Waste Reduction Heroes
MMSB is currently accepting nominations, and challenges people across the province to help recognize someone who is going above and beyond to create a clean and healthy environment. Send an e-mail to email@example.com to nominate a waste reduction hero in your area.
Neddies Harbour InnNestled on the coast of beautiful Bonne Bay in stunning Gros Morne National Park, Neddies Harbour Inn draws guests from around the world eager to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of our province. The folks at Neddies Harbour Inn know, firsthand, that our natural environment is not a thing to waste. For this reason, they have made waste reduction a part of their business practice.
At the Inn, products like cleaning supplies and kitchen ingredients are bought in bulk. All food is made from scratch, and milk and sugar are served to guests in jugs and bowls. Organic waste from their kitchen is regularly composted using a backyard compost bin. They recycle wherever they can and make an effort to purchase products made from recycled material, such as toilet paper and waste bins. They source local ingredients for their kitchen and purchased their furniture from a local manufacturer. To reduce paper usage, they use an online reservation system, subscribe to e-billing, print only what’s necessary, and reuse scrap paper. They offer cloth hand towels in public as well as guest bathrooms.
By incorporating simple waste reduction practices into their business, the owners of Neddies Harbour Inn, are able to give back to the environment that gives so much to them.
Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Corner Brook
And they don’t stop at recycling; reusing is also a part of daily life at school. The breakfast program avoids disposables and uses proper plates, cups and cutlery. Students and staff reuse supplies from year-to-year, use both sides of the page before recycling paper, and collect and reuse everyday items, like magazines and glass jars, for art projects and classroom storage. The school also makes gently-used school uniforms available to teachers and students.
The school’s student-led Green Team runs a school-wide composting program where team members are responsible for collecting and emptying food waste bins from around the school and maintaining their schoolyard compost bin. This program gets active participation from all students and faculty from four-year-old junior kindergarteners to the school principal. The grade three and four classes have their own environment group called the Eco-Friendly Friends Club who wrote their own “waste reduction promise” and encourage other students to do the same with their daily green tips.
Teachers take every opportunity to weave environmental education into school curriculum for all subjects. On Earth Day, each class chose their own activity to celebrate the earth. The grade three and four classes collected litter from around the school grounds and nearby church. Setting their classroom up to represent the earth, they placed the garbage in the centre and discussed how garbage affects the planet. The grade one class challenged other classes to have a “trash-free day” by packing a lunch and snack using reusable containers.
When it comes to the environment, students and faculty at Immaculate Heart of Mary School continue to prove that their collective actions make a big impact, and they show no signs of slowing down. They’re currently raising funds for an outdoor classroom and greenhouse.
Beachy Cove Elementary - Paula Courage
Located in the town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillip's, Beachy Cove Elementary achieves its green goals with the help of motivated teachers like Ms. Courage and student enviro-club, the Environmental Agents. Following their lead, students and staff throughout the school have successfully put the 3Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle - into action.
To reduce the mountains of waste generated at lunch time, the school promotes waste-free lunches - where packed lunches are filled with reusable containers, free of disposable packaging. On select days throughout the year, waste-free lunches are not only encouraged, they're required. To further cut down on lunchtime waste, disposable lunch order bags were replaced with reusable wallets, purses and pouches. Today, every student in the school has their very own labeled reusable lunch order bag.
The focus is on reducing and reusing, but Beachy Cove Elementary is no stranger to the 3rd R. Recycling is a big part of the school's enviro-activities. As active participants in MMSB's school recycling program, used beverage container recycling is practiced in school and extended to the outside community with a weekly recycling drop-off. The Environmental Agents will even meet you in the parking lot to receive your recyclables. The school recycles paper too. With recycle bins set up in classrooms and throughout the school, every student, teacher and staff member can participate.
Taking recycling a step further, Ms. Courage's class decided to recycle just like nature does, by letting their fruit and veggie waste break down naturally in a vermicompost bin (an indoor compost bin filled with red wiggler worms). With help from the Environmental Agents, the vermicompost bin has made its rounds, helping educate every class about the importance of composting.
Beachy Cove Elementary School has done a lot to promote environmental awareness and action and shows no signs of stopping. With plans to expand environmental education with the construction of an outdoor classroom, there's no telling what the students and staff will accomplish this year.
Western School District
Since the program’s inception in 1997, over 13,000 students from across the western region have been given the chance to deepen their appreciation for nature; motivating them to take action to keep their home and school environments clean. Based on the philosophy that “children must care about the earth before being asked to heal her wounds”, we’re confident that the outdoor program participants are well equipped to take action and become future environmental leaders in our province.
