Friday, June 24, 2011

Go Green at Staples on Saturday

Written for my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner; a version of this was published under the title "Staples hosts first 'Go Green' ecofair event"

Transition Barrie has been working for a few years now to help plan a low-energy, sustainable future for our community. One thing is very clear – nobody can do this for us, we all have to learn and do our part. Events earlier this year like the E3 Summit and Ecofest have shown how stakeholders in Barrie are going green. What’s nice to see now is that business is helping to lead the way. This Saturday, local green services will be showcased as Staples Business Depot hosts their first Go Green event, so other businesses and families who want to green themselves can learn how.

In partnership with Transition, the 561 Bayfield St. (at Hanmer) Staples location is putting on an event for the whole community. To start, eco-friendly businesses will be showing off their products and services. You can see everything from environmental house-cleaning to rain barrels to local solar providers. Major retailers Rona and Staples will demonstrate how they can help you sustainably source your home and office needs. Earth Electric can help you save power, and Nifty Thrifty will demonstrate the re-fashioning of old clothing into new items.

Planning a move to new digs? Let Green Box Rental show you how to save time, money, and the environment when you do. And talk to the Green Realtor Karen Fox about how she can help you market or find a more ecological home. Let the Green Team of Back to Basics show you how they can provide for your landscaping needs with Barrie’s only totally emission-free service.

Recycling will be the order of the day, a chance for you to clear out those hard-to-dispose-of items. You can bring in your e-waste, your paint, batteries, and compact fluorescent bulbs, your older cell phones, your used ink & toner cartridges, even your old tires and they’ll be collected by GEEP, Rona, Cellcycle, Staples, and Emterra, respectively. Don’t let these hazards lie around, or escape into the waste stream.

And it will be fun for the whole family. Earth Day Canada is sponsoring a children’s area with seed plantings, crafts, games, and a gift bag where the kids can have supervised fun while parents browse the other booths. Sophie’s Place will host a charity BBQ to benefit the Special Olympics, and Dominos on Bell Farm Rd. will provide lunch for volunteers and participants.

So come out and Go Green – learn about savings and rebates, and enter the free draw for a $500 eco-prize pack. The event is free to attend, starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m., so no matter what you have planned Saturday, you should be able to find time to swing by. You will be glad you did!

Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is an educator, father, volunteer, and politician.

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