Sustainable Living Series

The Sustainable Living Series has been developed by Sustainable Queen's to provide education and resources on a range of sustainability topics. These sessions are open to all. Members of the public are welcome. 

We provide information on how to get involved and connect with different partners at Queen's and beyond.

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Home Energy Efficiency

 Home Energy Efficiency - Questions

Email our team with your home energy efficiency questions! 

Past Sessions

Explore our past sessions for links to resources, recordings and more information. 

This four-part series in June 2021 engaged attendees in insightful conversations around the intersection of sustainability and Indigenous perspectives. Below are summaries of the topics presented.


Indigenous Perspectives on Stewardship with Dave Mowat

Overview: Join a conversation with Chief Dave Mowat from the Alderville First Nation who will be providing a session on Indigenous Perspectives on Stewardship!

Giving Back with Wendy Phillips

Overview: While Indigenous Ways of Knowing encompass many beliefs and values, there are some core principles:

  • how to live within the laws of creation
  • how to be good stewards to the land
  •  the concept of giving back.

Join a conversation with Wendy Phillips from the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Bald Eagle Clan to learn more about these values and how they are applied.

One Dish with One Spoon with Kevin Deer

Overview: Join Kevin Deer from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory as he discusses the current climate crisis, humanities financial woes, and solutions steeped from deep within the Indigenous Knowledge of Turtle Island. Learn how this knowledge must be incorporated into the mindset of every human being if we are in fact going to have a home that the future generations can live in.

The 4 Medicines with Wendy Phillips

Overview: Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island have an abundance of medicines used for living in balance and ceremonial purposes. There are 4 medicines commonly used in our territories and these 4 medicines are tobacco, sweetgrass, sage and cedar. Join Wendy Phillips from the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Turtle Clan to learn more!

Overview: This Sustainable Living session introduces, Drew Carroll, Executive Chef, Hospitality Services. This session will cover the fundamentals of menu planning, food purchasing, inventory control, as well as composting and the food waste & Lean Path Program. There will also be information on reducing your carbon footprint and various local partners. This is a great opportunity to get the inside scoop on sustainable food initiatives and strategies.

Overview: This session will provide important tips on cycling safety, and the benefits of cycling as a sustainable commuting option. Neal Scott, of Cycle Kingston and Queen’s University, will share his knowledge on safe cycling practices and cycle commuting in Kingston, and how cycling can contribute to a healthy lifestyle and planet.

Watch the session on YouTube

Overview: Interested in switching to public transit for your commute to save money and the planet? This session is for you! Learn from Adam Pennock of Kingston Transit on how transit can help you get to work, and how you can save money on your bus pass through the Transpass program. Plan your trip with your host and learn how to get real-time transit updates using an app.

Watch the session on YouTube

Sustainable Queen's was pleased to partner with the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners for a three-part series on gardening.

  • Part One - Composting: Nature's way of Recycling 
  • Part Two - No Mow May! 
  • Part Three - Vegetable Crop Timing 

Check out the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners site for more resources.

Overview: Sustainable Queen's was pleased to partner with Nathan Splinter, Manager of Energy and Sustainability, for a presentation and Q & A on the Queen’s University’s Climate Action Plan. The University had announced our success in meeting our first target year, 2020, achieving a 35% reduction from 2008 emissions levels. Nathan discussed the results, and provided context on how they were achieved.

As a Climate Champion, you may sometimes feel weary and exhausted by the challenges before us. Personal resilience can help you to bounce back from worry and anxiety, and become even stronger in order to take the actions needed to protect our planet. Lisa Sansom, Organizational Development Consultant, provides tips for practical mindset shifts and behaviors that can enhance your ability to be resilient, so you can move forward in the ways that you want.

To view the webinar, please click here.

This short sustainable living series session with Dr. Smol covered the effects of climate change on lakes and the importance of using appropriate time scales to assess common lake management issues that are made worse with a warming climate.   


This session covered the fundamentals of home energy use, including ways to shrink your utility bills and carbon footprint.

View the presentation here: Home Energy Efficiency

Soil: The Foundation of sustainable gardening 

Rainscaping: Slow, sink, spread water for sustainable landscapes

Wildscaping: A new approach to gardening in a changing climate

The three-part Sustainable Living Through Food Series was put on by Davide Del Brocco, Queen's former Sustainability Chef. Check out the recorded webinars below!

Overview: This short sustainable living series session with Dr. Warren Mabee, from the department of Geography and Planning, covered the steps required to get us to ‘net zero’ by 2050 and talk about the challenges that each of us will face dealing with the climate crisis. 

Overview: This short sustainable living series session with Joyce Hostyn, Little Forests Kingston, explored how we as citizens, by cultivating Little Forest communities, can help Kingston become a City in a Forest.