Growing up and walking the trails in his hometown of Topsail, Nathan was always upset by the amount of trash he would see. Taking it one step further than most children and adults might, Nathan turned his displeasure into motivation and returned home with the trash he picked up along the way. This growing interest in protecting the environment led Nathan to recycling. He now gathers and sorts paper and cardboard from his home as well as his grandparent’s and returns it to the Town of CBS community recycling bins. He also collects their beverage containers and returns them to the local Green Depot for recycling. What does this 8-year-old do with his hard-earned recycling money? He buys compost bins for his family and his grandparents, of course! He now actively composts kitchen and yard waste and so do his family and grandparents, thanks to his example and initiative.
With all that he has accomplished at a young age, there’s no telling what this budding environmentalist will do next. Keep up the great work, Nathan!
Paul Penney, Frito Lay Canada (NL Distribution Centre – Mt. Pearl)
When they started participation in 2009, the NL distribution centre was sending 43% of their waste to landfill. Motivated to do better, the local team began implementing small changes to their operations to cut down on waste, and it paid off. Currently, they’re ranked 15th out of 205 distribution centres across North America and have reduced the amount of waste they send to the landfill to just 11%.
To achieve this drastic reduction in waste, they:
• Reuse product shipment boxes up to six times and then recycled into new cartons.
• Recycle used beverage containers, office paper, and cardboard.
• Recycle broken product display racks.
• Reuse food waste as animal feed.
• Educate staff on how to take part in the program.
With these simple and effective initiatives under their belt, the Frito Lay Canada distribution centre in NL is up for their next challenge – getting that 11% landfill waste closer to zero.
Allison Morgan-Granter and Baby Stella
The cloth diapers of today are not the folded cotton triangles and safety pins of our parent’s time. Today’s cloth diapers are available in a wide variety of styles and are as easy to use as disposables. For Allison’s husband, having never changed a diaper before the birth of his daughter, cloth diapers are all he knows and he’s just fine with that.
There is an upfront investment with cloth diapers but, considering that the average baby requires 5000-7000 diaper changes in the first two years, the cost of disposables can quickly add up too. In less than a year, Allison and her husband figure that their cloth diapers have already paid for themselves. If they go on to have a second child, diapering will essentially be free.
What makes cloth-diapering even more appealing than saving all that plastic waste from entering the landfill are the health benefits to the baby. Cloth diapers don’t contain the bleached fibres and absorbent gels of their disposable counterparts so they’re healthier for baby’s skin and reduce the occurrence of diaper rash. To further reduce waste and create a healthy start for their baby, Allison makes all her own baby food too.
More and more moms like Allison throughout our province are choosing to cloth diaper and avoid contributing to the more than 4,000,000 disposable diapers discarded per day in Canada. Baby Stella knows that cloth diapering is so easy, it’s child’s play.
Chris Hutton, Billy Boot Garbage Bags
- Billy Boot garbage bags are made with over 80% recycled plastic.
- Cardboard cartons were modified to reduce packaging by 24% and are made from recycled materials.
- A high quality baler was purchased to compress plastic scrap and reduce the amount of material sent to Montreal for reprocessing - taking them from 12 down to 4 tractor trailer loads per year.
- The power system was updated, resulting in a 98% efficient use of power.
- Good quality pallets are reused again and again.
- Cores used for rolling up plastic bags are reused in-house until they are shipped with product.
- Large, sturdy cardboard boxes are given away locally.
- Waste water from the manufacturing process is recirculated and used to cool their plant.
- Plastic scrap from the manufacturing process is sent to a recycler in Montreal for reprocessing and sent back for use in Billy Boot garbage bags - a total of 250,000 pounds of plastic scrap per year.
- Plastic purge (the material produced when the machines start running) is collected and sold to recyclers in Montreal.
- Cardboard cartons used to receive material are sold to local paper fibre recyclers
- Ink and solvents used during the manufacturing process are recycled in-house and reused.
- All office paper and employee beverage containers are recycled.
Julia Bloomquist and Marina Schirelli have really sprouted up as earth-friendly entrepreneurs, providing a healthy food experience and earth-conscious atmosphere at their St. John's restaurant. The Sprout has been actively doing their part for the environment since opening in 2005. Owners, Julia and Marina, were shocked to learn that 40% of their waste was organic vegetable scraps and 50% was recyclable material. As a result, The Sprout hired Seed to Spoon, a local organic farming cooperative, to collect and compost their organic kitchen waste during farming season. To further divert waste, they have several local residents who collect used beverage containers and a company that picks up other recyclable materials.
Composting and recycling is only part of the waste reduction recipe at The Sprout. To eliminate unnecessary packaging, The Sprout makes all their food from scratch and prepares all produce in-house. They buy grains, flours, spices, and sugars in bulk whenever possible. They have replaced Styrofoam take-out containers with biodegradable sugar cane-based containers and reusable containers and all paper goods used at the restaurant such as napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper are made with recycled fibres. Julia and Marina feel that the environment needs to be protected and in 2009 they received a Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Award to recognize their efforts. The Sprout demonstrates that when waste reduction is on the menu, we can all eat, breathe, and live a little healthier. That's Julia and Marina's greener future.
Check out Julia and Marina's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Nicola Hawkins, Junkosphere
When moving to the southern shore of Newfoundland, Nicola and her husband didn’t go for the typical new home. Instead, they purchased an old church in Cape Broyle and rebuilt it using recycled construction materials and reclaimed household items. Cookie and tea tins were sought out for their metal and hammered out to resurface old furniture. Glass candy dishes and wine bottles were collected and used to make stained glass windows. A discarded wrought iron fence and other building materials were given a new home on Nicola’s property. And, in keeping with Newfoundland outport tradition, old clothes were cut into strips and used to make hooked rugs.
Bringing this philosophy of reuse to her professional life, Nicola, who is currently the artist at The Rooms’ studio, has opened an exhibition called Junkosphere which will run until April 15th. Appropriately named, Junkosphere features a series of collaged paintings, sculpture and installations made from “junk” collected from around the province. It may be made from trash but the work is beautiful and impactful. Drawing a connection between our commercial consumption habits and our impact on the natural environment, Nicola’s work will make you rethink your own behavior.
Nicola has a talent for seeing beauty in waste and her artwork tells a story that will inspire others to reduce consumption and waste for the health of our environment.
Photo copyright: Nicola Hawkins
Photos by Mark Bennett courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery
Check out Nicola's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Terry McNeil (Green Santa), Conservation Corps NL
During the holidays, Terry is temporarily replaced by a seasonal staff-person by the name of Green Santa. Green Santa gives out tips and gifts to boys and girls of all ages to help celebrate Christmas while being good to the earth. Green Santa can help you save energy at Christmas with a programmable thermostat for your home or LED lights for your tree. He can also help you cut down on Christmas waste by helping you wrap your gifts with reused materials like last year’s giftwrap or used newspaper and flyers. Green Santa will even remind you to get outside over the holidays and compost your organic waste. If you’ve been especially good, Green Santa might have a CFL light bulb with your name on it.
You better watch out. You better not cry. Because Green Santa is coming to town and he’s got a bag full of green Christmas gifts just for you!
Check out Green Santa's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Athletics NorthEast Running Club
ANE have gone the distance to reduce waste in every aspect of the road race. They get off to a strong start with their online, paperless registration process and their reusable tote-bag registration kits. Along the route, they have eliminated bottle water by supplying bulk water coolers to quench the thirst of eco-conscious runners. At the finish line, they offer a buffet snack bar instead of plastic snack bags and provide compost bins for banana peels and recycle bins for drink containers. ANE are also giving back to the community by donating all leftover food to local food banks and by collecting and donating used running shoes. What’s more, all signage is permanent and reused from year-to-year; unwanted race bibs are collected and recycled; and finish certificates are distributed electronically.
ANE provides an excellent model for like-mind sport governing bodies. They are an inspiration for other sporting groups to follow their lead and host environment-friendly competitions to help reduce waste in our province.
Check out Athletic NorthEast Running Club's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
The Friends of Beaches Network
In addition to shoreline cleanups, Friends of Beaches volunteers take part in special events that help promote the importance of protecting the sensitive marine ecosystems that coastal communities in Newfoundland and Labrador depend on. The Friends of Beaches Network has been active since 2004 and they use an online, interactive map to log their efforts and allow others to get information on clean-ups.
Inspiring others to pick up a garbage bag and get involved, here’s what the Friends of Beaches Network have been able to achieve:
- 10,045 youth and public engaged province-wide
- 733 beach and shoreline clean-ups in 155 communities
- 11,123 bags of debris collected, weighing approximately 222,691 pounds
Check out the Friends of Beaches' Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Prepared foods are packaged in aluminum trays that customers can return to the store for recycling. The money earned from metal recycling is donated to help support the SPCA. Cardboard boxes are reused in their grocery delivery service and returned to the store to be sent for recycling along with newspaper and office paper. Used beverage containers are collected on-site and donated to schools to support their recycling and fundraising efforts. Surplus products are regularly donated to local food banks. And, through the sale and promotion of reusable shopping bags, Belbin’s Grocery has seen an impressive 70% reduction in plastic bag use – a testament to their customer’s commitment to the environment as well as their own.
Family-owned Belbin’s Grocery is a small business with a big heart. A staple in the city for 68 years, they have proven that a commitment to the community and the environment makes good business sense.
Check out Belbin's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice
Noticing a lack of non-profit cycle resources in St. John’s, despite a growing local interest in cycling, Ordinary Spokes opened their doors in 2009. They collect and refurbish used bikes and keep any usable spare parts to supply their repair shop. They take it a step further by turning unusable bike parts into creative items like furniture and musical instruments. Through their weekly booth at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market and their newly-opened commercial space at 576A Water St., the volunteers at Ordinary Spokes help cyclists keep their bikes in good working order through hands-on learning and demonstrations. By offering these services along with the use of equipment and tools on a pay-what-you-can basis, Ordinary Spokes aims to keep bikes on the road and out of the landfill.
Check out Ordinary Spokes' Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Each spring, students plant seeds in two growing stations and care for them until they grow into seedlings. In June, Sandra and the class, along with parents and teachers, take the seedlings to Green Earth Farm where students plant potatoes, onions, and carrots alongside the farmers crops. Over the summer, the farmers and teachers care for the plants as they grow. When the class returns to school in the fall they are able to see how much their seedlings have changed! What were once seeds, are now vegetables ready for harvest. Each child leaves the farm with plenty of vegetables to take home, but they leave with more than vegetables - they also leave with some food for thought. This unique learning experience allows students to gain an appreciation for the earth and see first-hand the fruits of their labour!
The school plans on expanding their green initiatives in the coming years. They will be building a greenhouse to grow flowers, working on a school beautification project, and planning waste-free lunch days. Sandra Broomfield and her students should be proud as a peacock for all the great things happening at Peacock Primary School.
Check out Peacock Primary's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
After attending a composting workshop at the Clarenville Public Library, the GATHER group showed such enthusiasm for composting that the Clarenville Area Recreation Association purchased a compost bin for them. The bin was placed next to their existing garden in Elizabeth Swan Park where they grow a variety of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Members meet on a regular basis and all contribute to the compost pile by bringing organic scraps from home. When it’s ready, they work the nutrient-rich compost into the garden soil to help their vegetables grow. They’ve also started cooking healthy meals with all of the lettuce, peas, carrots and beets that they’ve harvested!
To further their environmental knowledge, the GATHER group has taken tours of Terra Nova National Park and Memorial University Botanical Gardens and they participate in the Adopt-A-Spot program, where they use their finished compost on the local flower beds. The GATHER group is doing a great job of keeping organic waste out of the landfill and using it to help keep their town growing green!
Jim Grenning has been rolling up his sleeves and digging into composting for so long, it’s become second nature. And a natural process it is! By composting in his backyard, Jim has replicated a natural process that lets him recycle nutrients back into the earth. Over the years, Jim has turned his kitchen and yard waste into a valuable resource he can use in his own garden – reducing the amount of waste his family sends to the curb each week. By digging nutrient-rich compost into his garden, Jim has built healthy soil from the ground up, eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. What’s more, by amending his garden soil with dark, absorbent compost, Jim has extended his growing season and reduced the amount of watering required.
This month’s everyday hero has proven that the simple act of composting can help your garden and the environment. Since May 1st-7th is Compost Awareness Week, let’s take this opportunity to follow Jim’s composting lead and become Waste Reduction Heroes in our own backyards.
Check out Jim's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
City of Corner Brook
Most recently, the City of Corner Brook held an extremely successful e-waste pick up day. The collection day was a combined effort between Corner Brook, Steady Brook, Massey Drive, Mount Moriah, and Meadows. Electronic waste or e-waste items collected included TV’s, computer parts, cell phones, DVD players and anything else of the sort. The collection was so well received by residents they had to close early, as the tucks had been loaded to capacity with about 7 tons of e-waste!
Rhea and the City of Corner Brook have done such an exceptional job leading the way! It goes to show that community partnerships and residential commitment go a long way when trying to reduce waste. Keep up the great work!
Peter and the employees of Cupids 400 recognized the need to take action on climate change. Their plan is to reduce or mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions! To get started, executives, members of the board, and staff attended sustainability conferences and visited other facilities to learn ways to foster a sense of individual environmental responsibility within the workplace. To ensure that the Cupid’s Legacy Centre was as sustainable as possible, the building was equipped with several environmentally friendly features including high efficiency windows, low flush toilets, automatic appliances, and solar powered walkway lights.
400 years of history has helped Peter Laracy and the staffs at Cupid’s 400 come to appreciate the area. Along with the large scale building solutions, they also recognize that small changes can make a big difference! They have committed to purchasing recycled or reused products as much as possible, switched out plastic for ceramic utensils, donate all used goods, and plan to start a composting program. Peter has also begun to track the amount of waste is being diverting from the landfill! Cupids 400 is actively training and teaching staff about waste reduction programs and initiatives to ensure that they are all well-versed in their vision for sustainable operations. The founder of Cupids, John Guy, would be proud to see Peter Laracy and the staff at Cupid’s 400 taking such great care for this historically significant area.
Check out Peters's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
St. John's Airport Authority
The St. John's International Airport Authority, led by green committee chairperson, Phil O'Connell, has created some environmental programs that have really taken flight! Recognizing environmental stewardship as a core value in their company's strategic plan, the Airport Authority formed a staff-led Green Committee to manage and implement green initiatives.
To divert waste, the Airport Authority began a partnership with Evergreen who assisted with the addition of a recycling receptacle program to be used by the general public, passengers and employees. These receptacles cut down on waste by collecting materials such as paper products, cans, and bottles. In 2007, they made a costly investment into improving the central de-icing facility to prevent chemical run off from seeping into the water and soil. Phil and the green team are now working on replacing all the light fixtures with LED lighting, reducing the amount of bulbs entering the landfill since the LEDs only need to be replaced every 6 years as opposed to every 6 months!
The Airport Authority continues to show their commitment to environmental stewardship! They are using this past year as a baseline for comparison so in the future they can determine how to decrease the amount of greenhouse gasses they are emitting. The green committee is also planning a waste audit that will lead to the creation of a Waste Management Plan. On top of all of these great initiatives, they plan on making an annual clean-up day to keep the airport grounds clean and green!
It is great to see a big organization such as the St. John's International Airport Authority spread their wings to implement waste reduction and environmentally-friendly practices! MMSB commends Phil and the Airport Authority for showing all organizations that when it comes to reducing waste, the sky is the limit!
Check out Phil's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Association of Early Childhood Educators
Helping children connect to nature is the natural thing to do for the Association of Early Childhood Educators (AECENL). Skye Taylor, the Director of Professional Development, has created waste reduction and green initiatives in every facet of the association. Skye Taylor is working on reducing their paper usage when it comes to workshop registration. Instead of mailing out forms, they are now completed over the phone or via email. New in 2011, handouts will be emailed to workshop participants instead of photocopying hundreds of sheets of paper. As for reusing, Skye has figured out some crafty ways to use things from home in presentations instead of buying new items. AECENL holds an online, paperless, workshop called "How to Create a Greener Child Care Setting". This teaches early childhood educators across the province how important their role is when it comes to helping children gain an appreciation for nature. Just this fall, AECENL hosted a conference focused on the importance of environmental awareness and education called "Bringing the Inside Out and the Outside in!" This conference had many green focused workshops including teaching kids to use garbage as an artistic muse, encouraging outdoor play, climate change, and of course the 3Rs!
AECENL shows just how easy it actually is to make changes in routines to reduce waste or just divert it from the garbage all together. It is clear that educating the people that teach our future recyclers about nature and the environment has become a priority to them. We give Skye Taylor and the Association of Early Childhood Educators an A+ in waste reduction practices!
Check out Skye's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Sarah Yetman, Harbour Grace's Very Own EnviroKid
Sarah Yetman may be a little girl but she has big opinions when it comes to waste and littering. Sarah is from the small town of Harbour Grace and loves to spend time in the great outdoors. The entire Yetman family, Walwyn, Tammy, and Sarah, have turned the familiar walking trails of their hometown into perfect ways to get some fresh air and spend some quality time with each other. Sometimes they even bring along their beagle, Boots!
Sarah loves these outings with her family but on one particular walk with her dad on her favorite trail off Lady Lake Road, she found herself nothing short of disgusted. Piled in front of her in the middle of the trail was a mess of garbage. Amongst the items in the pile were an abandoned doghouse and rusted pieces of metal. When Sarah described the situation she said, "I was very mad!"
Walwyn and Tammy helped Sarah go through the proper channels to have the garbage removed. They were also fortunate enough to receive support from the mayor of Harbour Grace. Sarah's interest in the environment goes far beyond just worrying about litter. Even at the young age of six, Sarah has been recycling bottles for years and says she even gets her nanny to recycle her bottles as well. Sarah also has her own vegetable garden in the Yetman's backyard.
Sarah has never let her age be a factor in what she can do. When she puts her mind to something, she is determined to accomplish it. Sarah belongs to the newest generation growing up in our world today, and if we can convince more children to be like her, we will have fewer worries when it comes to the environment in the future.
Check out Sarah's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Skerwink Organic Farm
Sarah Morgan may be our province's newest Regional Waste Management Coordinator but protecting Bonavista's "beautiful view" has long been on Sarah's agenda. Sarah has been diverting organic waste with the help of local businesses and residences since she moved back home to the island over five years ago. She operates a small organic farm and compost facility with her partner Michael in Trinity Bight called Skerwink Farm. A true community effort, Sarah has engaged businesses and groups to help her garden grow and keep harmful waste out of landfills.
Sarah credits the success of the project to her community partners:
- Mifflin's ValueFoods, the local grocery in Port Rexton, provides vegetable waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill;
- Trinity Mercantile, a local cafe supplies coffee grounds and other organic waste;
- The Trinity Historical Society, who operate several historic sites in Trinity, diverts grass clippings and other organic waste; and
- Rising Tide Theatre, who has a lot of script rewrites to shred, provide lots of carbon to balance out all the nitrogen content!
Sarah, herself, is known locally as the midnight raker - "I have taken to raking the leaves around the homes of some of the older folk in the community, partly because it's nice to lend a helping hand, and partly because I take it home, run the lawn mower over it, and make leaf mould for mulch and extra brown for thebins." Sarah is now feeding 6 large vermicompost bins with the organic material and others are following her lead. Since she started in 2005, many residences have begun composting and the cafe owner is currently setting up to process his own waste. Sarah laments that her worms will miss their morning coffee grounds.
Together, this community partnership diverts over 200lbs of waste from the landfill each week and turns it into a great soil conditioner. Skerwink Farms is not only growing healthy, delicious organic vegetables, they are growing a community that cares about waste and ensuring that the Bonavista region sees an even greener future.
Check out Sarah Morgan's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Heather Jones may be soap savy but she doesn't need to clean up her act! Heather is proof-positive that our youth are leading our business community to a greener future. Heather recently won Youth Ventures' Excellence in Innovation Award that focuses on eco-business. Growing up in Witless bay, the environment has always been an important issue for Heather and she has demonstrated her dedication to the earth through the development of her green business, Kelp Me! Heather makes soap out of kelp she collects and dries in her backyard. She goes the extra mile to ensure that she uses as many local ingredients as possible and to use recycled packaging such as driftwood and recycled paper. And although it's not always easy to make 100% natural products, Heather's commitment is unwavering. She refuses to use chemicals or fragrances and she feels that she can make a better product the natural way. Not only does this practice help the planet, it keeps her customers healthy and happy! Heather's all-natural kelp soap - is one business idea helping keep our province clean - one bar of soap at a time.
Check out Heather's Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador Green Team Program
The Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador's (CCNL's) Green Team program is dedicated to engaging youth in important environmental issues through meaningful employment opportunities. CCNL have begun their 18th Green Team season this summer with 23 Green Teams, involving over 100 youth, all over the province. This 2010 season sees projects dedicated to cultural education, stream restoration, trail development, climate change, urban river protection and enhancement, public outreach, and community gardens. In addition to these projects Green Teams have also been visiting summer camps, festivals, and other community organizations to deliver environmental awareness events to people of all ages about topics such as water conservation, climate change, recycling programs, and clean air. Check out these great projects that focus on waste reduction, recycling and composting:
- Stella Burry Community Services - "How to Make Your Garden Grow." This Green Team teaches urban residents the process of making and maintaining their own urban garden boxes (vegetables and herbs) while educating the public on safer soil practices.
- Town of Logy Bay/Middle Cove/Outer Cove - "Greener Community and Heritage Preservations." This Green Team focuses on public education in the areas of waste reduction, recycling, composting, and beach stewardship. They host educational clinics on these topics and develop their own educational material.
- Model Forest NL - "Heritage Community Garden, Jackson's Arm, White Bay." This team prepared a community garden containing native plants that have traditionally grown in the region. This project involved researching sustainable and organic growing practices. They used this information to educate the residents of the region and assisted anyone who required further information and support. The team also found time to restore a walking trail and plant indigenous flowers and shrubs.
- St. Barbe Development Association - "Promoting a Greener and Friendlier Environment." This team educates local businesses and resident about making less garbage through composting, proper HHW waste disposal through presentations and community demonstrations.
- Western Environment Centre - "Community Garden - Pilot Project." This team has been hard at work in the garden this summer. They have installed a gravity flow water line, helped the community prepare compost, helped construct a shed and windmill, and installed an electric fence to be powered by the windmill (or solar panels). The Green Team has also researched gardening/environmental topics to present to the public and continue to help out at the local farmer's market on Saturdays.
- Makkovik Inuit Community Government - "Makkovik Green Team 2010." This Green Team helps to establish and maintain a community garden for local residents. As well, the team has been involved in tree planting and composting projects.
These are just a few of the projects The Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador's Green Teams have taken on to help guide our province to a greener future and Get to Half.
