Photo: How to build community

Judith loves to live green in Edmonton, Alberta! (Credit: Sheri Colautti)

"A basic human need is the experience of community — feeling valued, accepted, cared for and recognized for your true self. Without joyful, exuberant conversation we feel isolated and depressed and pursue the empty paths of shopping and watching television. When you learn to care for those around you, you start to care for all of life."

Cecil Andrews

How did these people get Queen of Green Coach jobs? I said only those who kick butt need apply — whether they make cheese, keep backyard bees or just love trees!

This fall, 14 new coaches join over 40 who came before them to "green" families across Canada. Over the next 12 weeks, they'll help people they know reduce household waste, choose more sustainable foods, minimize toxic exposure and build community.

Running Earth Works Farm with her husband, Brenda, Red Deer Alta. (@EarthWrksFarmAB) is a farmer, facilitator and project manager whose commitment to the next generation of environmental stewards has been deepened by the arrival of her son.

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Caillie, Calgary Alta. is a University of Calgary graduate with a bachelor of science, honours in anthropology. A former sustainability co-ordinator, she also has a passion for community building and food issues, from plot to plate!

As a Port Moody city councillor, Cynthia, Burnaby B.C. spearheaded initiatives such as B.C.'s first cosmetic pesticide bylaw. She now lives in North Burnaby with her four children and husband, is a business development manager at BCIT, and loves cooking, foraging and learning new things about her local environment.

Eva, Burnaby B.C. (@ecourbanfamily) has two children, is known as an eco-warrior, and loves the challenge of finding and trying natural remedies, urban eco-living approaches and gluten-free baking recipes for family and friends.

A two-year David Suzuki Foundation volunteer, Jennifer, Vancouver B.C. recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a biology degree, works for the Wilderness Committee and loves gardening, reading and exploring the great outdoors.

Mommy blogger Judith, Edmonton Alta. (@juicygreenmom) works part-time as a speech-language pathologist and has a passion for green living and helping others go green on a budget.

Kerri, Montreal Que. has a restoration of natural systems diploma from the University of Victoria and is a Green Angel with the Jellyfish Project. She's committed to protecting our natural heritage and leading a healthy and sustainable life while guiding others towards greener living.

Kerri, Winnipeg Man. is a third-time coach, mother of two and a lover of Winnipeg's many nature trails and provincial parks!

Lover of animals and the outdoors, Kimberly, Quesnel B.C. lives on a 40-acre farm with horses, sheep, cats and a dog. She authored 365+ Ways We Can Help Sustain Life on Earth — coming out this fall and raising money for the David Suzuki Foundation!

Kimmy, Rossland B.C. founded Peak Sustainability to help people interested in sustainable lifestyles. Her first book, out fall 2014, asks readers to choose love over fear to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle — a radical paradigm shift she believes will change the world!

Laura, Scarborough Ont. (@treehuggermagee) is an industrial designer, mother and confessed tree hugger. She escapes big city life when she can to teach her son everything she knows about nature and conservation.

Third-time coach Stephanie, Langley B.C. works as a community recreation co-ordinator and loves finding ways to get to know her community and getting outside with her spirited two-year-old daughter.

Suzanne, Kawarth Lakes Ont. @(KawarthaMums) is passionate about frugal living and shares family-friendly resources on her blog, Kawartha Lakes Mums.

Tracy, Vancouver B.C. is a librarian, scientist and nature-loving foodie. If she can bike there, walk there, re-purpose it, make it, find it or grow it — she will!

What's one thing you love about your community and one thing you'd like to change? Shelley commented to win a HankyBook donated by The Soap Dispensary!

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

September 22, 2014

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Jul 06, 2015
10:18 AM

My contribution to Earth and this planet ,is to raise awareness that all living things are connected . Humanity ,Nature ,Plants ,our Oceans ,Animals .I have already started mindful walks in the community ,finding pleasure in our local parks .Seeking GMO organic gardeners , supporting local sustainable entrepreneurs and spreading the word . I believe that change is possible ,slowly but surely leading by example ,and education people .I think there are many who are walking with their eyes closed .The understanding that there is much more than just sorting out the recycling and blue bins .We are bombarded by the technology industry for example ,the need to have a cell phone replaced and each home disposing phones and chargers is like a disease . It is my heartfelt prayer that our children will eventually not be so dependent on the TV ,Video games to compensate for their emotional needs .That they will go out every day and be in nature read books ,talk to the elderly ,gain their wisdom .It starts with appreciation ,gratefulness for our Creator ,the Earth is our gift to humanity and we all are accountable .Some of us have forgotten ,but there are many who are reminding us .That our Earth and Ocean are our providers and is sustaining us .To this awkening I am part of this journey ,educating my self ,sharing knowledge with others as part of my contribution towards Mother Earth and humanity.

