Marianna Butelli is holding a polka dot trash bag and wearing gloves with one arm raised in celebration in a green field

Submitted by Marianna Butelli

Humber College celebrated Earth Day on April 22 by hosting a household cleanup.  

"Pre-pandemic, we would usually hos  a campus cleanup. We wanted to create that same sense of community and encourage people to clean up and do their part for the environment, so we came up with a safer alternative this year," said Tayler Buchanan, sustainability communications and events coordinator. Andrea Veliz Verastegui and her friend have an arm around each others' shoulders, other hands holding blue trash bags

"It's also a wonderful reminder to get outside and connect with nature – the more connected we are, the more we'll fight to protect it."  

The Office of Sustainability also ran a Cleanup Contest for Humber students and staff participating in an indoor or outdoor cleanup between April 22 to 25.

Those cleaning up snapped an image of themselves and posted it to their social media accounts with the hashtag #HumberGreenClean for a chance to win a $200 Goodfood gift card.  

Participants were encouraged to clean up where they are comfortable – be it inside, in their backyards, or out in their neighbourhood.  

Here are a few tips for an indoor cleanup:  

  • Organize and separate items you want to donate.  
  • You can request a pick-up of household hazardous waste by the city by calling 311.  
  • Remember to check with your local public health groups and donation centres to ensure they are accepting donations.  

The Office of Sustainability also provided some guidelines for cleaning up outside. 

  • Take precautions for COVID-19, including avoiding touching your face, limiting contact with others through social distancing and washing or sanitizing your hands thoroughly.  
  • Identify areas in your neighbourhood that would benefit from a cleanup, like a park or community centre. On the day of the cleanup, wear a pair of gloves, mask, and bring a handful of garbage bags with you.   
  • Do not separate recyclables; the majority of trash found outside is dirty, wet and contaminated. Recycling any of these items will contaminate blue bins.   
  • If you see an overflowing litter bin or large litter items, you can call or submit a service request.  

The Office of Sustainability holds many popular contests and workshops throughout the year.  

"While we've made strides in regard to Sustainability at Humber, we still have many opportunities to deepen our impact, and that's all dependent on having an engaged community," said Devon Fernandes, sustainability manager.

The College incorporates sustainability into planning, strategy, curriculum and corporate culture.  

Humber was recognized for its sustainability leadership and was named one of Canada's Greenest Employers. The award is given to employers that make environmental values part of their organizational culture. This is the sixth year Humber made the list.