University of Ottawa unifies for Bike to Work

The University of Ottawa Institute of the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity have partnered up for May – the City of Ottawa’s bike-to-work month. May is a month focused on alternative transportation and sustainable and healthy lifestyles.

We caught up with bike-to-work team leader Jocelyn Lubczuk; Junior Communications Officer at the Institute of the Environment, and chatted about her team’s inspiration to bike to work.

Tell us a little about your team

Our team is called the University of Ottawa Institute of the Environment & Sustainable Prosperity.  The Institute of the Environment is a teaching and research institute within the University of Ottawa and Sustainable Prosperity is a national green economy think tank within uOttawa.

The University has a number of research centers and institutes, one of which is the Institute of the Environment. The Institute has a research component that is embodied through Sustainable Prosperity and an academic component as it offers a Master’s in Environmental Sustainability. All of us work together at 1 Stewart Street towards our mutual goal of understanding environmental problems and developing sustainable solutions.

Is this the first year that the Institute of the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity has participated?

Yes, it is the first year that the Institute of the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity has signed up for the initiative, but the passion for sustainable and eco-friendly activities has always been present within our work culture.

How many people make up your team?

Five colleagues are a part of our team. Some are first timers and others have a huge passion for cycling and bike regularly.  For example, our team member Vincent bikes to work all throughout the year, through winter and summer!

How bicycle friendly is the University of Ottawa?

uOttawa is a very sustainable university- in fact it is ranked 25th most sustainable university in the world according to the UI Green Metric World University Ranking. Recently the university has introduced bike repair stations, including pumps for tires and simple maintenance systems through our Office of Campus Sustainability. Also, the University just introduced dedicated bike lanes on campus, which makes biking through campus much easier!

What are some of the motivational techniques your team uses?

Our biggest motivator is our passion to lead by example.  All members of our bike team live a sustainable lifestyle and so this initiative was an opportunity that we were naturally interested in getting involved with. Biking to work is a great way to get exercise, and there is nothing better than combining health and sustainability. Prizes provided by the city and local businesses was a great additional motivator!

What’s your favorite thing about your Bike to Work team?

Ottawa is very eco-friendly and beautiful city to bike around.  The fresh breeze along the Rideau Canal, is a lot better than sitting in inner-city traffic jams!

The Institute of the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity want everyone to know that they are highly motivated to create a greener Canada.  As leaders in sustainability research, the team also enjoys leading by example and are happy to participate in the City of Ottawa’s bike-to-work month.  The team believes Ottawa has a great opportunity to be a leader of sustainable living and commends the city for this initiative.