other factors in lesson 11 of our informal course ‘Home Energy 101’

To help you get started, we provide a list of businesses, organizations and services that work with renewable energy. Rather than recommending any of them, we suggest you research them and get written quotes.

 

Written By: Andrew Jackson

Edited By: Christine Tan

 

Watch Mary Jane Patterson discuss the annual Zero Waste Challenge and our community’s effort to make recycling the norm.

For more information on sustainable living, visit our blog.

Time’s Up S10 EP.7 from School of Media and Design

 

Sustainable Living Series

Spring is just around the corner! What better time to declutter our closets, refresh our wardrobes and make more sustainable fashion choices? Join us for this special clothing swap and workshop on sustainable textiles!

Textile waste is a growing problem because there are no effective ways to recycle textiles back into clothing. Fast fashion and the domination of polyester and other synthetic textiles have resulted in a plastic pollution crisis. When synthetic textiles are washed and break down they release tiny plastic threads called microfibres that collect toxins linked to developmental delays, diabetes, and cancers. What’s worse – they’re turning up in our food and beverages!

Come out and learn from a local, all-female start-up working to save you from eating your dirty laundry while reducing your plastic footprint by participating in our clothing swap!

HOW IT WORKS

Drop off your pre-loved clothing items at Reep, join us for an exciting presentation from Polygone Technologies, then SWAP for “new” additions to your wardrobe! The best part? You can do all of this without the extra cost or waste!

Clothing swap options:

  1. Drop off your pre-loved clothes and accessories to the Reep House between 1:00-3:00pm on April 5-6 to receive a swap ticket for the number of items you can exchange on the day of the event; OR
  2. Bring in your items on the day of the event for a swap ticket to be used after the presentation. Each participant is allowed to take home one item per item brought in.

*All items that are not taken home will be donated after the event.

AGENDA:

  • Clothing drop off: 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Presentation: 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
  • Q&A: 2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Clothing Swap: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Reep Open House: 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

PRESENTER:

Lauren Smith grew up on Lake St. Clair, near Lake Erie, and has resided in the Region of Waterloo since 2005. For the last 5 years, her research has focused on water. Most recently, it has shifted to behaviours and decisions around water management. With an MES in Sustainability Management (Water) from the University of Waterloo, Lauren founded PolyGone Technologies, a Velocity Science start-up working to capture microfibres, the predominant form of microplastic pollution. She and her partner are developing user-friendly products that capture microfibres within the washing machine as well as within other industries, such as beverage processing and aquaculture. When not doing laundry, Lauren can be found rock climbing, cooking vegan meals from her garden, or sipping local brews with her cats and dog.

For more information:

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @LKeira @PolyGoneTech
Website: http://www.polygonetechnologies.com
Facebook: PolyGoneTechnologies

TRANSPORTATION:

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St. If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St. S.

MAKER Event

Join us for an eco- and family-friendly holiday craft workshop!

The holiday season is a season for giving, but it is also the time of year when we generate mountains of waste and packaging, most of which ends up in the landfill or the recycle bin

While recycling is important, it uses a lot of resources, so the more we can do to minimize and re-use waste the better. This year, why not plan ahead and do your part to reduce waste, while at the same time having fun and using your creative energy! Join us for a family friendly workshop to re-use materials and print your own decorative wrapping paper and cards, and explore some creative gift ideas that reduce and re-use waste:

AGENDA

  • 1:30 p.m – Introductions, icebreaker, brief background on waste and 3R’s in KW 
  • 1:50 p.m. – Overview of materials, demonstration of suggested techniques for printing wrapping paper and cards 
  • 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Create! 
  • 4:00 p.m. – Show and tell, and brief discussion on other ideas to reduce and reuse waste during holidays 
  • 4:20 p.m.– Clean up, conclusion and workshop evaluation

The event will be held at the Mill-Courtland Community Centre Gym located at 216 Mill St. in Kitchener on December 9th, 2017. 

WORKSHOP FACILITATOR


Michele Martin is a
 Volunteer Community Outreach Coordinator at Reep Green Solutions. She is passionate about sustainable living, and has been teaching and learning how to practice it for over 30 years. Michele has a PhD in Environmental Studies and has held various leadership roles in the environmental NGO sector, including the position of Executive Director at Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S), a national NGO dedicated to promoting sustainable living. 

 

Family friendly!

The workshop is free and open to all ages. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Basic materials will be provided but participants are welcome to bring along tools or materials they would like to try and re-use. 

 

Photo credit: Silvia Sala Is the best time of the year via photopin (license)

THE REEP HOUSE Series

The Reep House Series is a monthly series of events that showcases the technology and displays at the Reep House for Sustainable Living and explores other ideas and options for living sustainably.

Learn to draftproof your home

The average Canadian home loses about 25% of its heat through drafts and air leakage. In fact, in older draftier homes the percentage may be even higher—up to 40% of the heat in these types of homes can being lost through drafts.

The good news is that it’s something that you can do yourself. It’s also a relatively small investment for the payback you’re going to get and is eligible for Home Reno Rebates.

Come to learn:

  • where to look for the leaks that are the most common, the most overlooked, and the most important to seal up
  • how to seal the different types of leaks found in your basement, attic, and living spaces
  • which materials are the best for sealing different types of leaks

Brendan SchaeferYour sustainable home guide is Brendan Schaefer. He is the Manager of the Reep House for Sustainable Living, and was the Lead Technician in our Great Draftproofing Crackdown project, helping homeowners to draft-proof their homes.

November 25

Reep House for Sustainable Living, 20 Mill St., Kitchener

AGENDA

  • Presentation / Tour: 1:30 p.m.
  • Open House 2:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Advance registration below is appreciated.

Transportation

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St.

If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Our parking lot only has a few spaces so we have also arranged for parking at the Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St.

28 Sep 2017

Clothing swap!

A Zero Waste Special Eventclothing hanging in closet

This event is inspired by our Zero Waste Challenge as it helps to reduce your waste when you swap your clothes with others who reuse it. Anyone interested can particpate even if you’re not involved with the challenge.

Refresh your wardrobe the sustainable way

Join us for Reep Green Solution’s clothing swap to freshen up your wardrobe without the cost (or waste!).

Bring your gently loved clothing and accessories, and in exchange take home your favourite gently used items. All items that are not taken home will be donated after the event.

7:00 – 8:30 P.M.

Reep House for Sustainable Living

Also join us for the sustainable fashion presentation right before the swap.

You can also explore the Reep House for Sustainable Living.

Transportation:

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St.

If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Joseph Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St.

 

photo credit: The Bees anne’s closet 5 via photopin (license)


Upcoming Events

  1. Stretch your Energy Budget | Today’s Heat Pumps

    March 2 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  2. Can students lead a sustainable, zero waste lifestyle?

    March 12 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  3. First Steps to Improving your Home

    March 23 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
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