For the last 3 weeks, member organizations of varying industries and sizes competed in our annual Carbon Cleanse. From prepping zero-waste lunches to turning thermostats down, the cleanse keeps sustainability top-of-mind at participating businesses and encourages employees to demonstrate how eco-minded they can be. Businesses earn points for completing challenges over 3 themed weeks: Energy Week, Waste Week and Water Week. Now in its 6th year, the Carbon Cleanse typically involves sustainability initiatives that can be implemented at the office. But this year as the COVID-19 pandemic forced many office workers to work from home, and the event took on a more personal tone. The self-isolation setting meant that many participants scored points for finding creative at home strategies to reduce emissions, and for embracing dress-down days as opportunities to reduce water and energy use in daily routines. A special thank you to all of the member organizations that went above and beyond with participation this year: AET Group Inc., City of Kitchener, Conestoga College, Diva International, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, GSP Group Inc, MTE Consultants, Sustainable Waterloo Region, and Quarry. We loved seeing your funky outfits, and of course the involvement of the whole family (pets and plants included!) in some challenges! This year, we asked members to come up with a mascot to include in as many of their social media posts as possible and that did not have to be transferred from person-to-person. MTE had a unique mascot Vern – a green hard hat – that appeared in almost all of their posts! Gowlings’ mascot, the “Gowling WLG Battery”, symbolized both their commitment to reducing energy consumption, and also their own team energy, powering the Gowling WLG team spirit every day. It also doubled as a reminder that batteries need to be disposed of in a careful manner and do not go in the garbage. We were especially thrilled to see the cross-member collaboration occuring online! GSP and MTE partnered together on a campaign during Waste Week, calling on employees to develop waste tips to share with organizations and a poster to circulate with employees. During Water Week we also saw MTE Consultants defeat Quarry in a friendly competition to see how many employees could post photos of themselves using reusable mugs and bottles. A special shout out to the City of Kitchener who also hosted an online Earth Hour event – we love seeing the creativity to embrace digital when in-person isn’t possible! Again, thank you to every organization that took the time to plan, coordinate and participate in the Carbon Cleanse challenges. We are so proud of all that you’ve accomplished, but there can only be 3 winners. In third place, we had a close run between AET and MTE, with MTE taking the third-place spot at the last minute. In second place was Diva International – all those #MugClubQuarantine posts really paid off! And in first place for this year’s Carbon Cleanse, the organization with the most engaged sustainable employees is: Quarry. Congratulations again to all organizations that participated and stay tuned for more engagement opportunities in the Fall!