Green Guide

Knowing how to live sustainably isn’t always easy; it can sometimes be complicated and confusing knowing the issues and what you can do to make a difference. We have produced a Green Guide to help take some of the guesswork out of working and living sustainably. Here are some tips and information on how you can incorporate sustainable choices into everyday activities both on campus and at home.



The University of Manitoba strives to offer a range of transportation choices to students and staff. By enabling and encouraging safe and practical options such as walking, cycling, public transit, and carpooling, the University supports individual choices relating to increased wellness and reduced environmental impact.

Petroleum-powered vehicles are a primary source of air pollution in Canada. Carbon dioxide emissions created by burning fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, can produce environmental hazards such as acid rain and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.  In addition, these emissions have been linked to a number of health issues, including heart attacks, coronary artery disease, and respiratory illness.

Green Tips

  • Include bus and bike direction with meeting/event invitation.
  • Enlist the service of bike valets when hosting large events.

Useful Links


Waste Prevention and Reduction

Recycling programs have existed at the University since the late 1980's, when they were undertaken  by a small group of students, staff and faculty working together to reduce waste on campus. These early efforts laid the groundwork for our current network of campus-wide waste prevention programs. The Waste Prevention Re-Shop redistributes usable, but no longer needed office supplies and furniture.  Since opening in 2008 the Re-shop has re-distributed nearly 10,000 items instead of sending them to landfill. The Re-Shop is open to students, staff, faculty and registered Manitoba Charities.

Green Tips

Green Office/Classroom

  • Utilize furniture/equipment in the Re-Shop, prevent items from going to the land fill and save your department's money for use in another way.  Did you know that the furniture in  Office of Sustainability were all reclaimed?
  • Consider putting unneeded furniture, appliances and other assets up for auction. Alternatively, you could arrange to have assets sent to the Re-Shop for re-distribution within the University or donated to charity.
  • Speak with your Eco-Rep and encourage your Head of Department to get on board with the "Mini-Bin Program" to reduce the level of waste generated on an individual basis.
  • When printing cannot be avoided, be sure to print on double-sided eco-logo paper. 

Green Meetings/Events

  • Reduce paper use during meeting by circulating electronic minutes, agendas and paper or set up a shared drive to share the information and encourage attendees to take view documents on an electronic device instead of printing.
  • Check with your Professors to see whether they are open to accepting assignments double sided.
  • Plan your events around a zero waste concept.
  • Request reduced packaging (e.g. drinks, creamers, sugar packets in bulk instead of individual packaging
  • Request reusable dishware when placing your order.
  • To reduce travelling costs associated with meetings, use teleconferencing and video conferencing facilities where possible. With  advancements in technology, many of these resources are available free of cost.
  • Used inkjet and toner cartridges may be stored up and sent via Purolator couriers back to Xerox free of charge, all you need to do is to request an Eco Box, once your box is full, print off a shipping label and courier it off to Xerox - the manufacturer for refurbishment. Get all the support and tools you need from Xerox.

 Green Lifestyle

  • Know what is recyclable and where you can dispose of it
  • Familiarize yourself with where recycling bins are located around campus
  • Use reusable dishware. Did you know that IQs (3rd Floor University Center); Degrees (3rd Floor University Center); Daily Bread Café (St. John’s College); Belltower Café (St. Paul’s College) and all Aramark locations provide discounts to clients who bring their own mugs? Check it out and keep more dollars in your pockets and help reduce waste on our campus. 
  • 4 Tips to Green Your Consumer Habits


Energy and Water


Most energy and water systems at the University of Manitoba including the Central Energy Plant at the Fort Garry Campus are managed by Physical Plant. In 1998, the University of Manitoba completed what was the largest utilities retrofit among Canadian campuses at the time... and was very pleased with the results. The vision is to  optimize energy use while prioritizing renewable and onsite energy sources. Catch the vision:

  • Ensure that all the lights, overhead projectors and other electrically powered materials are turned off if you are part of the last group of people leaving a classroom or office space and nobody is coming in to use it.
  • Turn off your monitor - Unbeknownst to most people, screensavers do not save energy. If you are leaving your desk for the day, turn off your computer monitor.
  • Learn your computer's energy-saving functions - Most computers have an energy-saving function. Adjust your computer's power settings to save energy.
  • Use natural lighting where possible and practical - in classrooms, student lounges , residences and offices.
  • Make sure the thermostat in your office is set to the appropriate temperature range for the season: 23C in summer and 20C in winter. There is an immense cost savings by turning the heat down only a few degrees, so encourage your fellow students and coworkers to wear their sweaters!
  • UofM’s new administrative policy encourages departments to install a centrally located printer instead of individual printers in each office. Not only does this save energy and makes people think twice before printing, it has been proven to increase productivity!


The University is committed to ensuring that water resources are used optimally. The goals  are to improve infrastructure when and where appropriate, develop a Water Management Plan for Campus, landscape to reduce water waste, all new buildings include the most efficient water conserving, infrastructure, optimize the performance of the campus district heat recovery system, ensure all new water meters are commissioned, foster a culture of water conservation within the University Community, ensure domestic water and chilled water supplies are completely isolated to prevent cross-contamination and partner with the Faculty of Engineering on using ice and snow for campus cooling project.

In addition to raising awareness about the negative impacts of bottled water. Bottled water is no longer sold at residential dining facilities or the University Centre and the University encourages caterers and on-campus food establishments to provide tap water rather than bottled.

As at November 2013, there are five (5) new high-volume filling stations in strategic areas on campus. More filling stations will be added soon and the UofM is also committed to retrofitting high-priority drinking fountains to make it easier to fill reusable water containers.

  • If you are in a classroom or lab and see a tap left running, turn it off. If there is a water leak, exercise your civic responsibility and phone the Work Order Desk in Physical Plant: (204) 474-6281 to report it.
  • Carry a refillable water container with you to class, work or the gym.


The University of Manitoba offers a wide range of sustainable food choices for students and staff and is actively engaged in work on sustainable food systems. The vision is to provide nutritious, safe and culturally diverse food of good value to the campus community and incrementally improve the sustainability of ingredients.


Green Lifestyle

  • Consider the impact of commercial food production and chose local products.
  • Purchase from vendors who advertise sustainable food practices . 

 Useful Links



EPIC is an e-procurement system, a virtual shopping mall where users can view, compare and order products from UofM contracted and preferred vendors, including Eco-logo certified products. 

Similar to EPIC, Concur is an online booking tool (OBT) through which University air travel arrangements are made for domestic, transborder (Canada – US) and non-complex international flights. Bookings of complex international or northern flights must be made through one of the University’s exclusive travel agents.  When making purchases, consider the product lifecycle and green purchasing principles.

Useful Links



The University of Manitoba's Caretaking Services has worked diligently to reduce the impact of their actions on the environment while at the same time, improving the health and safety of all involved.  They switched from conventional cleaning products to third party certified products that lessen the impact on people and the planet.  

Useful Links


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