Oct 23, 2014
8:32 AM

I am change and I want to help others change our society to protect and respect our earth. My passion for fishing and the outdoors has lead me to opening a traveling exhibit to teach city kids about fishing and educate and encourage their parents as well about ethical fishing. Catch and release is a big part of what we promote and it’s all for the bigger picture. Having a 3 year old daughter has sparked a bigger desire to be change in our world to show her what’s truly important. I have said this from day one “kids are the future” an without food, water and air we have no future. Through my knowledge and passion of fishing I aim to educate kids and parents while we tour through Canada at fairs and expos. Through the love of fishing my theory is that kids and parents will see the needs to protect nature starting from home and in their everyday lives because if they don’t then they will not be able to go fishing anymore. We also show people that fishing is much more than catching fish it’s about being one with nature and seeing bugs, trees, animals and the beauty of all living things while waiting for that fish to bite. Being outdoors is also a natural healer and fishing is a great way to spend “quality” time with your kids. Sitting on the couch watching TV beside your children is not “quality” time you aren’t paying attention to them!

I would like to help the David Suzuki foundation grow through my company Fishing Friendzy. Please someone contact me to talk about how we can work together. Fishing Friendzy is fairly new but we have been at the CNE for 3 straight years now. The CNE is Canada’s biggest exhibition drawing over 1.3 million people, and we see and inspire a lot of them. But we need to make changes on a bigger level and working together with like minded companies and individuals is what’s needed. Let’s do this together and help each other. By no means is this message to make my company more money but to bring a better stronger message to more people about the future and about our planet! Let’s protect it through love!

Oct 13, 2014
7:58 PM

I would like to start a project similar to the Incredible Edible project in the UK. I think we need to plant food in public spaces to create conversation and so People can learn how food grows. I started the first local community garden here and need to take it a step further. I love my community for its small town feel but we need to make better use of undeveloped areas in our town.

Oct 07, 2014
9:28 AM

I live in Mississauga, Ontario. One thing that I love about Mississauga is its diversity. There are many cultures all displayed and working together to build a better community.

One thing that I would love to change is the amount of garbage and random trash that I see throughout Mississauga. It drives me nuts and when I go walking with my dog, I do tend to pick up a piece or two (along with her leavings) and place it in the garbage. Its so easy to just take stuff home or find a garage rather then leave it on a street or side walk!

Oct 05, 2014
1:52 PM

I noticed that Saskatchewan is one of the provinces missing from the new coaches. I also hope one day that changes. Same goes for the rest of the provinces and territories. We need inspiration and awareness in all of Canada. Day by day we get stronger.

Oct 05, 2014
1:47 PM

I live in the middle of Saskatchewan — Prince Albert. What I like about this city are the many different opportunities there are for social programs for those in need. I would for the city and its citizens to become more environmentally. Last year our recycling expanded from paper only to tin and plastics. Public awareness is lacking and items that could be recycled are being sent to the landfill. We need some good snazzy promotion of recycling to turn this around

Oct 02, 2014
7:31 PM

I love living in a small community near trees, trails, lakes and ocean. I like that our community has stepped up the recycling program another notch. I don’t like the bull frogs taking over and eating up all of our little native frogs.

Oct 02, 2014
7:30 PM

I love living in a small community near trees, trails, lakes and ocean. I like that our community has stepped up the recycling program another notch. I don’t like the bull frogs taking over and eating up all of our little native frogs.

Sep 27, 2014
10:00 AM

I would like to change our bus schedule so more people could take the bus in the evenings and on Sundays to make greater use of this service. Our LIMO service for people with physical challenges needs to be changed so it’s not just one person riding in a big empty bus. What a waste of resources. You can read more about it here I’d also like to see a composting program added to our recycling program.

Sep 23, 2014
6:13 PM

Being from the Niagara region of Ontario I love the connection my community has with food, wine, and the importance of supporting our local producers. I would love to see this awareness grow into all aspects of our lifestyles, especially in regards to the amount of consumption and the other types of consumer goods that could be replaced or done away with entirely. Conscious consumption of health and beauty products, cleaning supplies, clothing, disposable items, and an awareness of the issues surrounding these daily decisions could spark a huge change within my community.

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