Some really "green" people live in Calgary, Alberta. I met them! And then I put them to work.
Here are tips and resources from Calgary Queen of Green Coaches Trina, Amy, Evelyn and Meghan (many apply to all Canadians):
Wash your recycling. This is an "everywhere plastics exist" problem — not just Calgary`s. Buyers shun dirty recyclables! Dirty containers get pulled from the sorting process and chucked.
Follow the rules. Learn what's accepted and memorize the info (or print this PDF guide). Don't bin items you wish or hope were recyclable. And don't bag anything (except shredded paper).
Best Buy and Future Shop recycle electronics and batteries. Staples recycles batteries and printer cartridges, pens, pencils, markers and highlighters.
Many charities won't accept mattresses. Try giving yours away on Kijiji or Craig's List. Recycle with Re-Matt or Mattress Removal and Mattress Recycling can help, for a fee.
Kidseat Recyclers accepts child car seats!
Terracycle offers national programs to collect previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste, free shipping and a charitable donation for each piece collected.
ThinkReuse Electronics Recycling refurbishes, repairs and recycles unwanted electronic items and reassigns them to someone who is currently looking for it. (They designate some funds raised from recycled electronics to the David Suzuki Foundation.)
Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest
Recycle Blue accepts small appliances, bikes, pots and pans, paint cans, eye glasses, car mufflers, solid wood furniture, clothing and much more.
Urban Impact`s Calgary office can help your workplace streamline waste, set diversion targets and manage recycling.
Women in Need Society`s four Calgary thrift stores accept donations of gently used clothing, household items and furniture.
Did you know that H&M has a clothing recycling program? I didn't.
The Calgary Urban Harvest Project turns a bounty of fallen fruit into a local food solution! Register your fruit trees and berry bushes for harvest. Or sign up as a volunteer picker. And check out YYC Growers and Distributors to learn about SPIN farming.
LeftOvers Calgary rescues food!
Verge Permaculture has classes, events and private yard tours for learning more about growing food and community. And join the Calgary Horticultural Society — cultivating Calgary's gardening community since 1908!
Worms at Work sell worms and vermicomposting kits.
Check out Green Calgary for the most current "green" resources, workshops and events in town.
Market Collective showcases the art community (local artists, artisans, designers and musicians)!
Meet other individuals, organizations and businesses — over breakfast — interested in advancing sustainability in Calgary.
Bullfrog Power provides 100 per cent clean, pollution-free energy for homes and businesses.
Bike Calgary makes the city bicycle friendly!
car2go Calgary shares cars.
Attend Alberta Bike Swap, a one day event to buy, sell or donate your bike!
Will you share your favourite "green" Calgary resource in the comments?
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green