Carbon Cleanse 2021 - MTE (1st), Diva International (2nd), AET (3rd)

The Regional Sustainability Initiative’s 7th Annual Carbon Cleanse has come to a close! Thank you to all member organization’s who participated. 

This year’s Carbon Cleanse was completely remote, with employees of member organizations completing challenges from the comfort of home often with friends and pets alongside! Challenges this year focused on improving sustainability awareness in 5 themes (7 challenges per theme) completed over 4 weeks: Energy, Water, Waste, Commuting and Culture of Sustainability. 

With all the points tallied, we are so proud of what members accomplished in just 4 weeks. The winners of 2021 Carbon Cleanse are:

Get the rundown on this year’s challenge

This year, the most popular challenges were the meatless meals and podcast/documentary screenings. Employees put the knowledge that eating a meat-free diet can cut our water footprint in half to good use! Every participating member had employees cooking up a storm, and combined members ate a total of 41 meatless meals! MTE Consultants whipped out their chef’s hats and even created a collaborative “MTEats” uncooked/raw meals recipe book. 

In the documentary/podcast screening challenge we asked members to share with us three facts they learned, and to rate  their favourite sustainability podcasts and documentaries. Our members watched and listened to a combined total of 31 sustainability documentaries or podcasts, with Diva International employees contributing 15 of them. Looking for a new podcast or documentary to binge? See the handy guide below. 

In the first week, Energy week EY and Quarry employees both celebrated Earth Hour while AET and Quarry employees embraced energy savings by turning down their thermostat and wearing ugly/warm sweaters instead. 

Water Week saw the most engagement this year. 23 employees from various members gave up paper towel usage for 1 or more weeks! Did you know that paper towels were invented in the early 1900s by accident? Rags were marketed as unsanitary to make way for this new product , but the production and disposal of paper towels requires lots of water and energy. To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted. We were amazed to see all the dishcloths and other reusable alternatives employees used instead. 

In Commuting Week, the final week of Carbon Cleanse, the competition stepped up. Diva International implemented walking meetings, and  2 employees walked over 150,000 steps in just under 2 weeks, with 99,000 steps coming from just 1 employee! GSP Modified the “Pass the Bike ” challenge to try and total a cumulative 66km of non-motorized travel in one week (the distance between their Kitchener and Hamilton offices!). They exceeded their target by walking and biking a total of over 150kms throughout the week! 

A special thanks again to all of our participating members in #CarbonCleanseWR. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

Participating organizations: