Sustainable Communities Conference
We were invited to the “Sustainable Communities Conference” at Simon Frasier University (SFU) on Saturday January 27th alongside several other NGO’s working towards addressing the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The conference opened with the Dignitary Address of the Mayor of the City of Burnaby, Derek Corrigan, followed by the Keynote Address of Mike Simpson, Executive Director of the BC Council for International Cooperation.
What followed were a series of panel discussions and workshops involving social entrepreneurs, youth workers, public health professionals and students of diverse backgrounds, all eager to share their experiences and ideas concerning the 17 most pressing challenges we face globally for the foreseeable future, ranging from poverty, equal access to education and gender equality to health & well being, climate change, resource scarcity and peace & justice.
Green Chair Recycling was invited to offer students the opportunity to apply the concepts discussed in practice, by taking concrete action within their local communities. Green Chair’s work addresses most directly SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. Yet as the panel discussions highlighted, none of these SDG areas can be tackled independently of each other. Resource scarcity and overconsumption inevitably tie into all the other remaining SDG areas, everywhere from poverty, good health and well-being and quality education, to economic growth, sustainable communities, climate action,peace, justice and life on land and below water.
Green Chair staff engaged attendees and organizers alike by testing their knowledge of a series of common daily items and educating them on how best to responsibly handle these resources. All individuals present had the opportunity to ask questions about particular problem items in their daily lives and what best practices they could adopt to reduce their material impact on a daily basis.
Attendees were left with the opportunity to join Green Chair’s work at upcoming community events within Metro Vancouver and:
Two Key Messages
1) To achieve SDG 12 requires reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place across our daily choices and lifestyles,
2) It is our civic duty to ensure that everything else we must necessarily dispose of, must be properly placed in the appropriate receptacles.
When we keep materials separate at source we have resources. When we mix materials all together we have waste.