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LiveSmart BC Community Features
LiveSmart BC is profiling people throughout British Columbia who are making a difference by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating sustainable communities.
Check out the LiveSmart BC Community Hero archive here.
For new stories and highlights, be sure to read the LiveSmart BC Blog.
Climate Smarts Power Hotel
Kelowna’s Best Western hotel recently installed 101 solar panels to power 145 guest rooms, two hot tubs and a swimming pool. The retrofit will permanently reduce 90 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year.Hotelier Greg Salloum says that while the hotel has been making sustainable choices since 1990, EcoTrust Canada’s Climate Smart program helped the Best Western take its climate actions to the next level.
Interior Health Works on Environmental Health
Aman Hundal has seen the impacts of climate change in Fort St. James, his childhood home. The changing snowfall patterns and the pine beetle infestation have been hard to ignore. He applies this awareness to his position as Manager for Environmental Sustainability at Interior Health.The position didn’t exist a few years ago. Back then, green initiatives were initiated by a green committee and interested staff managed projects off the sides of their desks.
Williams Lake Kicks Idling Habit
Concerns over air quality and escalating fuel costs drove the City of Williams Lake to take action to green its fleet. So says Danny Moxey, deputy director of municipal services in Williams Lake. He explains that the City wanted to take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community, and it has done just that.
Co-op Generates Energy
Steve Rison wants his community to be self-sufficient, especially when it comes to energy supply. As president of the Peace Energy Cooperative – a member-run, for-profit cooperative based in Dawson Creek – he’s working hard to make it happen. The 378 member cooperative was formed in 2002 to develop and invest in renewable energy projects.
Mayor Wants Regional Action
Peter Fassbender has been an active community member in Langley for the last 33 years, which made him a natural fit for the regional Citizens’ Conservation Council on Climate Action. It didn’t hurt that he’s also Mayor of the City of Langley. “I have a heart for the community, and I have an interest in the future of my community, my region, the province and the world.”
Whistler Funds Climate Action
In July 2009, Whistler became the first municipality in B.C. to approve a policy that directs its carbon tax rebate from the provincial Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program to reducing emissions in both the community and municipal operations.
ArtiZEN Has Climate Smarts
ArtiZEN, a home renovation company located in Vancouver, became one of many small and medium-sized businesses and organizations to learn how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when it completed the Climate Smart program in January, 2009.
New Director Leads Climate Collaboration
Dr. Thomas Pedersen wants the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) to be practical, and he’s in the position to make it happen. Pedersen is the new director of the institute, which was established in March 2008 to unite B.C.’s climate researchers.
Saving two kinds of green
When Sandra Oldfield decided to attend the Climate Smart workshops, she worried it would be too expensive to implement sustainability initiatives at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. In reality, the opposite was true.
Scrap-It Encourages Car Sharing
Maybe you’re ready to get rid of your car, but you aren’t ready to rely on your bicycle or public transit for all of your transportation needs. Nicole Huk, co-manager of the Victoria Car Share Co-operative, tells LiveSmart BC about the benefits of sharing cars and the incentive that encourages people to scrap their cars for a car co-op membership and account credit.
Athletes Issue Climate Change Challenge
B.C. Olympian Dave Calder is an athlete, and as such, he’s competitive: “Athletes thrive on competition,” explained Calder, “so we are using the launch of Project Blue Sky to challenge VANOC and other Olympic partners and participants to a ‘race’ to the finish line on our respective climate goals: in VANOC’s case a further 190,000 tonnes of carbon offsets for the Games and in Blue Sky’s case 1 billion kilometres of carbon reductions.”
Burning Muscles, Not Fuel
Beautiful weather and exercise are great motivators for Scott Staniland to leave his car behind and pedal his way around Vancouver, not to mention the benefits for the environment. As an ex-mechanic, Staniland understood the future work and environmental damage involved in keeping his 1987 Honda Accord on the road.
West Coast Air is Climate Smart
If an airline can reduce its carbon footprint, then so can your business. Rick Baxter, President and CEO of West Coast Air, shares his thoughts on EcoTrust Canada's Climate Smart program with LiveSmart BC: "We had more questions than answers when examining our carbon footprint and the "wild west" of the offset market. Climate Smart provided us with the tools to measure, reduce and offset our greenhouse gas emissions."
Sustainable Venues Host 2010 Winter Games
In between speed skating events at the 2010 Winter Games, spectators will find their eyes drawn to the impressive roof of the Richmond Olympic Oval. It was constructed from British Columbia wood, including trees damaged by pine beetle infestation. In total, 1.1 million board feet of pine beetle wood was used to complete the massive structure.
Back to the Future Homes
After spending 25 years as a corporate executive in the forestry products business, Hardy Wentzel has turned his energy toward revitalizing older homes. Wentzel purchases homes built around 1955-1965 in the Kelowna area. Then he modernizes them and makes them more energy-efficient.
VANOC Taps into Waste Heat
“Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are hot. That is, they generate a lot of heat,” said Ann Duffy. Duffy is VANOC’s corporate sustainability officer, and she explains that waste heat is generated by refrigeration plants in the preparation of ice for curling, figure skating and speed skating venues.