Fleming College builds environmental awareness in the workplace

    Fleming College students use their skills to "eco-enhance" the YMCA of
    Greater Toronto Building

    TORONTO, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - To build and encourage environmental awareness
in the workplace, Fleming College students "eco-enhanced" the YMCA building on
Charles Street in Toronto this past Saturday.
    Students used skills gained in their individual areas of study in
Fleming's School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences to facilitate
small-scale changes that have a big impact.
    "We're trying to demonstrate that small changes can have substantial
environmental impact," said Brooke Erickson, a Fleming College student in the
Ecosystem Management Technician program. "We're focusing on changes that
everyone could replicate in their own space."
    Fleming students began with an assessment of the YMCA building, and
compiled a list of improvements to assist in making the YMCA more
eco-friendly. "The YMCA does so much for others it was rewarding to use our
skills to do something for them - while supporting environmental consciousness
at the same time," said Aran Hinton, a student in Fleming's Environmental
Technician program.
    The YMCA had already begun implementing environmental initiatives such as
changing all light bulbs to compact fluorescent, and installing energy-saving
power bars at work-stations throughout the building. Some of the changes made
by Fleming students included:

    Students introduced plants into the office to generate oxygen and filter
toxins from the air

    -   As few as 15 plants can filter the air in an average-sized home or
        small office. Spider plants, philodendrons or bamboo plants can grow
        anywhere without fertilizers or pesticides.

    Students installed tap filters to water faucets, encouraging staff to
avoid water bottles

    -   Making plastic water bottles uses enough crude oil to fuel 100,000
        cars for a year
    -   2.7 tons of plastic are used to bottle water, and 86 per cent of
        water bottles become garbage or litter

    Students added energy-saving film to office windows

    -   Installing clear film to a window can save up to 12 to 18 per cent of
        annual energy costs.

    For a full list of changes you can make, please contact Fleming College.
    "We're excited about being able to use the skills that we learn and
practice everyday," says student Claire Rethoret, who is in the Environmental
Technology program. "Whether we're out in the field working on restoring or
conserving natural spaces, or in an office building implementing changes like
these, it's all interconnected. You can make a difference."

    Grassroots supported the initiative by providing some of the supplies
needed for the eco-enhancements.

    Ainsworth Inc. supported the initiative by providing all electrical work

For further information:

For further information: on Fleming College and the programs that they
offer visit flemingcollege.ca; For more information on the eco-enhancement and
Fleming College, please contact: Laura Copeland, Communications Officer,
Fleming College, 1-866-353-6464, copeland@flemingc.on.ca

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