Durham College celebrates Earth Month

Durham College (DC) is proud to be a sustainable campus and works hard to encourage and empower the DC community to live sustainably every day. These efforts have also earned DC the greenest employer designation for the third year in a row.

As part of the college’s commitment to sustainability, DC hosted numerous green events throughout the month of April in celebration of Earth Month, emphasizing the small and big actions that students, employees and the greater community can take to contribute to sustainability. These events included:

  • RecycleMania. On April 1, DC challenged students and employees to test their waste-sorting skills in The Pit. Faced with a collection of items that are commonly placed in the wrong bins, participants gave their best guess on whether each item could be recycled or was destined for the landfill.
  • #MugLife Week. From April 8 to 12, as part of DC’s efforts to reduce the use of single-use disposable coffee cups and water bottles, the college invited all members of the DC community to share photos of them using reusable mugs on social media.
  • Guided Nature Walk and Campus Clean-up. On April 17, DC and Ontario Tech University joined forces with a team of 25 students and employees to clean up litter along the west border of the Oshawa campus next to the Oshawa Creek. Joined by Traditional Knowledge Keeper Rick Bourque, the event began with a Smudging Ceremony and Rick shared the traditional history and importance of the Oshawa Creek, as well as information about traditional medicines that could be found nearby.
  • Nature-Based Meditation. On April 22, which is also Earth Day, DC students and employees were treated to a guided meditation in Polonsky Commons led by health promotions co-ordinator, Heather Bickle. The meditation facilitated personal reflection on our connection to nature and the earth beneath our feet.
  • Glow in the Dark Yoga. Hosted at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre on April 29, 20 employees participated in a yoga practice that encouraged intention setting for sustainable living. Held in the dark, with only glow sticks and glow paint as a light source, participants practiced mindfulness while reducing electricity consumption in the process.

On Earth Day, DC also announced that it has finished construction on its Simcoe Geothermal Field, and will begin harnessing 550 tons (1.9 megawatts) of clean, sustainable geothermal power through the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) to fuel the energy needs of the Gordon Willey block beginning this summer.

Above ground, the finishing touches on the EIC are under way, which will soon provide an exhibit-like atmosphere where students and the public can learn more about how the geothermal system works and view system diagrams and performance metrics.

The official opening for the Simcoe Geothermal Field and EIC is set for Fall 2019, but you can learn more at www.durhamcollege.ca/geothermal. The Simcoe Geothermal Field and EIC are being completed in partnership with Siemens Canada, who has provided not only valuable industry knowledge but has contributed as the primary contractor for the project.