Overview: This short session with Theresa Couto, Registered Dietitian, from Queen's Hospitality Services, explored the meaning of sustainable food systems and described how dietitian's are leading change for a healthier tomorrow.

Overview: This short sustainable living series session with Cathy Christie, Master Gardener, explored how increasing biodiversity here at Queen’s University will allow us to respond to the climate crisis in a deeply meaningful way.



Overview: This short session with Shari Hughson, an award-winning entrepreneur, innovator, and adventurer, explored how we might innovate into a better future by creating a climate innovation movement!


Overview: This short sustainable living series session with Nancy Louwman, Master Gardeners, explored an innovative variety of sustainable practices to reduce/eradicate many garden pests. 


Overview: This Sustainable Living session introduced the Wolfe Island Passive House Project, a local sustainable home built by Queen's faculty member, David Murakami Wood. Dr. Murakami Wood discussed the problems and prospects for building sustainable housing In Ontario - and your own sustainable home!

Overview: This Sustainable Living Series session focused on Sustainable Procurement with Nicole Fowler, Associate Director, Procurement Operations & (Interim) Strategic Sourcing and Shelley Rizzo, Procurement Specialist. Click the video below to learn more about sustainable procurement practices at the university. 

Watch this session on YouTube

Overview: Learn about interest-free loans from the City of Kingston and Natural Resources Canada of up to $80,000 for Home Energy Retrofits to lower your utility bills and shrink your carbon footprint. 

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: In the Fall of 2022, a Progress Report on the Climate Action Plan was published to report on the targets previously laid out. The report includes several projects Queen's has underway or in development that will contribute to continuing to reduce our carbon footprint. Watch Nathan Splinter, Manager of Sustainability, Energy, and the Central Heating Plant at Queen's University explain the projects that enabled over 35% reduction in University GHG emissions. 

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: Watch the inspiring discussion and review from Ange Defosse, Owner/Operator of Harlowe green on the mindset changes that are required for long term individual approaches to sustainability in the home, in personal care products, and in our individual contexts within our consumer-driven society.

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: As a Climate Champion, you may sometimes feel weary and exhausted by the challenges before us. Personal resilience can help you to bounce back from worry and anxiety and become even stronger to take the actions needed to protect our planet. Learn practical mindset shifts and behaviors that can enhance your ability to be resilient, so you can move forward in the ways that you want. This webinar will consist of content and a special Q&A session about resilience with Lisa Sansom, Executive Coach, Smith School of Business. 

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: Dress for Success Kingston’s mission is to empower women and gender-diverse individuals by providing professional attire and a personal growth plan to help her thrive in her career and in life. The cost of living has increased to the point where many people struggle to meet their basic needs. This workshop offers information on who and what Dress for Success Kingston does, the impact and clients served in 2022, and how to contribute to the sustainable fashion movement in our community that can assist women and gender-diverse individuals in breaking the cycle of poverty and becoming financially independent.

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: Join Theresa Couto, Registered Dietitian with Queen’s Hospitality Services, to learn about how they are working with their foodservice provider, Aramark, to assess the climate impact of menu offerings in partnership with Cool Food. Learn about the sustainability-focused menu standards that inform our food offerings across campus.

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: Lisa has been raising and tending to a diverse flock of laying hens on Wolfe Island for about 12 years. From topics like housing, health, hatching, broody hens, winter hardy breeds and overall maintenance/workload, she hopes to contribute useful information for those who already have their own flocks as well as those who are thinking about starting their first flock.

Watch this session on YouTube 

Overview: Humans are influenced by the same base genetically-endowed traits for growth, survival, and reproduction that all species share. Biological expression of those traits results in materials use (and waste production), resource accumulation, and population increases respectively and has ultimately led us to the Anthropocene.  

In summary, D. Paul Grogan argues that we need nothing short of a complete paradigm shift. One that not only changes how our society and its economy functions but more fundamentally, one that overcomes several of our core genetically-endowed traits. To move toward a more sustainable society we will undoubtedly need extraordinarily creative technological solutions – but in addition, we will also need to adopt a fundamentally different lifestyle that is aimed more at the greater good of the community than at the success of the individual or family.

Watch this session on YouTube

Overview: This Sustainable Living Series was ran by Nancy Shephard, Master Gardener and she described the best plant material that can be used to help sustain viable food webs in our local ecosystems.

Overview: Learn about bridging the divide between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Peoples from Clinton Doxtator. Mr. Doxtator originates from the Oneida First Nation of the Thames near London, Ontario, and is a member of the Bear Clan. Allen explained why Indigenous people give thanks in the ways that they do.

Watch this session on YouTube