Today Susan and I drove up to Whistler bright and early for the 2014 Zero Waste Conference. This is a big deal in the recycling world and it seemed like anyone who was anyone in the local recycling loop – from stewardship executives to municipal recycling leaders – were present. We are here representing all the stewards we represent and chatting to some very interesting people. Personally, I am thrilled to be here and am having a blast. It is great to be surrounded by so many people who understand our message and are so passionate about finding alternatives to garbage culture.
Met some great people including a man who works for Camosun College and is in charge of managing their waste and recycling. He has already made the change to move garbage and recycling bins from classrooms to encourage everyone to use the hallway and common area bins (where waste can be separated into many categories), and is planning another campaign to remove coffee cups completely from campus! This sounded insane at first – no paper cups and plastic lids to be bought or sold on campus! Impossible! But maybe not so… He expects that after a few months of strong revolt that people will adapt and begin bringing their own re-usable mugs. The problem is that people are not separating the lids from the cups. So Camosun students, either start recycling properly or brace yourself for the impending day when paper cups are banned!
We’re also pretty good friends with the people at the neighbouring tables. To the right we have a woman from Royal Roads University talking about the various environmental programs they have available. She’s very nice. To the left we have two men from Eco-Win, an antifreeze recycling company. They were fantastic to talk to because (1. They recognized me through a family friend, small world!) and now I know so much more about the antifreeze recycling process! Did you know that recycled antifreeze is actually better than new antifreeze? Not only for the sake of recycling and reuse, but because apparently when you mix antifreeze and water before putting it in your car, all the tap water additives mess with the composition and so it is actually better to buy the distilled Eco-Win recycled antifreeze! Those guys are so wonderfully passionate about their work and it is a pleasure to have met them.
Anyone who has already visited Whistler knows how beautiful it is. This is my first time here, and wow it is beautiful. We were both struck by the extravagance of this children’s playground. The only downside is that EVERYTHING is so darn expensive. Have you ever heard of a hotel charging per night? Our hotel charges $18/night to use their parking garage!!! On the upside, Whistler is beautiful. Susan said today that “Its like the ideal BC, so woodsy and Canadiana” and she is right. Its beautiful and just looks like money, money money.
Did I mention that the conference is held in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler?! This is the longest amount of time I have ever spent in a Fairmont hotel, and let me tell you, it looks like a freaking castle on the inside. Royalty resides here. The bathrooms alone are breathtaking. Sorry about the lack of photos today, I promise to take photos of the grandeur of the Chateau Whistler tomorrow.