The Scotia Centre, located at 235 Water Street, has a building management team that strives to excel at reducing their waste and their tenants' waste. The team, East Port Properties Limited has met great success, reducing the Centre's waste sent to the landfill by 72%. Recently the building management of Scotia Centre won the Pinnacle Award of Innovation for their unique and successful recycling program, awarded by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Long before mandatory office recycling programs, the management at the Scotia Centre was busy establishing their own recycling habits. They have continued to build upon the beverage container and paper recycling programs and expanded their program to include toner cartridges and batteries. Furthermore, contractors are required to recycle building materials, and the building management team works with tenants to get them to rethink disposal habits and discover new uses for unwanted office items.
The Scotia Centre has also contributed significantly to the community in their waste diversion efforts. When a tenant requested to dispose of an entire 360 litre bin of used binders the Scotia Centre building management team asked if there was a way to divert the binders from ending up in the landfill - their school donation program was born. The management team contacted a school they had visited that they knew was underfunded. The school accepted the donation with open arms and noted that many students could not afford basic school supplies. The Scotia Centre team were motivated by this comment and decided to approach all of the tenants in the building to redirect their used items to the school donation program. The response was overwhelmingly positive and since March 2008, twelve truck-loads of materials have been donated to the school including photocopiers, printers, filing cabinets, couches, office desks, tables, chairs and, of course what started it all, binders.
These waste reduction measures not only reduced the Scotia Centre's cost to landfill fees, it helped to instill a sense of pride among the staff and building occupants. This has lead to the development of other waste reduction initiatives including an annual clothing drive for the Canadian Diabetes Association's Clotheslines Program, and collection of used eyeglasses for The Lions Club's Lions Recycle for Sight program. In addition, 1200 pairs of shoes were collected for survivors of the Haiti earthquake in January 2010.
MMSB commends the management and tenants of the Scotia Centre on their waste reduction successes. Through these initiatives, East Port Properties Limited has helped the Centre's staff and building occupants gain a sense of pride as well as made a positive, meaningful contribution to the community and the environment.
Check out Kim Saunders' Waste Reduction Hero Ad!
Burin Peninsula Environmental Reform Committee
The Burin Peninsula Environmental Reform Committee (BPERC) has been dedicated to reducing waste on the Burin Peninsula since incorporation in spring 2008. Through the hearts and minds of the committed members, including founder Kimberley Armstrong, the committee has initiated many activities to prevent waste such as comprehensive recycling programs, a regional composting program, carefully scheduled "Green Community Cleanups" and promotion of litter-free events.
BPERC runs a recycling program that accepts rechargeable batteries of all kinds, cell phones and accessories, and ink cartridges. The committee has set up convenient drop-off locations all over the peninsula giving households and businesses the option to properly dispose of these types of waste. This keeps the hazardous materials found in such products from polluting soil and groundwater.
Although such things as print cartridges and batteries are highly dangerous to the environment, other things such as weeds, leaves, sawdust, fruit and vegetable scraps, etc. can be very beneficial. This has inspired BPERC to implement a community composting program. A user-friendly, do-it-yourself composting package with detailed steps to building and maintaining a compost bin is available to residents via BPERC's website (www.greenburin.ca). The committee also has a regional compost site in Burin where households, schools, a community kitchen, a local grocery store, and several local restaurants drop off their organic waste.
The BPERC attends and coordinates community cleanups on the Burin Peninsula whenever possible. It is the committee's strong belief that making and keeping an area clean inspires citizens to take pride in their environment and directly reduces the amount of waste and litter throughout the region.
In their efforts to make the area litter free, the BPERC not only cleans up the litter produced but attempts to reduce the litter before it is created. Whenever the BPERC coordinates an event, a "Litter-Free" program is put into place whereby a number of steps that encourage participants to cut down on waste are employed. This includes the placement of promotional "Litter-Free" signs, several garbage and recycling boxes/bags, and local radio publicity promoting the "Litter-Free" event.
As is evident in all of BPERC's endeavours, this is a committee that is unquestionably devoted to the environment. Through its programs and services, BPERC has provided unprecedented waste reduction opportunities on the Burin Peninsula and is looking to grow even bigger in the future.
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
The provincial Tourism Industry Association, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL), is not only dedicated to the development and promotion of the tourism/hospitality industry in the province but is also committed to protecting the environment and creating a greener future. In April 2009, a group of employees formed a Green Committee to inspire and encourage all HNL staff to make sound environmental choices in every facet of their lives. The Green Committee has already implemented many changes in their workplace such as:
- Canceling their daily newspaper subscription (reading online instead);
- Removing personal waste bins from all offices and cubicles;
- Providing online registration rather than paper tickets for the Tourism Awareness Luncheon;
- Encouraging waste reduction with simple staff tips such as printing double sided documents or using a reusable lunch bag
- Mandating "green meetings," with no circulation of paper agendas or minutes, information is projected on screen; and
- Posting energy efficient reminders near light switches and appliances.
