NC staff share green ideas

On May 16, InsideNC challenged NC staff members to come up with ideas to make the College a ‘greener’ place as part of a Comic Con ticket contest.  Staff rose to the challenge.

Here are some of the ideas that were shared with us:


“My area will become greener now that I have implemented mandatory two-sided printing.”

Jacqueline Miller, executive assistant, Office of the Vice President – Corporate Services


“Niagara College could be greener if organics bins were available all over campus!  We have students ask us for them at the Library all the time!”

Jaclyn Chambers-Page


“Submit change of grade forms electronically. Duplex printing. View SLIC reports instead of printing them. Use reusable water bottle and fill at fountains instead of plastic water bottles. Use old paper as note paper.”

Amelia Cushman,  program secretary, School of Media Studies


“Use our re-fillable coffee cups for hot drinks and our new cups for water.

We will encourage all employers coming on campus for events to do the same and will no longer be offering water bottles or coffee cups.

When buying supplies for SAD days, we’ve already committed to using compostable items but will continue to try and reduce the cups/items we use on these days.

We only print when necessary and use both sides of paper – we have an option for double sided printing and use this almost 100% of the time.

Walk/bicycle to work in summer months for those of us who are at a reasonable distance

Continue to support the college’s sustainable goals in any way we can!”

Monique Morin


“Making NC a “greener” place could include:

*  removing of bottled water and replacing them with reusable cups and water refill stations or more fountains.

 * more solar panels to power the campuses, lower the AC/heat slightly when in use.

 * ensuring lights are not always left on.”
Kathryn Beacham


“I would make NC greener by choosing a supplier that takes back packaging (for anything) to reuse! 

Another idea (since I see this a lot) would be to print emails less often. I find that most people print their emails out to keep them handy.  Saving emails in a file on your email system would save a lot of paper use!”

Nicole Warren


“My suggestion would be to adjust the indoor temperature so the air conditioners are not used as frequently and it would not be so uncomfortably cold indoors in the summer months.”

Chris Philbrick R.N., Student Health Services


“Printing less and copying less…. although paper is recyclable, we still print and copy too much college wide. We need to remember to look in our electronic files more for what we need.  More access electronically for meetings, etc.  Although some have iPads, laptops, etc. for meetings to view documents, not all do.”

Sharon Everett,  project assistant, Centre for Educational and Professional Development


“We need to have more compostable containers for compostable waste throughout the school – there are many times that I through my banana peel into the garbage – we could reduce waste this way and not only save the environment, reduce the cost of waste removal.”

Pam Lacroix


“Incentives for riding your bike, taking the bus, or carpooling to work.  One example would be giving a small amount of money off the next years parking pass every time you took an alternate means of transportation.” 

Dave Mandula


“Electric Vehicles for FMS, Horticulture, VP’s, Pres.”

Dominic Foli


“I would install more water fountains and get rid of all the bottled water. Put up signs that promote taking non plastic bottles to school and filling them up at the “filling station” to promote a healthy environment for all.”

Debra Grobb


“I would like to see more car-pooling at the school.  Perhaps a website where people could sign up and give a their general location. Then the site would match up potential car-mates.  That would help the environment by having less cars on the road and it would help the parking situation here at the college.  Double Whammy!”

Melinda Sawyer, Marketing


·          If your department uses a colour printer, and the bulk of your printouts are simply emails, documents, spreadsheets and so on… why not set your default color mode on your printer to black and white mode? Not only will this reduce the amount of colour toner consumed, it will substantially reduce the cost charged to the college through the copier service contract which typically charges the school 4 times as much for a colour page than a black and white page. *Note that when you DO need to print in colour, you can switch the colour mode in ‘Printing Preferences’. Contact your local tech geek to find out how to do this. …

·         The next time you hit ‘Reply’ to a GroupWise email, uncheck ‘Include message received from Sender’ unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most of the time, it’s not. Likewise with lengthy signatures….

·         The thing you see routinely at meetings are printed handouts instead of or even despite, the same information being projected onto a meeting room screen. Even in relatively loose department-only level meetings you’ll see the practice of over-covering the communication bases. Does EVERYONE need every single page of a multi-page document that consists simply of staff reports where each page has a report for everyone on the team? Think that one over…

·         Is it possible that your presentation handout paper-load could be substantially reduced by relying more on video slide projection? Ever go to a meeting where the same information that’s on the slideshow is a verbatim repeat of what’s on the screen? Ever throw that out or just leave it there at the meeting table once the meeting is over?…

·         There are legitimate purposes for which there is no real practical, affordable substitute than a printed out copy. But get in the habit of asking yourself, “What do I really need to provide for them in print?” You should be asking yourself this anyways — great presentations are generally short presentations…

·         Don’t assume that EVERYONE needs a copy of all the support data/reports of the work that you’re presenting. Maybe have some copies available for those who request it – OR– better still, include a note about how you would be happy to provide them with an electronic version if emailed.”

Bob Roach


“Install wind mills to supplement the solar panels energy creation.”

Gilles Prescott


What’s your idea to ‘green’ NC? Share them with us by commenting on this post and join  the conversation.

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