Retailers support plastic-bag reduction in Kimberley

Retailers in Kimberley

Kimberley retailers support reducing plastic-bag use.

Kimberley volunteers have taken the first step to help reduce plastic bag use in their community by surveying retailers to garner support for the initiative and determine current practices. They discovered that while many retailers are against a levy, nearly all local retailers agree with reduction through education, while some have already noticed a big reduction simply by asking customers if they want a bag rather than automatically giving them one. Every bag matters.

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Will Timmy Ho’s recycle the rim?

Recycle the rim

Will Tim Horton’s step up to recycle their coffee cups?

A team of six students from Royal Roads University are working to raise awareness about single-use coffee cups as the final project of their degree. As part of their Recycle the Rim project, they’re planning to build a giant Tim Hortons cup out of hundreds of reclaimed Tim Horton’s cups to challenge the company’s current lack of recycling practices. But what’s even better than recycling? Refusing to take a single-use cup in the first place and reducing our environmental impact. Let’s hope Timmy Ho’s will respond with some environmentally positive changes. Check it out.

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Say goodbye to yellow “organic” tape!

Yellow "organic" tape on produce

The yellow “organic” tape on produce (that always drove me a bit crazy) will soon be gone from Nesters!

Last week I met with Sean Daly from Nesters Market in Squamish. I’m really excited about what we have in the works as we head into summer. As a first step, they’re going to be phasing out the yellow tape on organic produce! They’ve already started the process as fresh fruit and veg comes in every day. One more step towards eliminating packaging from our waste stream! Hooray!

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Connections in the Pacific

The Waste Management Team from SPREP, in Samoa with Tracey, proudly showing off their Clean Pacific reusable bags.

The Waste Management Team from SPREP, in Samoa with Tracey, proudly showing off their Clean Pacific reusable bags.

While I was on a work trip in Samoa recently, I was invited to speak to the Waste Management and Pollution Control Division from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). This team is responsible for waste management in 14 Pacific Island countries… a pretty big task! It was exciting to be able to share with them the success stories that Greener Footprints has had in Rossland and Squamish B.C. By the way… flip flops are standard footwear in Samoa – my kind of place!

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Our Rossland green bags in Bhutan

Rossland green bags in Bhutan

Rossland green bags in Bhutan

On a recent trip to the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, Greener Footprints volunteer, Kathy Moore, reached out to two schools for orphans, donating our Rossland green bags and school supplies to students. Both schools are associated with monasteries, and the students pictured here are from the school associated with the Tiger’s Nest Monastery near Paro. Bhutan first introduced a countrywide plastic bag ban in April 1999, which has been reinforced in 2005 and 2009.

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Rachael & her greens make the press!

Rachael Roussin sitting in her garden of greens

Photo Credit: The Rossland Telegraph

Congratulations to board member Rachael Roussin for being recently featured in the Rossland Telegraph! When not Skyping in to board meetings, coordinating the local Rossland farmers’ market or now working as the administrator for the Rossland Council of Arts and Culture, Rachael manages to find the time to tend to her precious greens on some land she leases nearby.  Her venture isn’t quite large enough to pay the mortgage yet, but nonetheless, Happy Valley Greens sells about 20 bags of greens each week at the market! Way to go, Rachael! Keep the greens growing!

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Sushi session

The Board Takes the Latest Planning Session Outside

The latest planning session - a sushi picnic in the park!

The strategic planning process continues and the board is psyched with the progress! The past few Monday evenings have been filled with rousing discussions solely dedicated to this purpose. So far, the group has collaboratively drafted a mission statement, a vision, and core values! The emerging consensus is that Greener Footprints will continue to strive towards a “waste-free BC”, using innovative and relevant strategies to reduce the use of single-use items. Next up is the baseline assessment and scope!

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Re-visioning for the future

Michiah writing at a whiteboard

Michiah guides us through the planning process.

From working with one community to sixteen in what seemed like a blink of an eye, Greener Footprints grew up fast. Now, at six years old, the Society has taken a momentary pause to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Hence, the strategic planning process begins. Last evening’s meeting marked the first in the series. Using  strategies from Socrates and sticky notes from Jen’s drawer, Michiah led the directors through a thoughtful discussion. By the end of the session, after a bit of wordsmithing, the board had come up with a mission statement! Stay tuned for updates over the summer as the strategic planning process goes forward.

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Two new board members

Well, sort of.

Tracey Saxby is not exactly a new face, but rather one of the original faces of Greener Footprints. After founding the Society in 2005 and then serving as its Executive Director, Tracey has been advising the board for some time. Now that she has another day job, Greener Footprints becomes one of Tracey’s favourite pastimes, and now she will finally have voting rights!

Rachael Roussin with her dog

Rachael with her beloved canine

As a volunteer since 2007, Rachael Roussin isn’t exactly new to the Society either. She lives in Rossland, the Society’s original stomping ground, and she helped with the plastic bag reduction campaign there. But her familiarity with the Greener Footprints story, isn’t the only reason for her appointment to the board. From her work with Rossland REAL Food and the Columbia Basin Trust, she brings extensive professional experience to the table, ranging from communications to project development to event coordination.

There will be no “bored” at our board meetings having these gals around!

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A new recruit is on deck

With an ambitious list of tasks on the radar, the society has hired a summer student to help alleviate some of the workload.


Headshot of Megan

Introducing our latest recruit, Megan Myles, an undergraduate student in Squamish, BC

Megan Myles is an undergraduate student at  Quest University Canada, where she just completed her second year of studies. She is particularly interested in the role of collaboration in institutional development, which is what brought her to this position. Megan comes from a small Ontario town of Lion’s Head, located within the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve. She is excited to have her first West coast summer ahead, and when she isn’t busy working, Megan can be found lying in the sun or enjoying the Squamish live music scene.

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