Green Action Centre

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Green Action Centre is an environmental organization based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It works to promote greener living through environmental education for households, workplaces, schools, and communities. It also develops and advocates environmental policies for Manitoba communities. Its primary areas of activity include green commuting, composting and waste, sustainable living and resource conservation.

History[edit]

In the early 1980s in Manitoba, a group of citizens and environmental activists held meetings at Westminister Church in Winnipeg to share concerns about the amount of waste that was then going to landfill. On February 14, 1985, they founded the Recycling Council of Manitoba (RCM) with the goal of promoting recycling. Members of the Council included individuals, schools, recycling groups and municipal officials in communities across the province of Manitoba. The new organization held a number of special recycling events, which proved overwhelmingly popular with city residents. Subsequently, the Council set about creating ongoing recycling depots in various locations around Winnipeg, such as community centres. Much of the work of collecting, sorting and shipping the recyclables was done by volunteers. The group also met with City of Winnipeg and Manitoba provincial officials to urge establishment of a permanent recycling (blue box) program for Winnipeg. In 1989, the Recycling Council of Manitoba helped form the Manitoba Recycling Action Committee to promote the idea of producer responsibility in Manitoba.[1] In short, in Manitoba as elsewhere across Canada, the movement for municipal solid waste recycling was led by citizens. The Recycling Council played a key role in demonstrating not only the practicality of recycling, but also the strong public demand for it. By 1996, with a Waste Reduction and Prevention Act in place provincially and a new crown entity (the Manitoba Product Stewardship Corporation) in position to administer beverage container levies collected at retail, members of the Recycling Council voted to change the name to Resource Conservation Manitoba (sticking with the RCM initials).

The reinvented organization declared a broader mission in the promotion of ecological sustainability and ventured into new areas beyond waste reduction -- climate change, sustainable transportation and green living. New initiatives were developed and additional staff were hired to conduct programs of public environmental education. After operating for more than a decade as Resource Conservation Manitoba, members decided in March 2010 to change the group's name once again -- this time to Green Action Centre (effective in September 2010).[2] Today, the organization is involved in a broad range of environmental education initiatives in Manitoba.

Organization Structure[edit]

Green Action Centre describes itself as "a non-profit, non-governmental hub for greener living based in Winnipeg, serving Manitoba." It is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under Manitoba legislation and is a federally registered charity.[3] The Centre is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by members at an annual general meeting. [4] Green Action Centre has a growing list of approximately 2,000 individual supporters. The agency is a member of the Manitoba Eco-Network[5] and Green Communities Canada.[6] Programs and outreach are supported by donations from individuals, grants from foundations and governments, and sponsorships.

Program areas[edit]

Active and Safe Routes to School[edit]

The Active and Safe Routes to School program works with schools and communities to help them encourage kids to walk and bike to school. The program promotes active transportation in order to keep children healthy, safer, and to ensure they have clean air to breathe.[7]

Composting[edit]

Green Action Centre runs a compost promotion project to provide information, resources and support for composting across Manitoba. They offer free public workshops for residents including backyard composting, winter composting and worm composting. The organization also coordinates a Master Composter program that provides in depth training on composting to individuals who become volunteer composting trainers. Green Action Composting also works with schools and communities to develop individualized programs.[8]

Environmental Speakers Bureau[edit]

The Environmental Speakers Bureau offers classroom environmental presentations for schools in Winnipeg. Topics include recycling, litterless lunches, composting, climate change, water and the ecological footprint concept. Presentations are offered for age ranges from Nursery to Grade 12. The program delivers over 300 presentations annually to schools in Winnipeg and, by special arrangement, delivers in-service workshops on environmental education for teachers across Manitoba. This popular school program is supported by the Manitoba Department of Conservation and Water Stewardship and by donations from individuals.[9]

Living Green Living Well[edit]

Living Green Living Well is a program that offers ideas and tips for households, schools and businesses to help reduce their environmental impact. The project offers presentations to community organizations and workplaces on environmental topics including green cleaning products, climate change, greenwashing, pesticides, sustainable agriculture and water conservation. The program also runs a blog commenting on environmental news affecting Manitoba.[10]