With these small, simple steps, HNL is already making a difference. The Green Committee plans to help management develop green policies and practices, research alternatives, and engage employees in ongoing discussions about office sustainability. HNL relies on the thousands of visitors that come to our province each year to enjoy the scenic coastlines and unspoiled natural areas. Newfoundland and Labrador is known for its' breathtaking beauty, and HNL would like to keep our province healthy and beautiful for generations to come.
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi is helping to reduce the amount of waste entering our landfills by promoting environmental responsibility. St. Francis of Assisi is a member of The SEEDS Foundation that encourages schools to be more environmentally friendly. St. Francis has achieved Jade status meaning that they have completed at least 250 projects that communicate about or enhance the environment. As well, St. Francis has participated in the Environmental Education Centre's "Brother Brennan" program for 20 years. They send their Grade Six students to the centre for an overnight stay where they become more aware of their environment and learn to enhance personal and social responsibility for environmental action. The students at St. Francis of Assisi are also involved in several waste reduction initiatives. Each year, students have a clothing drive where students are asked to donate their old clothes to MacMoran Centre for free distribution to families in need. The school also promotes waste-free lunches and composting at home.
Furthermore, St. Francis of Assisi primary and elementary school in Outer Cove has a strong recycling program that has raised over $20,000 for the school since its implementation in 2000. Through a partnership with the Town of Logy Bay- Middle Cove- Outer Cove, the school was able to erect a shed where recyclables could be dropped off and stored. Inside the school, a Grade Four class is responsible for collecting the recyclables from each classroom and stockpiling them to be moved to the recycling shed. In this way, the recycling program is used to teach the students to be environmentally responsible. The MMSB is proud to acknowledge the environmental achievements of St. Francis of Assisi School for recognizing that more can, and should, be done to help us all "Get to Half."
Conception Bay South
When it comes to reducing waste, Conception Bay South is all business. As early as 2003, Conception Bay South was demonstrating environmental leadership by piloting a curbside recycling program, then moving to a drop-off program for paper and cardboard. Each year the town hosts the Winterfest Recycling Challenge to engage elementary schools in a friendly recycling competition to motivate them to collect the greatest amount of used beverage containers during a three-week period. The town is already moving forward with new, innovative ways to reduce paper waste by working towards eliminating agenda and minute packages and to ultimately have paperless meetings. Currently, the town is in the planning stage of this environmental effort. Consultation with the town's computer consultants is ongoing and it is anticipated that the project will be launched in the New Year.
Rick Stanley's Ocean Quest, based out of Conception Bay South, depends on the conservation of our province's incredible natural wonder and beauty. This is why Rick has steered his tourism operation to reduce waste and Get to Half. Ocean Quest provides an exceptional model for tourism-based businesses by showing how simple steps can get you to Get to Half, such as reducing paper use through electronic communications, installing a compost bin, instituting a thorough recycling program, eliminating Styrofoam completely, and making purchases that use less packaging. They also provide cloth towels and reusable bags for guests. In the near future, Ocean Quest hopes to develop a completely paperless office, waving "bon voyage" to all non-recyclable packaging. Rick and the staff of Ocean Quest are proof-positive that getting to half can be smooth sailing.
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Western Health, with its many regional facilities, recognizes that there is a critical link between wellness and the health of our natural environment. That is why environmentally conscious staffers formed the Western Health Green Team to improve community wellness through the promotion of environmental awareness within Western Health. They have implemented numerous successful initiatives including a paper reduction program. Western Health intends to develop a paperless electronic forms system; to date, several forms have already been converted to the new system and paper newsletter circulation has decreased by 2000 copies, in favour of electronic versions. They have also have provided staff with other electronic tools to reduce the need for printing. These include an email system, an intranet for sharing documents, and two-sided printers. Western Health has reduced kitchen waste from 10 down to 2 garbage bags per meal (a reduction of 8640 bags annually) simply by recycling beverage containers and paper products and by putting food through a garburator. Western Health didn't just Get to Half, they got to 80 per cent!
L'école Boréale initiated the Heart of the Earth project in September 2008 with their hearts set on recycling paper, used batteries and cardboard; encouraging the use of reusable bags; and increasing composting. To get there, they distributed recycling bins to family, friends, Queen of Peace Middle School and Peacock Primary. Next, a public awareness day was held. Information booths were set up in local stores, many of which offered reusable bags free of charge. Project signs were installed at the entrances of these locations and remain there as a public reminder. L'école Boréale also composts recess and lunch wastes and recycles batteries.
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