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This week is Earth Week. How will you help protect the planet? (Photo: UHN Green Team)​

This week, UHN is celebrating Earth Week.

Since the 1970s, this holiday has acknowledged and applauded our common ground – the earth.

Help protect our patients and ourselves by nurturing the environment we live in by conserving energy, reducing waste and recycling. This collective shift in behavior will sustain our environment for our children and grandchildren.

UHN goes green

The UHN Green Team, a group of staff that act as environmental ambassadors to their areas, have created something special to address misinformation and promote education about environmental sustainability.

This year's Earth Week features a Green Myth-Busting Game.

Look for the Green Myth-Busting Game booth coming to a hospital or rehab lobby near you. There will be earth-friendly prizes, including LED lights courtesy of Sonepar, litterless lunch-wear and more.

Where to find the Earth Week Booths

  • Toronto Rehab Institute - University Centre Lobby Mon Apr 20, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre – Atrium Lobby Tues Apr 21, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Toronto General Hospital – Munk Lobby near Starbucks Wed Apr 22, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Toronto Western Hospital -Lobby near Shoppers Drug Mart Thur Apr 23, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Toronto Rehab Institute-Bickle Centre Lobby Fri Apr 24, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Toronto Rehab Institute-Lyndhurst Centre Lobby Mon Apr 27, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Make Earth Week Matter All Year:

The best way to celebrate is to shift the things you do every day for the better and greener. Once you get in the habit, it becomes second nature.

Not sure where to start? Try these seven habits of highly eco-effective people:

  1. LIGHTS OUT: Turn off lights, computers, TVs, printers when you leave an empty room … anything with a plug and a switch
  2. WATER WISE: Water is one of our most precious resources. Think sipping, not gulping with all your water needs:   
    1. ​Fix leaky taps and use water-saving appliances
    2. Shower quick
    3. Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
  3. LUG-A-MUG: Carry a reusable mug for your coffee or tea. Reusing is even better than recycling -- many shops will give you a discount if you bring your own mug!
  4. RECYCLE LIKE A PRO: Before you pitch it, see if and how you can recycle it. Many places have different recycling rules.
    1. ​UHN has separated recycling at most sites so pitch the paper in one and the cans, bottles and containers in the other … and don't forget the millions of coffee cups. More UHN details here
    2. The City of Toronto has comingled recycling, so there is one bin for everything. More Toronto details here
  5. COMPOST THE MOST: Use your green bin for organic waste like food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, paper towels and napkins. Save organic material from the landfill and help the next crop grow.
  6. TOXIC TRAINER: Some things never go in garbage or recycling at work or at home:
    1. ​Batteries: find the nearest Household Hazardous Waste Depot (HHW)
    2. Medication: bring leftovers back to any commercial pharmacy or HHW
    3. Compact fluorescent (CFL) or any fluorescent bulbs : these may save energy but they contain mercury, which means they belong in an HHW
    4. Anything marked corrosive (drain cleaner), flammable (gasoline), explosive (aerosol) or poisonous (cleaning fluid, pesticides): take them to an HHW
  7. GREEN YOUR WHEELS: Clean the air, help your wallet and unstick traffic with all your travel choices.
    1. ​Bike, walk, take transit or carpool more
    2. Drive alone less

For more information on Earth week, please take a look at the Talkin' Trash with UHN Blog.

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