Workplace Commuter Options[edit]

Green Action Centre works with companies and their employees to promote commuter options other than single passenger automobiles. The program helps employers develop supportive policies and programs to support biking, busing, carpooling or other forms of transportation that reduce the greenhouse gas impact of commuting.[11] Green Action Centre’s Workplace Commuter Options program has worked with:

  • Assiniboine Credit Union
  • Boeing Winnipeg
  • Health Sciences Centre
  • Integrated Designs
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Manitoba Hydro
  • MTS Allstream
  • National Leasing
  • Public Works and Government Services Canada
  • Taylor McCaffrey LLP
  • Transport Canada
  • United Way of Winnipeg

Seasonal programs[edit]

Green Action Centre runs several seasonal programs throughout the year, often in partnership with national organizations.

Car Free Day[edit]

Green Action Centre is the local coordinator for Car Free Day in Winnipeg. Car Free Day takes place on September 22 each year and is observed in many cities across North America and around the world. The event encourages motorists to leave their car at home and try an alternative method of commuting for a day. [12]

Commuter Challenge[edit]

The annual Commuter Challenge takes place during Environment Week (first week of June). It is a fierce but friendly competition that encourages participants at registered workplaces to choose environmentally preferable methods of travel to and from work during the week.[13]

In June 2014, with Green Action Centre's leadership and support, Winnipeg once again won the national Commuter Challenge (for the 11th time in the past 12 years) by registering the highest percentage of green commuters at Winnipeg workplaces during the week. The City of Thompson also won for the third straight year in its population category.[14]

Waste Reduction Week[edit]

Waste Reduction Week is a national event across Canada that encourages businesses, communities, schools, organizations and individuals to reduce their waste, recycle and undertake other environmentally friendly initiatives. The event takes place during the third week of October each year.[15]

Green Action Centre coordinates activities in Winnipeg for the event and is one of the coordinating organizations across Manitoba.[16]

Green Action Centre receives support for the program from Manitoba Conservation,[17] Manitoba Hydro and the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department.

Walk to School Month[edit]

International Walk to School Month (“IWALK”) promotes walking and cycling to students during October each year. Green Action Centre coordinates IWALK in Manitoba.

Policy Committee[edit]

Green Action Centre has a policy committee made up of board members, staff and volunteers that develops policies on environmental issues in Manitoba. Some of the policy areas developed by the committee include: waste reduction,[18] pesticides,[19] climate change,[20] land use planning,[21] energy policy,[22] and food and agriculture.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  3. ^ "Charities Listings". Cra-arc.gc.ca. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  4. ^ Writer, Staff (2009-06-15). "MANITOBA MOVERS - JUNE 15". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  5. ^ "The Manitoba Eco-Network :: Our Members". Mbeconetwork.org. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  6. ^ "Our Member Organizations". Green Communities Canada. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  7. ^ "Active and Safe Routes to School – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  8. ^ "Composting – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  9. ^ "Environmental Speakers Bureau – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  10. ^ "Blog – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  11. ^ "Workplace Commuter Options – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  12. ^ "Car Free Day – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  13. ^ "2011 Commuter Challenge Winners – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  14. ^ "Commuter Challenge – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  15. ^ "Home| Waste Reduction Week-La Semaine De Réduction Des Déchets". Wrwcanada.com. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  16. ^ [2] Archived October 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ [3] Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Wiebe, Lindsey (2010-08-05). "Fee-based e-waste plan causing stir". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  19. ^ Kives, Bartley (2010-07-14). "Mosquito-control changes urged". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  20. ^ "Climate Change and Copenhagen – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  21. ^ "Provincial Land Use Policy Review – Green Action Centre". Greenactioncentre.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  22. ^ Agnes, Mary (2009-06-18). "Hydro ordered to help poor pay power bills". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  23. ^ "The Shift to Sustainable Farming: Agro-ecology is our safest bet in the face of climate change" Josh Brandon, Manitoba Eco-Journal, Nov-Dec 2009.

External links[edit]