Humber College’s support of environmentally friendly initiatives through its Sustainability Plan is helping shape a healthy, inclusive and sustainable school community.
March is Earth Month at Humber and it’s an opportunity to reflect on some of the green initiatives that have been instituted across the College.
Earth Month events
There are several events scheduled for Earth Month including:
• The Radical Imagination Workshop happened on March 9 (the event was part of SDG Week Canada)
• Seed, Soil, Sun: Getting your Garden Started During Winter on March 21
• Building Resilience Through Rest on March 21 and March 22
• Sustainable Communities Gathering on March 28 and March 30.
#ReuseHumber, the College's reusable food container program continues to make a big difference in reducing the amount of waste the college generates at both the North and Lakeshore campuses.
Users pay a refundable deposit and receive their meals in containers that, when finished being used, are cleaned and sanitized to be used again.
More than 150,000 single-use containers have been saved from becoming landfill through the initiative.
Humber efforts to protect and support pollinators and the important role they play in the ecosystem has continued with the planting of a third pollinator garden at North Campus.
In addition to the pollinator gardens, Humber is also home to 11 beehives. The bees were removed during the pandemic but were brought back in the fall of 2022. The hives and bees are used for educational purposes and also for honey.
There's also the plant wall at the University of Guelph-Humber, which was recently rebuilt. The existing plants, having reached the end of their lifecycle, were taken out and the old wall was torn down before about 8,000 plants were planted in the new wall.
The wall actively improves air quality. It sucks in air through the return duct of the HVAC system and that brings the air into the roots of the plants where microbiomes break down toxins and chemicals. The air is then redistributed throughout the building via the HVAC system.
Sustainable building design is a big part of Humber’s sustainability efforts and this includes Building NX, which is the first retrofit in Canada to achieve a Zero Carbon Building Design certification. It's also one of the most energy-efficient buildings in North America according to the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada. The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation is a net-zero building through the solar panels on the commuter hub and it has LEED platinum certification.
At Lakeshore campus, work is well underway at the Humber Cultural Hub and the first phase will be completed in 2024. Once finished, it will be one of the most efficient and sustainable buildings in Canada.
You can find out more by visiting the Office of Sustainability’s website.